Five potential hydrogen game-changers

With hydrogen one of the hottest topics in the energy sector, here’s five projects we believe could be real game-changers.

This article was originally published in Power Engineering International Issue 5-2020. Read the mobile-friendly digimag or subscribe to receive a print copy.

HyDeploy green energy trial UK

Why it’s cool: The UK’s first live pilot to inject zero carbon hydrogen into a gas network to heat homes and buildings at Keele University started in November 2019. As the first ever live demonstration of hydrogen in homes, HyDeploy aims to prove that blending up to 20% volume of hydrogen with natural gas is a safe and greener alternative to the gas we use now.

If a 20% hydrogen blend was rolled out across the country, it is estimated it could save around six million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

The HyDeploy demonstration is injecting up to 20% (by volume) of hydrogen into Keele University’s existing natural gas network, feeding 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings. The 20% hydrogen blend is the highest in Europe, together with a similar project being run by Engie in Northern France.

Project Players: Backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, the £7 million ($9.1 million) project is led by Cadent in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Science Division, integrated hydrogen energy systems manufacturer ITM-Power, and independent clean energy company Progressive Energy.

Electrolysis facility in the Greater Copenhagen area – Denmark

Why it’s cool: The H2RES project will see the construction of a 2MW electrolysis plant with appurtenant hydrogen storage.

The plant will use electricity from offshore wind turbines to produce renewable hydrogen for buses, lorries and potentially taxis. The daily hydrogen production is expected to total around 600kg, enough to power 20-30 buses, while also making testing its use in lorries and taxis possible. In general, the power for the demonstration project will be sourced directly from Ørsted’s two 3.6MW offshore wind turbines at Avedøre.

Project players: Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme under the Danish Energy Agency, Ørsted, Everfuel Europe, NEL Hydrogen, GreenHydrogen, DSV Panalpina, Hydrogen Denmark and Energinet Elsystemansvar.

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SGH2 – City of Lancaster, California

Why it’s cool: Energy company SGH2 is bringing the world’s biggest green hydrogen production facility to Lancaster. The plant uses recycled mixed paper waste to produce “greener than green” hydrogen that reduces carbon emissions by two to three times more than green hydrogen produced using electrolysis and renewable energy, and is five to seven times cheaper. SGH2 green hydrogen is cost competitive with ‘grey’ hydrogen produced from fossil fuels like natural gas, which comprises the majority of hydrogen used in the US.

Developed by NASA scientist Dr Salvador Camacho and SGH2 chief executive Dr Robert T. Do, a biophysicist and physician, SGH2’s proprietary technology gasifies any kind of waste – from plastic to paper and from tires to textiles – to make hydrogen.

SGH2 anticipates breaking ground early in 2021, start-up and commissioning in 2022 and full operations in 2023.

Project Players: Fluor, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, Thermosolv, Integrity Engineers, Millenium, HyetHydrogen and Hexagon.

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Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field, Japan

Why it’s cool: The Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R) has been under construction in Namie town, Fukushima Prefecture, since 2018. The FH2R can produce as much as 1,200Nm3 of hydrogen per hour (rated power operation) using renewable energy. Renewable energy output is subject to large fluctuations, so FH2R will adjust to supply and demand in the power grid in order to maximise utilisation of this energy while establishing low-cost, green hydrogen production technology.

FH2R uses 20MW of solar power generation facilities on a 180,000m2 site along with power from the grid to conduct electrolysis of water in a renewable energy powered 10MW-class hydrogen production unit, the largest in the world. It has the capacity to produce, store, and supply up to 1,200Nm3 of hydrogen per hour (rated power operation).

Project Players: Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS), Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc., and Iwatani Corporation.

H2-Hub Gladstone facility – Queensland, Australia

Why it’s cool: The HyP Gladstone facility will produce renewable hydrogen using water and renewable electricity from the local electricity grid, using a 175kW PEM electrolyser. The renewable hydrogen will be blended with natural gas, at volumes of up to 10% for supply to more than 770 existing customers on Gladstone’s entire gas network.

Beginning production at the end of 2021, HyP Gladstone’s 10% renewable hydrogen blend builds on the 5% supplied to customers from HyP SA and will be the highest volume of hydrogen delivered by an existing gas network. It will also be the first project to supply a renewable hydrogen blend to industrial facilities via the existing gas network.

Project players: Queensland government, HyP Gladstone.

Webcast recording: Hydrogen’s Role in the EU Climate-Neutral 2050 Goal
Catch up with our webcast: Hydrogen’s Role in the EU Climate-Neutral 2050 Goal

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