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

At the WHEC 2016 Day 2 Plenray Bart Biebuick, “kersverse” director of the FCH JU program office,  rounded up current status in FCH JU project > 1500 FCEV and 49 HRS and counting, plus a 140 FC bus commitment in a FCH JU new demo project JIVE. Interest in FC buses now clocks 500+  around Europe. FCH JU stationary projects include the recently apporved enefield sequel PACE (!) project that should increase micro FC CHP installations to over 2000 across Europe. On Power to Gas activities, the capicity of electrolysers, co-funded by the program, increased from 150kW to 6 MW from 2011 to 2016.

Eiji Ohira, director of the FC and H2 Grou of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), referrerd to the country’s objective to commericially roll out of FCEV in 2025 with FC stationary applications in 2017.

Chris White, comunications director of the California Fuel Cell  Partnership, rpeorted that since June 14, 19 retail stations are open in California . The stations are monitored and status is availbel through an app, m.cafcp.org portal so that customers are able to check availability. Annual HRS funding amounts to 20 mln . The Partnership is already looking beyond the 100 stations in 2020.

Eric Denhoff of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel cell Association boosted the recent sales figures of Canadian FCH companies;   2000 unitssold by  Hydrogenics to China. Ballard won a  300 Chinese bus order worth $17 mln and a $3.4 mln  deal for a 1 MW plant in Bordeaux. Truck fuel cells are sold by Hydorgenics and LOOP a new company. Ballard signed a 100 mln service deal with Volkswagen. Greenline Innovation completed the 200th hydrogen station. the Ragline mine projects in Alaska is transforming a mining community into an offgrid wind/H2 based system. He stated that it seems that the current problem is no longer the availability of stations…. .

Klaus Bonhoff director of NOW, the 2007 -2016  1,4 bln German market preparation program listed the achievementstodate: the recent completion of the Callux program, through which companies like Viessman are now indeed selling commercial FC system in the 1-4 kW range. The Clean Energy Partnership achieved its target to produce 50% of the hydrogen from renewable sources. The Uniper Power to Gas plant in Hamburg is reachiong over 75% efficiency.

The morning session on Hydrogen Infrastructure featured the Linde Group presenting their simulation efforts of HRS planning and clean hydrogen through biogas. A consortium led by LBST looked at the technical and user perspective of the first 50 HRS stations in Germany, also linking with other initiatives on these topics around the world. Boris Jermer of HyCologne presented the use of  50 tons of H2 as by-product of the local chlor alkali industry in a a 100 kg/ day ( 5 buses) HRS in Huerth in NRW.

In the afternoon Sylfen presented a solide oxide eletrolyser/fuel cell solution to balance the energy demand of large office buildings that integrate solar panels: the use of batteries as only storage solution does not cover all energy balancing needs. According to Sylfen it would be best to connect buildings like is proposed by the Positive Energy Blocks, an initiative of the Smart Cities and Communities Innovation Partnership.

Nigel Holmes of the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association in the National programs session reported on the Scottish renewable production,  where last May solar energy production  overtook the eletricity produced by coal plants.

At 19:00hrs  the world’s latest FCEV models parked silently at the deserted amphitheatre of the former Expo site, the Ebro river waterbirds not even turning their heads (Photo: Luke Hayes)