100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply

November 22nd was the second FCH JU programme review day focusing on research activities in fuel cell applications in the areas of transport, hydrogen distribution and storage; and stationary applications.

The opening panel revealed that 15 of the transport application projects represented a total investment of 48 M€. Much of the day focused on innovation in fuel cells and creating lower pricing for these through supply chains, as demonstrated by project VOLUMETRIC. Many of the projects represented improvements on the plates and stacks themselves, making them more efficient (NELLHI, AUTOSTACK CORE, COBRA).

Other projects also brought improvements to refuelling station technology and infrastructure. Such as the case with SMART CAT and reducing plate platinum content, increasing affordability.

The last panel distinguished itself by presenting projects focused on hydrogen production. Electrolysers being at the core of making green hydrogen more affordable. Currently, the price of green hydrogen is six times more expensive than its competitor. Projects looking to improve on this represent 15% of the FCH JU’s budget, while 97% of the FCH JU’s projects have a green hydrogen focus. A project of note was SOL2HY2 which utilises solar energy to create hybrid thermal and electrical energy either from the grid or renewables. The input of solar energy fluctuates pricing and this is done through a software created for the project. The software assists in designing the most efficient plant according to location.

Another project that used sunlight as a primary catalyst was PECDEMO which is ending in early 2017. The project splits room temperature water with sunlight. The ultimate goal being to get a balance between stability, efficiency and cost.

The two-day programme review was closed by remarks from Eden Mamut from the University of Constanta, who highlighted all the progress being made in the hydrogen energy field.