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Fuel cell buses projects: reports and launch of joint procurements

The commercialisation of fuel cell buses continues to progress in Europe, with more fuel cell buses to be deployed in the next few months and years. While the earliest deployment projects are now delivering their final results (CHIC), more studies are published (NewBusFuel) and a new large scale deployment project has been launched (JIVE).

 

CHIC and NewBusFuel are two European project which received funding from the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) which came to an end respectiviely in December 2016 and March 2017. Both projects published reports which will be of great interest for local authorities or bus operators who are thinking about deploying fuel cell buses in the near future.

CHIC project – final report

The Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC) Project was the crucial next step for the full commercialisation of hydrogen powered fuel cell buses. The project commenced in 2010 with an initial 25, subsequently 23 partners from Cities, Regions, Industry and Research Organisations. The CHIC project was the predecessor of the High V.LO-City project.

The project was completed in December 2016. CHIC operated 54 hydrogen fuel cell (H2FC) buses and 4 hydrogen powered internal combustion engine buses in 9 cities in Europe and Canada. The buses were delivered by 5 different bus manufacturers and had fuel cells from two different suppliers.

The final report for the project has now been published. This report gives an overview of the CHIC project and describes the key results and achievements. The full report is available here.

 

NewBusFuel – Summary document and guidance document 

NewBusFuel was a study which aimed to resolve the knowledge gap for establishment of large scale hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for fuel cell buses. The study started in summer 2015 and finished in March 2017, and has assessed the central technology- and engineering solutions required for the refuelling of a large number of hydrogen fuel cell buses at a single bus depot, which is under way to evolve into fleet development in the coming years. Large scale bus depot refuelling imposes significant new challenges.

 

JIVE project

The JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project seeks to deploy 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses and associated refuelling infrastructure across five countries. JIVE will run for six years from January 2017 and is co-funded by a 32 million euro grant from the FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) under the European Union Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation.

The overall objective of JIVE is to advance the commercialisation of fuel cell buses through large-scale deployment of vehicles and infrastructure so that by the end of the project, fuel cell buses are commercially viable for bus operators to include in their fleets without subsidy, and that local and national governments feel empowered to regulate for zero emission propulsion for their public transport systems. JIVE will introduce new fleets of fuel cell buses into urban and regional bus operations at an unprecedented scale. This will be made possible by multiple cities and regions collaborating in joint procurement processes, allowing large orders to be placed with single bus suppliers. The procurement activities are organised into three clusters and by clustering geographically, it is possible to provide common specifications for the buses, which is essential to unlock the economies of scale.

The procurement processes have already started in Germany/South Tyrol and in the UK. Ben Madden, Director of Element Energy, coordinator of the project, said: “The launch of this joint procurement exercise is an important milestone for the JIVE project and the fuel cell bus sector as a whole. Taking a coordinated approach to purchasing large numbers of these buses should deliver increased standardisation and significant cost reductions, allowing the cities to realise their ambitious zero emission bus adoption plans. We are delighted to have helped start this programme and look forward to continuing to support the partners in delivering the project.”

Full press release – Germany/South Tyrol

Full press release – UK

 

Learn more about fuel cell buses! 

 

Aragón and Scotland towards a closer collaboration on renewable energies and hydrogen

 

A trade mission made up of 22 companies, R & D centres and institutions from both regions has visited Aragon in February with the aim of examining several practical research examples and business applications of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.

Leading international actors in the fuel cell and hydrogen fields are to meet in Aragón n the 17th and 18th of Februart in the framework of a trade mission promoted by the Regional Government of Aragón through the Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragón and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA).

The aim of this event, whose participants were received by Fernando Fernández, Director General of Industry, Trade, Small and medium-sized Enterprises and Handcrafts at the seat of the Government of Aragón, was to strengthen the relationship that Aragón and Scotland have had over the two past years and which crystallised in the memorandum of understanding signed in 2016. This agreement shows a commitment to collaborating in projects leading towards the implementation of hydrogen as an energy carrier, beneficial to companies from both countries. The recent World Hydrogen Energy Conference WHEC 2016 held in Zaragoza last year and the international contacts made during that event have been decisive for the organization of this relevant trade mission in which 23 companies, R & D centres and institutional representatives from the Governments of Aragón and Scotland are involved.

Fernando Fernández, Director General of Industry, Trade, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Handcrafts of the Regional Government of Aragón, highlighted “the strong ties and commercial and technological collaboration on hydrogen technologies between Aragón and Scotland”. Fernandez affirmed that “we are anticipating the future” since hydrogen “is the key to storing energy in the near future and therefore, the key that will make it possible for renewable energies to develop their full potential”.

For his part, Chris Stark, Director of Energy of the Government of Scotland stated that “Aragón and Scotland show so many similarities. We are both pursuing a renewables future with huge success. This is a great opportunity to show our knowledge and how hydrogen can play its part in this energy transition -and to establish new industrial collaborations between Scotland and Aragón”.

