Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hydrogen facility at the Port of Townsville, in Queensland. South African company Sasol and Toyota South Africa Motors have announced a partnership to “commence exploration of the development of a green hydrogen mobility ecosystem in South Africa,” starting with zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell (FC) heavy-duty, long-haul trucks.
Province Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding with French renewable energy developer Total Eren, which could see the two companies have equal shares in Province’s HyEnergy Zero Carbon Hydrogen project proposed in northwest Western Australia.
New research from Singapore has found that gas pipelines for the onshore transport of green hydrogen and the cables for the transport of electricity to produce it at a distant location have similar costs at a 4000 km transmission distance. For longer distances, gas pipelines were found to be cheaper than cables, although the electric lines are said to benefit from scaling up and higher utilization. For both options, however, a currently too high hydrogen LCOE remains the biggest barrier to overcome.
Several heavyweights in Germany have announced projects to move forward with green hydrogen. RWE, Uniper and Bosch have all announced large-scale projects and the German government has allocated €52 million for hydrogen research. The European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative is proposing a hydrogen network of 39,700 km by 2040, with further growth expected after 2040.
Furthermore, Michelin said it wants to become a world leader in hydrogen fuel cell systems and ScottishPower aims to build a green hydrogen plant at a wind power complex. Moreover, a study led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory suggested new strategies to design perovskite materials to speed up the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), a process that frees up molecular oxygen from water and is key for hydrogen production.
The nascent hydrogen economy has seen a good amount of developments in a week that showed an increasing number of players taking part in the game. In the UK, British Airways has invested in hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia with a focus on hydrogen-electric power solutions for 50-plus-seat aircraft. In Brazil, Petrobras has joined forces with Siemens to develop green hydrogen solutions. In Portugal, the government and the European Investment Bank signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for hydrogen cooperation.
A homegrown technology developed by the University of Newcastle and Southern Green Gas has seen the development of a novel green hydrogen fuel and carbon-neutral green methane. The fuel was demonstrated in Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV in Sydney.
Sinopec wants to build 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025. Ways2H is building a facility in the Tokyo area that will convert daily 1 ton of dried sewage sludge into 40-50 kilograms of hydrogen for fuel cell mobility and power generation. Ørsted wants to deploy two renewable hydrogen production facilities for a total of 1 GW by 2030. Wacker Chemie is planning to produce green hydrogen and renewable methanol at its German site.
A robust national strategy, a portfolio of renewable energy assets, public subsidies and, ideally, existing gas pipelines will all favor African nations aiming to become exporters in the energy storage medium, participants heard at a recent two-day green hydrogen conference.
Trade bodies the Africa Solar Industry Association and the African Hydrogen Partnership hosted a two-day virtual conference to discuss the role green hydrogen can play in economic growth across the continent–and how it could drive desalination in freshwater-starved coastal countries.
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