Industry decarbonisation

Fossil-free hydrogen

We are actively involved in the development of innovative solutions to decarbonise industry as well our own operations through fossil-free hydrogen.

Besides direct electrification (by using batteries instead of conventional vehicle engines or by replacing a gas boiler with an electric boiler) Vattenfall considers indirect electrification through fossil-free hydrogen an important solution to decarbonise the value chains of heavy emitting industries,  for example steel, refinery, chemicals, agriculture and transports. It also has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions when used as an alternative to gas in the heating sector. Vattenfall wishes to act as a catalyst for this development.

The potential of hydrogen to decarbonise different industries and sectors is big since it can be used as a carrier of energy when replacing fossil fuels like gas or oil, as well as a catalyst in industrial processes by replacing fossil materials like coking coal. Of course it is crucial that the hydrogen used is fossil-free itself, by using fossil-free electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis.

We are driving the development of hydrogen applications as a pioneer in several projects. For example, in the HYBRIT joint venture with Swedish mining company LKAB and steel manufacturer SSAB where focus lies on decarbonising the steel manufacturing value chain with fossil-free steel available on the commercial markets by 2026. Other examples are mentioned below.

More renewable energy is needed

As one of the leading producers of electricity from fossil-free energy sources, especially from offshore wind, we are able to supply large quantities of fossil-free electricity for the production of hydrogen. In the future, we see a very close link between hydrogen production and our power generation, for example to produce hydrogen at our future offshore wind sites.

Today, fossil-free hydrogen cannot yet be produced economically. It is therefore important to develop this technology further on an industrial scale. The conditions must be created for this. Both the European and national hydrogen strategies are good foundations for this. Germany, for example, wants to become the leading supplier of hydrogen solutions with 10 GW of electrolysis capacity by 2040, while the UK is aiming for 5 GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. Sweden aims for 3 GW by 2030 and 8 GW by 2040. Vattenfall makes a significant contribution to this with our projects and initiatives in Europe.

When can hydrogen be named fossil-free?

Hydrogen is produced by splitting water into its components hydrogen and oxygen. This is done by the chemical process of electrolysis by means of electricity. If this electricity comes exclusively from fossil-free energy sources, we are talking about fossil-free hydrogen.

Examples of our hydrogen initiatives:

Fossil-free steel

Vattenfall is launching HYBRIT, the world's first pilot plant for the production of fossil-free steel, together with partners SSAB and LKAB.

Exterior of the HYBRIT pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden

Biofuel production

Vattenfall and Preem are investigating large-scale production of fossil-free hydrogen in Sweden and whether the need for fossil-free hydrogen from electrolysis can be met.

Workers at a Preem refinery. Photo: Preem

Aviation electrofuel

Vattenfall, SAS, Shell and LanzaTech investigate the production of the world’s first synthetic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) using the LanzaJetTM “Alcohol to Jet” technology on a large scale in Sweden.

The SAS aircraft Neo

Hydrogen gas station

With the funding project Hydrogen Station HafenCity in Hamburg, Vattenfall is making a significant contribution to the integration of renewable energies into the mobility system.

Hydrogen filling station in Hamburg

News about hydrogen

Hydrogen-reduced iron

HYBRIT: New research shows hydrogen-reduced iron has superior properties

New research within the HYBRIT project shows superior results on the properties and quality of the hydrogen direct reduced sponge iron compared to the fossil-based process.

Read the full article
Pilot facility for hydrogen storage

HYBRIT: Milestone reached – pilot facility for hydrogen storage up and running

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall's HYBRIT pilot facility for the storage of fossil-free hydrogen gas is now in operation in Luleå. The rock cavern storage facility is the first of its kind in the w...

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Windfarm under construction

Vattenfall aims to build the world’s first offshore hydrogen cluster in the Netherlands

In the future, more and more of our energy will come from wind and solar power. Since nothing changes as much as the weather, the amount of electricity supplied by wind and solar is also in ...

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As a member of the Hydrogen Europe Association and European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, Vattenfall actively supports national and international institutes focused on hydrogen technology development.

Related content

Workers at a Preem refinery. Photo: Preem

Hydrogen gas plant – a step towards fossil freedom with Preem.

An offshore wind farm


St1 targets large scale fossil-free aviation fuel production on the Swedish west coast.

Vattenfall and the Swedish manufacturer of electric motorcycles CAKE aim to develop a fossil-free motorcycle.

Vattenfall and the manufacturer CAKE aim to develop a fossil-free motorcycle.

See also

Woman riding an electric bike

We have a responsibility for our environmental and social impacts.

View of pipes and a chimney at Idbäcksverket power plant

Vattenfall is investing in a greater share of renewable generation.