Green Fuels For Denmark

Solution Statement

The Green Fuels for Denmark (GFDK) project brings together leading companies representing both demand and supply sides of sustainable e-fuels, with a vision to establish an ambitious sustainable fuels production facility in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The project aims to establish a 1.3 GW electrolyzer in 2030 powered by 2-3 GW offshore wind from the future Bornholm energy island, which holds the potential to replace >270.000 tpa. of fossil fuel consumption in 2030, equivalent to a 1.8 % reduction in Danish CO2 emissions. GFDK is envisaged to be built in three phases:

Phase 1 (2021-2023): Establishing a single 10 MW electrolyzer module producing renewable hydrogen for use in fuel cell buses and trucks in Denmark.

Phase 2 (2023-2027): Scale-up and commercial operation of a 250 MW electrolyzer coupled with offshore wind, CO2 capture and chemical synthesis to produce sustainable renewable e-methanol for maritime transport and renewable e-kerosene for aviation.

Phase 3 (2027-2030+): Further scale-up to reach a combined electrolyzer capacity of 1.3 GW to be combined with approx. 1 Mt carbon capture yearly, corresponding to 30 % of Copenhagen Airport’s fuel consumption, a large proportion of truck and bus operations in Greater Copenhagen, and a full-sized container vessel.

GFDK is the first partnership of its kind to combine leading competencies across the entire renewable hydrogen and power-to-X value chain. The project aims to draw upon these to become a front-runner for a large and industry-coordinated                          decarbonization of the heavy-duty transport sector. The project holds the potential to establish new solutions to global challenges in relation to energy, climate, and transport.

Challenge Statement

A significant hurdle to renewable hydrogen projects is overcoming the cost barrier. Today, hydrogen produced in water electrolysis plants is significantly more expensive than fossil-based hydrogen. This is also the case for renewable e-fuels based on hydrogen, compared to the fossil fuels they replace. 

One reason is that electrolyzer technology is still relatively expensive. The largest electrolyzers in operation today are in the 10-20 MW scale, but with GFDK and other projects like it being announced, we hope to see economies of scale and an industrialization of the supply chain bring down costs over the next decade.

Furthermore, most of the global dedicated hydrogen production today is based on natural gas, which is a cheaper feedstock than electricity. To close the cost gap between renewable and fossil hydrogen and enable a viable business case for projects, incentives to off-take renewable hydrogen are needed. This could, for instance, be in the form of blending mandates that require a certain amount of consumed hydrogen or e-fuels to be renewable. Support for the development of green alternatives through subsidies and incentives is also important. The combination of a regulatory framework, a clear demand pipeline, and direct/indirect financial support boosts investor confidence in the merits of developing power-to-X at scale.

In addition, partnerships with participation from both consumer and producer can significantly reduce investment risks by creating clarity for supply and demand. Going forward, this is also a noteworthy lesson to policy makers seeking to promote renewable hydrogen.

Energy Compact Description

The partners of GFDK are committed to cooperating along the power-to-X value chain to advance and promote investments in developing, maturing, and implementing renewable hydrogen and power-to-X technology and infrastructure.

Production capacity of 1.3 GW electrolysis by 2030 

In our Green Fuels for Denmark project, we work to develop an industrial-scale production facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime, and air transport in the Copenhagen area. The partnership brings together the demand and supply sides of sustainable fuels, with a vision to realize what could become one of the world’s largest electrolyzer and sustainable fuel production facilities of approx. 1.3 GW electrolysis by 2030.

Energy Compact Indicators

Fully realized, the Green Fuels for Denmark project can replace >270 kt of fossil fuels per year with fossil free e-fuels, equivalent to approx. 0.85 Mt CO2 emission reductions per year.

The capital cost of the hydrogen generation plant and Fuel Cell system is very high making P2P & energy storage solution unviable.  For the overall system to become viable, ramping up of manufacturing capability and setting up of manufacturing facilities in India needs to be incentivized. The overall round-trip efficiency also needs to be improved by way of technical improvements to reduce the requirement of renewable power