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

This might become known as (another) hottest summer to date. As wildfires rage through California, much of southern Europe have seen temperatures hovering close to the 40s. Indeed policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic seem to chose this summer to announce energy and climate policies . Two weeks after the EU Summer Energy package hit the press, on one of Brussels’ hottest days, the US president launched his contribution to curb emissions from coal plants and push for renewables.
The EU Summer deal focuses on a proposal for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for the period 2021-2030,  reform of electricity market design  and a proposal for the review of the EU energy labelling framework. It also continues the Energy Union policy focus on consumers and the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives. The EU Commission feels itself clearly backed by the success of renewables in Europe. Although challenges remain in convincing local communities and in identifying environmentally and economically sound storage solutions (hydrogen?!), shining examples like Denmark are leading the pack of the rest of Europe in reaching a CO2 free economy by 2050.

The US energy plans mainly attack one fossil fuelled sector: the US coal plants. The US president feels increasingly backed by the new US big industry motors of change: Apple took on Duke Energy (one of the major (fossil) energy suppliers in North Carolina) when it demanded clean energy for its largest data centre in Maiden. When this did not seem possible Apple built its own 20MW solar plant adding 10 MW of fuel cells while they wer at it. Google and eBay, located in North Carolina followed suit as well. The efforts of Google, eBay, Amazon and Apple to link IT with clean energy and transport options are increasingly stepping into the limelight.  As the EU is kicking off its first Smart City Lighthouse projects, the biggest hydrogen station in the world will be probably built in San Francisco, capital of all things smart, cool and connected. As household names in almost every home on the planet, the EU should leverage the interest of these companies to further accelerate the uptake of its energy and climate policies; their representative offices in Brussels should not only be waking up when EU’s IT policy is discussed but also when energy and climate topics are tabled.

 

The biggest H2 station in the world

(photo: largest hydrogen filling station in the UK)