The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW electrolyzer in Spain, hydrogen alliance between Russia and Germany


British oil and gas company BP, Spanish electric utility company Iberdrola and Spanish gas provider Enagás reached an agreement for the largest green hydrogen production project in the Valencian Community, which would be developed at BP's plant in Castellón. “The purpose of this agreement is to evaluate the installation of a 20 megawatt (MW) electrolyzer for the generation of green hydrogen on land owned by BP in the El Serrallo industrial park. The electrolyzer would run on renewable energy produced, among other generation sources, by a 40 MW photovoltaic plant,” reads a statement released on Wednesday. The BP refinery in Castellón is the largest consumer of hydrogen in the Valencian Community. The new project would allow the use of green hydrogen instead of gray hydrogen, which the refinery uses to produce biofuels. The project also envisages hydrogen supplies for the heavy transport sector. In later phases, the electrolysis capacity could be increased to 115 MW.

The Danish developer of wind and solar parks, European Energy, joined the Danish industry organization Hydrogen Denmark in its effort to increase its hydrogen and PtX businesses. “Their competencies in the development, construction and operation of green energy parks are very valuable in relation to upscaling and implementation of hydrogen and PtX production in Denmark,” Hydrogen Denmark director Tejs Laustsen Jensen commented in a note released on Wednesday.

At the 13th German-Russian Raw Materials Conference, Russian and German representatives called for greater hydrogen cooperation. “The main topics of the German-Russian Raw Materials Conference have changed considerably in recent years. Today, we mainly discuss renewable energies and hydrogen,” Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer commented on the second day of the three-day virtual conference. German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier had similar comments: “We must not forget Russia's enormous potential for renewable energies from wind and sun. Germany will have to rely on imports in the hydrogen sector. We have reserved a total of 2 billion euros for international cooperation. This is also available for projects between Russian and German companies. Russia can become an important part of an international hydrogen economy,” commented Altmaier. The conference ends Friday.

Automotive manufacturers Hyundai, Stellantis, Toyota and BMW sent a letter to European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans asking to support the continued expansion of a 700 bar hydrogen refuelling network in Europe. “The undersigned OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturer] are dedicated to further develop the fuel cell passenger car and light commercial vehicle market. This in turn, will require an expansion of the established (and proven) 700 bar refuelling network. The combined roll-out of a common hydrogen infrastructure offering both refuelling options for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, as well as heavy-duty trucks, can create enormous synergies,” reads the letter dated April 26.

Daimler’s heavy commercial vehicles unit, Daimler Truck, and Gothenburg-headquartered Volvo Group presented the fuel-cell joint venture cellcentric as part of their commitment to accelerate the use of hydrogen-based fuel cells for long-haul trucks. “With the ambition of becoming a leading global manufacturer of fuel-cell systems, cellcentric will build one of Europe’s largest planned series production of fuel-cell systems, with operation planned to commence in 2025,” reads the note released on Thursday. According to the two companies, battery-electric will be the preferential option for lower cargo weights and for shorter distances, while fuel-cell power will be mostly adopted for heavier loads and longer distances.

Clean electrification will be at the heart of the energy transition enabled by the rapidly falling costs of renewable energy, with a complementary role for clean hydrogen technology in sectors that are difficult or impossible to electrify, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), a coalition of more than 45 companies active in the energy sector said in two reports published earlier this week. “Total global hydrogen use could … grow 5-7-fold from today’s 115 Mt per annum to reach 500 to 800 Mt by mid-century, with hydrogen (and its derivatives) accounting for 15-20% of final energy demand, on top of the close to 70% provided by direct electricity,” reads the report, adding that green hydrogen would be lower cost in most locations over the long term, “with dramatic production cost reductions to below $2/kg possible during the 2020s, and further falls thereafter.” Green hydrogen is expected to account for 85% of total hydrogen production by 2050. Electricity currently represents 20% of the final energy demand.

