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The Hydrogen Stream: GHD Group, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft win contract for UAE national hydrogen strategy

Germany made efforts this week to expand hydrogen ties with the Gulf states, and Japan announced plans to team up with several nations to ramp up hydrogen production. ICIS, meanwhile, has started offering Europe’s first market-linked renewable hydrogen assessments.

The United Arab Emirates‘ Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has signed an agreement with GHD Group, in partnership with Germany-based Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, to develop a national hydrogen strategy, according to the Emirates News Agency (WAM). “We remain focused on our goal of capturing 25% of the most important hydrogen market,” said Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, minister of energy. Germany and the UAE also signed a new energy security agreement to accelerate energy projects of joint interest. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar this week, accompanied by a German business delegation. He acknowledged the region’s critical role in oil, liquefied natural gas, and low-carbon hydrogen. German companies were expected to sign contracts for LNG and hydrogen power on the sidelines of the visit, but few contracts have materialized thus far. However, restored ties could open the doors for new deals in the coming months.  

ICIS has launched Europe’s first market-linked renewable hydrogen assessments. “The ICIS European renewable hydrogen assessments are the first market-based assessments that are structured to be compliant with European Union and UK government standards for producing renewable hydrogen (Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin),” wrote the London-based market intelligence company. It said power purchase agreements will be the primary means of supplying renewable power to produce electrolytic hydrogen. The European renewable hydrogen assessments have shown that Spain’s renewable hydrogen production costs are among the lowest in Europe, at €5.28 ($5.08)/kg from solar and €4.85/kg from onshore wind.

Japan has launched an initiative to increase hydrogen production, signed by more than 20 countries, including the United States, Australia, and Germany. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has set a target of 90 million tons per year of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030. The Japanese authorities met with several international political figures who visited Japan this week to attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Prime Capital has entered into two agreements to acquire and construct new hydrogen-related renewable energy projects in Finland and Sweden, with a total new generating capacity of more than 1 GW. It signed a joint venture with CPC Finland to develop a green hydrogen/e-methane plant with a capacity of up to 200 MW close to Kristinestad, Finland, with construction scheduled to start in 2024. CPC Finland will provide 600 MW of renewable energy projects to the venture. “Secondly, a cluster of three wind farms with a total capacity of 290MW in the municipality of Lycksele, Sweden, has been acquired from RES,” said the German company. “Commissioning is scheduled for 2025. Part of the green electricity is planned to be used to power a green power-to-X project in the region.”

Ballard Power Systems has announced an order from Stadler Rail to supply six 100 kW FCmoveTM-HD+ fuel cell engines to power the first hydrogen train in the United States. “The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered train was awarded to Stadler by San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), with the option of additional trains in the future,” said Ballard. The train is expected to go into service in San Bernardino, California, in 2024.

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DNV has won a three-year contract to provide the evidence required to demonstrate the safe use and conversion of the United Kingdom’s local transmission systems (LTS) high-pressure pipelines to transport 100% hydrogen. Gas distribution company SGN, which manages around 3,100 km of the LTS pipelines, is leading the project in collaboration with the other UK gas networks. 

EWE is about to start an actual hydrogen storage test, following preliminary works at its facility in Brandenburg, Germany. The aim of the HyCAVmobil project is to test the quality of the recovered hydrogen. The rock salt layer beneath the storage site in Rüdersdorf begins at a depth of about 600 meters and extends to 3,200 meters below the earth’s surface. EWE plans to store hydrogen for the first time in spring 2023.

Hopium aims to commission its first industrial site near Vernon, France, at the end of 2024, with the inauguration scheduled for early 2025. “The 85-acre site, located in the area of Domains, will house the first production lines, which will have a capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year, as well as an R&D center,” said the French manufacturer of high-end, hydrogen-powered vehicles.

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Source: pv magazine