Ørsted, an energy company in Denmark, announced in March its new plans to convert electricity from its wind turbines into hydrogen fuel, joining the ranks of several other prominent European power companies.
While it’s expensive, stockpiling renewable electricity as hydrogen makes sense as Europe tries to reach its ambitious climate goals, according to Scientific American — it could be used for power on windless days instead of fossil fuels.
Ørsted’s plan is to use electricity generated from wind turbines to power electrolysis plants that split water into oxygen and useable hydrogen.
This means that the renewable electricity could also be used, albeit indirectly, to fuel cars that would otherwise have relied on fossil fuels.
SciAm reports that there are currently 45 European projects working to improve the renewable-to-hydrogen pipeline. The most complex and expensive hurdle is splitting the water.
But the cost of the equipment necessary to do so has dropped by about 40 percent over the last ten years, suggesting that renewable hydrogen fuel may come around sooner than expected.
READ MORE: Europe Stores Electricity in Gas Pipes [Scientific American]
More on hydrogen fuel: Toyota is Selling a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car for $50,000