Australia's Smart Energy Council has revealed the names of the eight initial global and domestic partners for its hydrogen Zero Carbon Certification Scheme. The scheme seeks to provide a guarantee of origin for hydrogen, ammonia and other derivative products like steel. The Council announced that its first pilot certification project will be ActewAGL’s hydrogen refuelling station in Canberra. The project, which opened in March, is expected to be certified under the Council’s scheme by the end of July 2021. Virtually from the outset, the German Energy Agency (dena) has been an adviser for the Council’s scheme.

Sydney-based technology startup Lavo is working on its expansion into Germany, described as a key international market for the company. Lavo's German subsidiary will be based in Berlin. “Lavo’s growth plans in Germany includes the launch of the logistical mobility solution that will be the Lavo cargo bike, the first commercially produced hydrogen bicycle. Increased consumer facing hydrogen products and business initiatives will benefit from the landmark agreement between Australia and Germany in September 2020 to explore the potential for collaboration on hydrogen supply,” reads a note released on Tuesday.

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Melbourne-based hydrogen production and supply company Trojan H2 Logistics has announced two separate industry deals in Australia’s hydrogen transportation sector. Trojan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the delivery of 100 refuelling stations as well as a €2.3 million (AU$3.6 million) agreement to immediately acquire two liquid hydrogen trailers capable of holding around 55,000 litres. It has also signed a second MoU for the supply of 50 hydrogen prime movers, with a plan to purchase another 1,000 trucks conditional to demand. The company’s press release does not name the partnering companies for either of the MoUs, but the company’s website says it has agreements in place with both US-based manufacturer of engineered equipment Chart Industries and supplier of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles Hyzon Motors.

Hyzon Motors, a New York State-based supplier of hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles, signed an MoU with Wyoming-based renewable fuels company Raven SR. The two plan to create a joint venture and build up to 100 hydrogen production centres “across the United States and globally”. The aim is to convert organic waste into hydrogen. The companies expect conversion costs to be similar to hydrogen produced using hydrocarbons. As part of the deal, Hyzon will acquire a minority interest in Wyoming-based Raven. “The first hubs will be built in the San Francisco Bay Area and are expected to commission in 2022,” Raven SR wrote in a note released on Tuesday. Last October, Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, the venture capital arm of Total SE, and other specialist hydrogen investors made an investment in Hyzon.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) said earlier this month it will increase investments in hydrogen. “It is our goal to become the No.1 hydrogen enterprise in China, to achieve a systematic layout of the entire hydrogen energy industry chain that will make hydrogen refueling as convenient as gas refueling,” said Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of Sinopec. The company, which produces 3.5 million tons of hydrogen per year, has already built hydrogen refueling stations in Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Guangxi. The company expects the number of stations to reach 1,000 by 2025

The Brazilian state of Ceará plans to become a global producer and supplier of green hydrogen, triggering new investments in renewable energy generation. “This is a great opportunity for the country to become a global player as a producer and exporter of green hydrogen, based on our onshore wind and solar photovoltaic power generation potential. Much of this potential is concentrated in the Northeast of the State, which also offers the best logistical conditions for the European and American markets,” commented earlier this week Adão Linhares, executive secretary of Ceará’s Secretariat of Infrastructure (Seinfra).

French maritime construction company Fountaine-Pajot has chosen the hydrogen technology offered by French-based EODev. For now, the collaboration is focused on a 59-foot sailing catamaran. According to the companies, the new yacht is not as noisy as similar diesel-powered models. “In addition to a significant weight, and therefore energy consumption, saving, the advantage of the hydrogen-electric combination in comparison with a 100% electric system, is to allow the management of the energy needs depending on the use, thanks to the continuous power of the fuel cell, while being able to instantly use the batteries for occasional peak power requirements. The hydrogen powering this system is compressed and stored at 350 bar, the standard pressure used by hundreds of buses around the world,” reads the note released on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Toyota announced it became a director shareholder of EODev.

The majority of the jobs in the hydrogen industry doesn’t require a deep knowledge of hydrogen, said Philippe Boucly, president of France Hydrogène, presenting a white paper on the skills required in the industry. France Hydrogène commissioned Grenoble-based Infinergia with the study. According to the report, 27 of the 84 identified jobs require a real knowledge of hydrogen, 41 require basic knowledge, while 16 jobs do not require specific knowledge.

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