• World’s first large-scale 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant

Green Energy

World’s first large-scale 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant

Jun 20 2024

Technology group Wärtsilä has launched the world’s first large-scale 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant, to enable the net-zero power systems of tomorrow.

The IEA World Energy Outlook 20231 shows that hydrogen is an essential component of our future power systems. According to the report, the pathway to reach net zero emissions by 2050 requires 17 Mt of hydrogen to be consumed in power generation in 2030, reaching 51 Mt by 2050. 

The deployment of renewables worldwide is set to double by the end of this decade2, creating the right conditions for excess clean electricity to be used for production of hydrogen-based, carbon neutral fuels, and for enabling 100% renewable power systems.

Scaling up renewables alone, however, is not enough to reach global net zero targets. Flexible power generation solutions, like engine power plants, are needed to balance fluctuating renewable energy sources. It is crucial that these solutions are futureproof and ready to run on sustainable fuels to fully decarbonise the energy sector.

Wärtsilä is addressing this need through its new hydrogen-ready engine power plant, which can be converted to run on 100% hydrogen. The new engine power plant is a significant step beyond existing technology, which can run on natural gas and 25 vol% hydrogen blends. 

Anders Lindberg, President, Wärtsilä Energy, said: “We will not meet global climate goals or fully decarbonise our power systems without flexible, zero-carbon power generation, which can quickly ramp up and down to support intermittent wind and solar.  

“We must be realistic that natural gas will play a part in our power systems for years to come. Our fuel flexible engines can use natural gas today to provide flexibility and balancing, enabling renewable power to thrive. They can then be converted to run on hydrogen when it becomes readily available: future-proofing the journey to net zero.

“This is a major milestone for us as a company, and the energy transition more generally, as our hydrogen-ready engines will enable the 100% renewable power systems of tomorrow.”

The Wärtsilä 31 engine platform, which the hydrogen-ready power plant is based on, is the most efficient in the world. It synchronises with the grid within 30 seconds from start command, ensures energy security through fuel flexibility and offers unparalleled load following capabilities and high part load efficiency. It has completed more than 1 million running hours, with over 1,000 MW installed capacity globally. 

Wärtsilä’s 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant concept based on the Wärtsilä 31 engine platform has been certified by TÜV SÜD, demonstrating a commitment to quality and safety. TÜV SÜD’s H2-Readiness certification consists of three stages with three corresponding certificates. Wärtsilä has now achieved the first stage with a Concept Certificate for the conceptual design of its engine power plant. The 100% hydrogen-ready engine is expected to be available for orders in 2025, and available for delivery from 2026. 


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