Backing the Sahara Wind project's regional applied research work, the world’s biggest power-equipment maker is building a trial technology that turns wind power into ammonia gas, a product that could clean up pollution from the fertilizer industry.
A plant near Oxford, England, makes ammonia by electrolysis instead of through the traditional reaction fed by fossil fuels. If fed by idled renewable power plants, the process would make emissions-free fertilizer used by farmers everywhere. Besides reducing carbon pollution worldwide, the technology could absorb excess output from wind and solar farms as well as store electricity in the form of a usable gas. Siemens estimates it could help cut emissions by 360 million tons a year, more than the annual carbon output of France. Although still expensive, Siemens reckons technology costs will come down over time, especially if the market for hydrogen-powered vehicles grows.