This trade mission, made possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Aragonese companies Calvera (trustee at the Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragón) and Inycom took place over 2 days. The first day has been devoted to exchanging experiences on how hydrogen may contribute to achieving a balance between energy security, sustainability and social balance while boosting initiatives leading to economic growth and a transition towards an economy low in carbon emissions. The strategies dealing with carbon reduction that both Scotland (which has just published its new Energy Strategy and a Plan to tackle Climate Change with a 66 % reduction in CO2 emission by 2032) and Aragón have developed have also been discussed during the session.

On the second day of this trade mission, of a more practical nature, participants have visited specific examples of the applications of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies, such as those of the Caldera group, based in Épila; the Laboratory of Research into Fluid Dynamics and Combustion Technologies of Zaragoza LIFTEC (a mixed centre participated by the Spanish National Research Council CSIC and the University of Zaragoza); the Technological Institute of Aragón (ITAINNOVA) and the Viñas del Vero winery in Basbastro (European Project Life + REWIND).

Aragón and Scotland are already collaborating in hydrogen and renewable energy projects. The best example of this is the Project BIG HIT (Building Innovative Green Hydrogen Systems in an Isolated Territory: a pilot for Europe) in which, under the coordination of the Foundation for the Development of Hydrogen Technologies in Aragón, 12 participants from 6 European countries are involved. With a budget of 10.9 million euros – 5 million of them coming from the European Commission within the Fuel Cells Hydrogen Joint Undertaking FCH 2 JU)- the project is developing an infrastructure, on the Orkney Islands, of production, storage and distribution of hydrogen with a view to supplying energy, locally, from renewable sources, such as tidal or wind power. This initiative makes use of the experience gained from the former Surf ‘n’ Turf Project.

The Aragonese participants in this trade mission, in addition to the Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragón, were the companies Calvera, Idom Brial, Going Investment, Lapexa, Airtex, Inycom and Lecitrailer; as well as Walqa´s Technology Park, the CSIC, the Technological Institute of Aragón; and Huesca´s Chamber of Commerce.

On the Scottish side, under the Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association, participants include the Government of Scotland, Scottish Development International, Systeng Consulting, ULEMCO, Logan Energy, Pure Energy Centre, EMEC (an important marine research centre) and the manufacturer of electrolysers and fuel cells ITM Power.

Two HyER members open new hydrogen refuelling station

Two HyER members opened new hydrogen refuelling stations in February:

Arnhem:

Arnhem has opened its first hydrogen refuelling station in the city. This station will now enable Arnhem to deploy more fuel cell electric vehicles in the region.

Aberdeen:

Aberdeen has opened its second hydrogen refuelling station in the city. The station (350 & 700 bar) will, among other, fuel the 10 new Toyota Mirais deployed in Aberdeen since the end of February. The 10 cars will be used by the regional health services, a Scottish environmental agency, the city’s Car Club and Aberdeen City Council.

Read the press release here.

Discover a video of the station here.

Congratulations to our two members!

Launch of a Virtual Knowledge Base for Fuel Cell Electric Buses

The High V.LO-City project, which aims at facilitating the deployment of fuel cell electric buses and the related hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in European cities, has launched a virtual knowledge base for fuel cell electric buses in Europe.

The aim of this knowledge centre is to give an overview of data, knowledge and experiences about fuel cell electric buses and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Europe. The information on the website mainly targets bus operators and public authorities willing to deploy fuel cell electric buses in their bus fleet.www-fuelcellbuses-eu

www.fuelcellbuses.eu

The knowledge base has been developed in close collaboration will all the other FCH-JU funded projects currently deploying fuel cell electric buses in Europe: CHIC, HyTransit and 3Emotion. The website is launched at the occasion of the International Zero Emission Bus Conference which will take place in London this week (30th of November and 1st of December).

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Europe is rapidly expanding the demonstration of fuel cell hydrogen buses in regular public transport services in several cities across the continent. Fuel cell electric buses are a type of electric buses. Hydrogen is used to fuel the buses; a fuel cell then transforms the hydrogen into electricity, which is then used to power the bus.

The website is managed by WaterstofNet and will be regularly updated with the latest information on fuel cell electric buses and data from the different buses currently in operation in Europe.

Flip Bamelis, coordinator of the High V.LO-City project and R&D Project Coordinator at Van Hool, said: ‘An increasing number of public authorities and bus operators are interested in deploying fuel cell buses. However, until now there was no one-stop shop where precise and complete information about fuel cell electric buses could be found. The virtual knowledge base is bridging this gap by gathering existing knowledge and we hope that anyone who has an interest in fuel cell electric buses will find the information they need on the website.

