Alternative Energy Sources

The potential of hydrogen in the economy

Europe has proposed scaling up renewable hydrogen production to 10 million tonnes by 2030, and other major regions such as North America and Asia have similarly ambitious plans to expand low-carbon hydrogen production to reduce emissions. INEOS is well positioned to take a leading role in the emerging low-carbon hydrogen market as it is currently Europe’s largest operator of electrolysis through its INEOS Inovyn business.

INEOS launched a new hydrogen business to develop and build green hydrogen capacity across Europe in November 2020 and has plans to invest €2 billion in electrolysis projects across Europe, starting with projects in Norway, Germany, and Belgium, and looking to invest further in the UK and France. In 2022, we selected Atkins to design a world-scale low-carbon hydrogen plant at our Grangemouth site that is expected to reduce our annual emissions by 1 million tonnes once up and running in 2030.

Developing clean hydrogen as a fuel

Hydrogen has been used for a long time in the chemical industry as feedstock in the manufacture of products such as fertilisers. There is also growing interest in hydrogen and its derivatives, such as ammonia and methanol, as a zero-carbon energy source in the chemical industry and wider economy, for example in transportation.

Each year INEOS produces more than 400,000 tonnes of hydrogen through its chlor-alkali, refining and cracking operations. This is enough to fuel 300 million miles of heavy goods vehicle travel: the equivalent of 12,000 trucks circumnavigating the world. Hydrogen is essential for our transition to net zero by 2050 and can contribute significantly to our 2030 reduction target.

While the key advantages of hydrogen lie in it being a zero-carbon energy carrier and the fact that it can be used to store energy, it is important to note that it should be produced in a low-carbon manner, such as electrolysis with renewables, or through steam methane reforming (SMR) with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

In addition to being Europe’s largest operator of electrolysis technology, INEOS also owns hydrogen storage infrastructure. The two combined can help buffer the intermittency of renewable energy. As a producer and user of hydrogen, we are in a unique position to use our existing co-produced hydrogen to kickstart the hydrogen economy for INEOS, Europe, and the wider world.