Generating Change: Wartsila’s Evolution

At-a-Glance

Finnish company Wartsila evolved from humble beginnings as a sawmill into a global marine and energy powerhouse that is today a model of customer value creation, decarbonization, and growth amid uncertainty. Driving that triumph over its 188-year history is a consistent spirit of innovation and flexibility. For more, read Generating Change: Wartsila’s Evolution.

Key Takeaways

  • Since 2010, Wartsila has been focusing on becoming a world leader in balancing and power optimization to help customers achieve decarbonization and transition toward a 100% renewable energy future.
  • In May 2020, Wartsila began work developing a combustion process in its engines to achieve 100% hydrogen fuel combustion. The company expects to launch a power plant design for hydrogen blends in 2022, followed by a concept for pure hydrogen in 2025.
  • In March 2022, Wartsila began operating two Wartsila 34SG engines, a combined output of 11.6 MW, that can run on 3% hydrogen and natural gas blend at Keppel Offshore Marine’s “Floating Living Lab” in Singapore.
  • In addition to hydrogen, other potential renewable fuels are being studied for future applications. In 2022, Wartsila released its Wartsila 32 Methanol engine to the market and it expects to have engine concepts ready for operating with pure ammonia fuel in 2023.

Path to 100% Perspective

Modern and flexible engine power plants are an ideal solution for balancing power, due to their flexibility in fuels and operation profiles. This is needed as batteries alone cannot fulfill the balancing need for fluctuating renewable power sources. Flexible capacity must be ready to start quickly at any time and capable of ramping up and down an unlimited number of times a day. Current Wartsila engine power plants can connect to the grid in 30 seconds and reach full load in just two minutes. In addition, current Wartsila gas engineer power plants can use up to 25 vol% hydrogen blends in natural gas and there is ongoing development for pure hydrogen and other P2X fuels, such as ammonia, methane, and methanol. As part of the strong green hydrogen boom, Wartsila is planning several hydrogen projects with partners and customers ranging from utilizing hydrogen blends in existing assets to a P2X2P plant in collaboration with partners.

The Hydrogen Economy Will Soon Be Ready For Takeoff, Including Planes and Power Plants

At-a-Glance

Does the aviation sector have its head in the clouds? Indeed, the experts are working hard to make hydrogen a sustainable aviation fuel. For more, read The Hydrogen Economy Will Soon Be Ready For Takeoff, Including Planes and Power Plants.

Key Takeaways

  • A study by Clean Sky 2 and Fuel Cells & Hydrogen 2 says that hydrogen-powered aircraft could be ready for flight as early as 2035.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed a year ago includes up to $7 billion to establish between 6 and 10 regional hydrogen hubs across the country. The goal is to create a network of hydrogen producers and industrial consumers with an interconnected infrastructure to accelerate the use of clean hydrogen.
  • In its Hydrogen Economy Outlook, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says green hydrogen could supply 24% of the world’s energy demands by 2050 while cutting CO2 levels by 34%.
  • To help accelerate the use of green hydrogen, the U.S. Department of Energy is taking an “Earthshot”, launched in June 2021, to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per one kilogram in one decade. Currently, hydrogen from renewable energy costs about $5 per kilogram.
  • The hydrogen hubs will be essential to achieving economies of scale, bringing about price parity and driving adoption.

Path to 100% Perspective

Hydrogen is one of several potential future fuels that can help phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy as part of the final push to decarbonize energy systems. At the moment, hydrogen is the most promising candidate of the P2X fuel for power plants. Hydrogen is carbon-free, has the highest production energy efficiency of the P2X fuels, and with time it is predicted to become the most cost competitive due to low renewable electricity prices. The most sustainable form of hydrogen is green hydrogen, which is produced through electrolysis of water utilizing renewable electricity. Important for green hydrogen production is access to renewable electricity and clean water. Locations with favorable conditions for these will become hydrogen production hubs.