Uniper and General Electric have signed an agreement aimed at decarbonising Uniper’s gas-fired power plants and natural gas storage facilities.
GE’s Gas Power business and Uniper will explore, assess, and develop technology options across the company’s fleet.
A GE/Uniper joint working group would produce a roadmap by early 2021 to assess the at-plant upgrades and R&D needed, largely to replace natural gas with hydrogen in GE gas turbines and compressors in Uniper’s 4GW of gas power plants and gas storage facilities across Europe.
At the beginning of the year, Uniper set itself the strategic goal of climate-neutrality in its European generation business by 2035. Uniper already produces around 24TWh of CO2-free electricity from hydroelectric and nuclear power plants in Germany and Sweden.
Andreas Schierenbeck, chief executive of Uniper, said, “In a few years, Uniper’s European fleet will consist mainly of climate-friendly gas-fired power plants and CO2-free hydropower. From now on, our investments will focus primarily on the further decarbonization of the gas assets which could include post combustion carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) as well as blue or green hydrogen. And here, clean hydrogen will – as far as it is possible and sensible – replace the fossil components of the gas plants. If we also succeed in using our gas storage facilities to a large extent for hydrogen, we will be closer to a solution to the core problem of the European energy transformation: the lack of storage capacity for fluctuating renewable energies on an industrial scale.”