Wärtsilä launches project to develop 100% hydrogen-fueled engine and power plant concept by 2025


Technology company Wärtsilä announced an initiative to develop an engine and power plant concept that will be able to run on 100% hydrogen by 2025, in a move that could contribute to widespread decarbonization of the electric power industry and other sectors. The company’s new project aims to develop that concept by 2025, and commercialize it by the end of the decade. To learn more, read “Wärtsilä launches project to develop 100% hydrogen-fueled engine and power plant concept by 2025,” or “Everything we know about Wärtsilä Energy’s hydrogen engines.” Reading these articles may require a subscription from the media outlets.

Key Takeaways:

  • Roughly one in three people in the U.S. live in a state or city that is trying to transition to 100% clean electricity, according to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), with the Biden administration pushing for a national 100% standard by 2035.
  • “Our base engine concept is very flexible — it can take very different types of fuels already today. But now, we’re evolving this flexibility up to 100% hydrogen,” Wärtsilä CEO Håkan Agnevall said.
  • “At the end of the day, when 100% hydrogen is available, our engines can run with that and, with new engines coming in, we can make the transition with the small changes that are needed for the engines,” Jukka Lehtonen, Vice-President of Technology and Product Management of Energy Business at Wärtsilä Energy said.
  • Some utilities are already exploring the potential of hydrogen — NextEra Energy, for instance, views it as a key piece of deep decarbonization efforts and has said it’s rolling out small hydrogen projects.

Path to 100% Perspective: 

Decarbonization is technically and commercially feasible with technologies that are already available at scale. These technologies include:

  • Wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) as the main sources of primary energy
  • Short-duration battery energy storage.
  • Flexible thermal balancing power plants to provide firm and dispatchable capacity.
  • Sustainable fuels used in thermal balancing power plants, forming long- term energy storage. Sustainable fuels include green hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels, such as ammonia, methanol and synthetic meth- ane produced from renewable sources.