Latest News on the UK Hydrogen Economy - 20/05/22


Ames Goldsmith Ceimig, as a manufacturer of catalysts such as Iridium Oxide, Iridium Ruthenium Oxide, Iridium Black, Platinum Black & Platinum on Carbon support, are strong supports of the emerging Hydrogen Economy and supply many manufacturers of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology including PEM Electrolysers and PEM Fuel Cells.


In the UK we are members of the UKHFCA & SHFCA. Here are some of the recent developments in Hydrogen happening in the UK and affecting the Hydrogen Economy more broadly:


EU Joint Declaration for 10m te/yr renewable H2 by 2030 - Weblink


The European Commission is supporting an industry commitment to boost electrolyser manufacturing capacities in the EU by tenfold, enabling annual production in the EU of 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030. The Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton and 20 industry CEOs yesterday signed a Joint Declaration in Brussels whereby industry committed to a tenfold increase of its electrolyser manufacturing capacities by 2025.


The European Commission’s REPowerEU Communication of March 2022 set out a strategy to double the previous EU renewable hydrogen target to 10 million tons of annual domestic production, plus an additional 10 million tons of annual hydrogen imports. According to industry estimates, producing 10m tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU would require an installed electrolyser capacity of 90 - 100 GW, depending on utilization factors and efficiency rates. The current capacity of electrolyser manufacturers in Europe is estimated at 1.75 GW per year.


Allison Transmission selected for UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell electric-powered refuse collection vehicle - Weblink


Allison Transmission announced that it has been selected to provide the propulsion system for the UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell refuse collection vehicle (RCV). Aberdeen City Council has chosen to pair a 250 kW Hyzon electric motor with an Allison 3000 Series™ transmission in conjunction with a 45 kW fuel cell. The council’s decision to select the 3000 Series transmission is a testament to the capability of Allison’s dynamic portfolio of propulsion solutions, which can support and optimize emerging propulsion technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells.


The RCV, which is powered by Aberdeen’s existing hydrogen infrastructure, has a range of 155 miles (250 km), enabling it to travel greater distances than existing electric vehicles. This range enables these refuse trucks to complete their route without returning to the depot to recharge. Aberdeen City Council’s innovative new hydrogen-powered refuse truck is based on the 4200 mm wheelbase HH-Mercedes-Benz Econic Hydrogen chassis and has a 15kg tank capacity at 350 bar and 140 kWh batteries at 700 volts.


Green Hydrogen Systems receives a new order from Logan Energy for a project in Scotland - Weblink


Green Hydrogen Systems has signed a supply agreement with Edinburgh-based Logan Energy to deliver electrolysis equipment for a project in Scotland.


The order includes the supply of two GHS HyProvide A90 electrolyzers with a combined capacity of 0.9 MW. The electrolyzers will be deployed in a 40 ft container as a complete green hydrogen plant used in the ARBIKIE Distillery in Scotland. Green Hydrogen Systems will be responsible for delivering the electrolyzer units and will support the project with on-site maintenance and remote monitoring and support as part of a three-year service agreement.


H2FLY sets hydrogen-electric flight world record - Weblink


H2FLY, the Stuttgart-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for aircraft, announced that its demonstrator aircraft, the HY4, set what is believed to be a new world record last week for hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft, flying at an altitude of 7,230 feet and confirming the company's position as one of the leading companies in this new sector.


The news comes as the company also flew a 77-mile journey between Stuttgart and Friedrichshafen on April 12th, marking the first time a hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft has been piloted, between two major airports.


ScottishPower & Storegga announce 20te/day Cromarty H2 Project - Weblink


SHFCA members ScottishPower and Storegga have announced their green hydrogen partnership to transform industry in the Highlands, with plans to build a series of green hydrogen projects. The initial project phases will be focused in the Cromarty Firth region, just north of Inverness, and will provide green industrial heat across the region for a range of customers including distilleries and transportation sectors.

This partnership between ScottishPower and Storegga will develop, build and operate green hydrogen production plants across Scotland – with the potential to transform industry and transportation in the Highland region. The projects are expected to deliver hundreds of MW of green hydrogen production capacity before end of the decade, with plans for the first project to be operating by 2024.


Electra presents the first refrigerated hydrogen fuel cell battery vehicles - Weblink


Electra Commercial Vehicles is presenting a world-first in hydrogen with their refrigerated hydrogen Fuel Cell Battery electric Vehicle (FCBeV). The FCBevs have been launched in Stockton on Tees. A major supermarket will trial the truck over the next few months as part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Vehicle Project. Electra Chairman Sid Sadique commented: 'We have deliberately designed the truck with an over-specified battery capacity. ‘The vehicle will be on trial and collecting data, so we required contingency in its ability to return to base. We are excited to venture into this trial to demonstrate once again that Electra is leading on the road to genuine zero-emission vehicle solutions. 'The vehicle on trial is a fully integrated zero-emission vehicle, and the Electra battery even powers the Carrier Transicold Truck Trailer Refrigeration unit. This vehicle configuration is also available from Electra with a Hydrogen Fuel cell acting as a range extender, as shown in Teesside last month,' commented Sid.


The hydrogen economy is set to add to iridium and ruthenium demand - Weblink


A new energy report by McKinsey outlines the future demand for hydrogen as governmental climate and energy goals begin to be met. It predicts that by 2035, green hydrogen could make up 60% of total supply (110 mt), compared to the negligible amount currently produced. Approximately 22 mt of hydrogen projects have been announced to date, roughly half of which are expected to use proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers that contain iridium anodes. PEM electrolysis is more suited to green hydrogen production than the alkaline electrolysis alternative thanks to its high efficiency and fast dynamic response to power input. Currently, hydrogen applications account for a small portion of overall iridium (electrolysers) and ruthenium (fuel cells) consumption but demand is expected to grow as the hydrogen economy expands. However, iridium supply is relatively inflexible, and thrifting of iridium will be necessary. This is typically what happens over time with new technologies as processes are made more efficient and costs reduced, as has been seen with silver use in solar cells.


SGN to trial H2 in Grangemouth-Granton pipeline - Weblink


SHFCA member SGN is recommissioning a section of the local gas transmission pipeline between Grangemouth and Granton for trials with hydrogen as part of the £29.5m Ofgem funded LTS Futures project. Hydrogen supplied from the INEOS in Grangemouth will be used by this SGN led project to help determine how existing natural gas networks across the UK can be repurposed for hydrogen.


SGN recently announced the award of £29.9m Ofgem funding to test the use of high-pressure pipelines for hydrogen transmission and storage as an option for net zero heating. This funding from the energy regulator Ofgem will help determine whether Great Britain’s transmission networks can be repurposed for hydrogen gas. SGN’s project team will research, develop, test and evidence the compatibility with hydrogen of the Grangemouth pipeline in preparation for a first of its kind repurposing trial and demonstration in 2024. Its partner INEOS will supply the hydrogen for the live trial.