The Hydrogen Stream: Hydrogen refueling stations for automotive market


Anglo-Canadian zero-emission vehicle company First Hydrogen has established NetzeroH2, a subsidiary for the design, production and roll-out of hydrogen refueling stations for the automotive market. The refueling stations will be designed and developed with German consulting firm FEV. The company wants to contribute to the acceleration of the adoption of hydrogen as a main source of fuel for the light to heavy hydrogen mobility sector. “First Hydrogen will also offer fuel-cell-powered supercritical CO2 extraction systems that will allow users to operate the systems in remote locations where there are no electrical power grids available, or the electrical power is unstable,” the company said in a statement. “This already developed supercritical CO2 extraction system is fully operational and can be monitored and supported remotely by the company’s in-house fully integrated software operating system.”

The Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Koichi Hagiuda and the Indonesian Minister of Energy Arifin Tasrif signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on energy transition on Monday for the joint development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology in Indonesia. As reported by the Indonesian ministry, the partnership includes the development and deployment of hydrogen, ammonia fuel, carbon recycling, and CCS/CCUS. Minister Tasrif also called on other international partners to invest in Indonesia's energy transition plans. The MoC is part of a wider trend as Asian countries seek stronger cooperation on energy and climate. Also on Monday, Minister Hagiuda announced the new ASIA-Japan Investing for the Future Initiative, aimed at providing the direction for economic cooperation in Asia, with a view toward the post-pandemic era, the Japanese economy ministry said in a statement.

Britain’s gas grid is set to start blending hydrogen around the country from next year, wrote the Energy Networks Association (ENA), adding that the aim is to deliver 20% hydrogen to homes and businesses around the country from 2023 as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used. “The companies are also calling for the UK government to double its domestic 2030 hydrogen production target from 5 GW to 10 GW, to ensure that as much hydrogen as possible is produced from sources here in the UK,” ENA wrote on Thursday. Blending is subject to a final decision by the government, which it will make in 2023, as per the UK government's hydrogen strategy.

The Metropolis of Montpellier has changed its ecological mobility transition plans, presenting an alternative to the hydrogen plans for its bus fleet. The decision was taken because some municipalities were “concerned by the project”. The new plan scraps the two-year-old project for 51 hydrogen buses in the French city. “The hydrogen technology is promising, but we were helped on the investment and not on the operation. It would be six times more expensive than with electric buses. So, for the moment, we give up on hydrogen buses, we will see in 2030 if hydrogen is cheaper,” commented Montpellier Mayor Michaël Delafosse, as reported by the local press.

California start-up H2 Clipper plans to build airships that simultaneously transport hydrogen and use it as a lighter-than-air gas to provide the aircraft with lift. Its airships will also use hydrogen fuel cells to power their engines. “While the project is still at the concept stage, the company says that thanks to modern aeronautical design, stronger and lighter-weight materials, and modern fabrication techniques, their airship will be faster, safer, and more efficient than its predecessors,” Singularity Hub reported earlier this month. The company was recently selected to take part in an accelerator run by software major Dassault Systems. On Tuesday, the company added that Ángel Gurría, the former secretary general of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), had joined its advisory board. “H2 Clipper’s mission and technology for 100% carbon-free transport of freight and hydrogen are precisely the kinds of disruptive breakthroughs the world requires to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and to avoid climate catastrophe,” commented Gurría. The airships would deliver hydrogen ten times faster than a ship, wrote German automotive supplier Schaeffler Group, commenting on the project.

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German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp has rebranded its electrolysis business and is aiming to sell new shares in an initial public offering (IPO) this year, most likely in spring. “A stock exchange listing would make it possible for the capital market to apply a market value to the business and the IPO proceeds could be used to finance further growth,” Thyssenkrupp wrote on Thursday. The company hopes to receive €600 million ($687 million). According to Reuters, the plan envisages a free float of up to 25%. Previously known as Thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, a joint venture with Milan-based Industrie De Nora, the unit has been renamed Thyssenkrupp nucera. It will keep its focus on alkaline water electrolysis technology. The company has over 600 projects, 240,000 electrolytic cell elements produced and over 10 GW of electrolyzer capacity installed. “It is our aim to become the number one technology leader for large-scale industrial green hydrogen production in the alkaline water electrolysis market,” commented Denis Krude, CEO of Thyssenkrupp nucera. According to the company, the worldwide hydrogen market is expected to grow sevenfold by 2050. Half of the hydrogen projects announced in 2021 will use electrolysis technology, corresponding to 93 GW of electrolysis capacity.

Milan-based Snam, Europe's largest energy infrastructure operator, and Tenova, Italian developer and provider of sustainable solutions for the green transition of the metals industry, signed an agreement to conduct joint strategic studies and market analysis to implement specific infrastructure and metals production systems by using green hydrogen. Snam will provide its expertise in hydrogen technologies and transport, whereas Tenova will contribute through its know-how in combustion systems for reheating and heating treatment, and in electric arc furnaces. Tenova's combustion systems can work through a blend of natural gas and hydrogen in variable percentages, and up to 100% of hydrogen.

In Greece, Motor Oil and Public Power Corporation have entered into a memorandum of understanding agreement to carry out, through a joint venture scheme, investment projects related to the country's green hydrogen sector. “The participation of Motor Oil in the joint scheme will be 51% while that of Public Power Corporation will be 49%,” the oil company wrote on Thursday. The joint venture will focus on projects for the production and storage of green hydrogen.


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