DNV grows energy testing capability in Groningen with new technology centre to accelerate Energy Transition

New research centre combines deep industrial expertise with test capabilities to enable the upscale of hydrogen.

DNV, the independent energy expert and assurance provider, has opened its new Technology Centre on Groningen’s Zernike campus, a vibrant ecosystem of education, business and research activities. The new, sustainable facility is equipped with the latest testing equipment to support DNV’s research into the decarbonization of energy systems.

The Technology Centre will articulate research and technology qualification for the energy sector around several axis, aiming to:

  • demonstrate and qualify low-carbon technologies
  • optimize and repurpose existing gas infrastructure,
  • provide innovative metrology for energy systems,
  • lead research on hydrogen & H2-derived fuels, and
  • conduct safety analyses and failure investigations.

The new Groningen facility is part of DNV’s network of Technology Centres that leverage the group’s century-old experience in the maritime and energy sectors to qualify and apply advanced technologies for global transformations. The Technology Centres drive innovation and standardization by bringing industry players together in joint industry programmes to develop trusted guidelines, recommended practices and standards.This ultimately enables the reliable operation of critical assets and systems, by establishing operational limits and assuring performance through the lifetime of oil and gas, renewables, and aquaculture assets.

DNV’s research laboratories in Groningen had already grown into an international reference on hydrogen R&D , prompting the expansion of its facilities : “As DNV’s research and innovation activities are often at the forefront of driving technology and industry standards forward, including in the upscaling of new technologies, we have grown our capabilities to meet the needs of the industry, explains Prajeev Rasiah, Executive Vice President for Energy Systems, Northern Europe, Energy Systems at DNV. We expanded our global hydrogen network of multidisciplinary experts over the last few years, and we are keeping this momentum going with several Technology Centre updates globally this year, including the opening of this major Technology Centre in GroningenWhat this demonstrates is our commitment to reaching the targets set by the Paris Agreement and to supporting the energy industry in removing risks around the implementation of clean energy solutions for the transition.” 

April 20 was the first of a two-day inauguration event, gathering international energy professionals around a seminar and networking event on the theme “Act now: towards a secured decarbonized energy future”. The occasion also enabled DNV’s global pipelines experts from the group’s various Technology Centres in Groningen, Spadeadam, Oslo, Bergen and Columbus, to present a new white paper “Repurposing onshore pipelines for hydrogen: Guiding operators through the re-evaluation process”. This study, intended for both industry and regulators, explores current standards and challenges, and presents a new process to assess the safety and feasibility of repurposing natural gas pipelines for hydrogen based on rigorous evaluation.

As hydrogen is a crucial element to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors, we expect that it will make up 15% of the energy mix in Europe by 2050, but scaling hydrogen value chains will only happen if we suitably manage safety risk and public acceptance, and that’s where we come in,” adds Prajeev Rasiah. We are committed to helping the energy industry to repurpose pipelines safely and effectively, and we are heavily involved in research, collaboration, and projects towards this aim. Together with industry and authorities, we aim to overcome the challenge of repurposing natural gas pipelines to transport hydrogen, removing a significant barrier to the scaling of hydrogen as an essential low-carbon energy carrier”.

Seminar attendees also explored the “Technologies and solutions for a low carbon future” exhibition, presenting technology innovations for the energy transition, and visited the new the DNV laboratories and testing facilities ; they also joined the official opening ceremony of the new multi-tenant “ Plus Ultra Groningen” building.

Friday 21 April is an open-house day for the general public at DNV’s new Technology Centre, featuring the green technology exhibition and various side events for the general public, including a student event and presentations by major Dutch hydrogen research consortium HyDelta.