The groundwork is being laid  for the another  “Hyperloop” in linking clean energy to clean transport: on May 3-4, 2016 the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission organised a workshop: “Power-to-Hydrogen: key challenges and next steps” to discuss a recent CEN CENELEC report on different aspects of introducing renewable hydrogen as an instrument to balance grids. Partial load, intermittent operation and fast response are key performance requirements for electrolysers when integrated into a power-to-gas plant or for provision of ancillary services to the electricity grid.  PEM and alkaline electrolysers have good ramp rates and respond well to a change in power settings,  both negative (absorbing power from the grid) and positive (lowering power demand by decreasing production while being operational). However interconnection and performance standards to allow physical connection and communication between electrolysers and standardization of the key performance indicators of water electrolysers are need to be developed. Establishing a European understanding of an acceptable hydrogen concentration in the natural gas system is eminent as well. The use of this green hydrogen in refineries, that will need to comply with more stringent CO2 emission laws is already becoming a viable economic option to prepare the market for hydrogen transport (see Hinicio LBST Study that came out beginning of this year). The meeting was followed by a seminar of the CertifHy project that discussed the process of establishing a guarantee of origin for “green” hydrogen.  The workshop addressed issues as to which certification scheme might work best and what to do with so called “waste” hydrogen, of which 150 MW potential is vented in the chemical industry and that can be put to cost- and energy-efficient in industrial fuel cell systems to boost markets. In the meantime the world’s largest electrolyser in Mainz Energy Farm has produced over 12 tons of hydrogen since its installation last year,

(Photo: courtesy Siemens,