The FCH JU Executive Director Bart Biebuyck said: ‘We are extremely pleased to see the launch of this new virtual knowledge base on fuel cell electric buses in Europe. The European Public Private Partnership FCH JU is deploying significant resources in order to accelerate the commercialisation of this technology and the projects like CHIC, HighVLO-City, HyTransit and 3Emotion, are increasingly contributing to this major objective. To date, 67 buses are being deployed thanks to the FCH JU support, allowing European citizens to enjoy a clean and silent zero-emission public transportation. It is crucial to keep raising awareness on the market-readiness and benefits of fuel cell electric buses. Having this new platform is definitely a big step in that respect.’

 

 Please find the PDF version of the press release here. 

For any inquiry, please contact the project team at secretariat@highvlocity.eu or Valentine Willmann at valentine@hyer.eu / + 32 2 285 4094

www.highvlocity.eu  |@HighVLOCity

 

Note to editors

 About the High V.LO-City project: cities speeding up the integration of hydrogen buses

The High V.LO-City project, coordinated by the bus manufacturer Van Hool, started in 2012 and will run until the end of 2019. During the course of the project, 14 buses will be operated in 3 locations: Aberdeen, Scotland (4 buses), Antwerp, Belgium (5 buses), San Remo, Italy (5 buses). The 14 fuel cell hydrogen buses will be used as like-to-like replacement of conventional diesel buses and trolley buses. The key project objectives are to increase the energy efficiency of the buses and reduce the cost of ownership, as well as to demonstrate an operational availability of the buses equivalent to diesel (over 90%). Another objective of the project is to contribute to the commercialisation of fuel cell electric buses in Europe.

Since the start of the project, more than 370.000km have already been travelled by the buses since March 2015 and the daily operation of the buses is proving that fuel cell electric buses can be put in operation with the same level of efficiency and flexibility as diesel buses. Different methods of hydrogen production are tested (industrial by product, production from green electricity) and the overall availability of the buses is expected to continue to increase as experience is accumulated by the project partners.

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 About the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a public-private partnership between the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation), Europe’s FCH industry (Hydrogen Europe) and research organisations (N.ERGHY), aiming at accelerating the market introduction of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. It is also a funding agency, supporting R&D and Demonstration projects in transport and energy. So far more than 200 projects have been selected for funding, including High V.LO-City. For more information, please visit www.fch.europa.eu

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The High V.LO-City project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement n°278192

Towards the 1st EU-wide Guarantee of Origin for Green Hydrogen

The CertifHy Project has nearly finalized its work on developing a framework on the first EU-wide guarantees of origin (GO) for Premium Hydrogen (green and low-carbon hydrogen). At the CertifHy event on 19th October 2016 in Brussels the CertifHy consortium presented the project results and next steps to a large audience, consisting of leading industry, policy makers, industry associations and a standardization body. Additionally, speakers from a wide-range of international leading organizations such as European Commission, FCH JU (Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking), Hydrogen Europe, Air Liquide, BMW, Hydrogenics, Ekoenergy, Association of Issuing Bodies, Linde and Uniper looked at the topic from different point of views.
‘A promising EU-project’
From November 2014 until October 2016 the CertifHy project identified a framework for the first EU-wide GO for Premium Hydrogen including a definition for green and low-carbon hydrogen, a detailed proposal for a GO system and a roadmap for implementation. The project is funded by FCU JU, the public-private partnership that manages H2020 funds in regards to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Bart Biebuyck, the executive director of FCH JU, stated during the CertifHy event: “CertifHy is a promising project with good support from the industry”. The project is coordinated by Hinicio, with the Dutch Energy Research Center ECN, TÜV SÜD and Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik as consortium partners. A large variety of global players support it as affiliated partners such as Air Liquide, Air Products, AkzoNobel, Areva H2Gen, BMW, Colruyt Group, EDF, Group Machiels, Hydrogenics, Linde, OMV, Shell, Total and Uniper that were part of the on-going step-by-step consulting process throughout the last two years. In addition, a wide range of global leading organizations such as Toyota, BMW, Air Liquide or Linde officially endorse CertifHy.
A new market for Premium Hydrogen
Global demand for hydrogen is foreseen to reach 50 Million tons by 2025 mainly used in industry and transport. It is predicted to grow 3,5 percent per year. Today 95 percent of all hydrogen is produced from fossil resources. For hydrogen to become a climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels, it is necessary to ensure minimal impact on natural resources in the whole life cycle. It is expected that 50 – 60 percent of all hydrogen for the growing market of transportation will originate from renewable or low-carbon sources by 2030. In order to allow Premium hydrogen to be traded, a tracking system ensuring the quality of hydrogen is necessary. The proposed GO for Premium Hydrogen decouples the green attribute from the physical flow of the product and makes Premium Hydrogen available EU-wide, independently from its production sites.
Potential impact of Green Hydrogen
Green Hydrogen can help Europe become the number one in renewables and reach EU targets of cutting 80 – 95 % of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Premium Hydrogen GOs can boost demand and supply of Premium Hydrogen, create market pull, lead to transparency and consumer empowerment and enhance the business case for Premium Hydrogen. It can help decarbonizing transport and industry and increasing consumption of Premium Hydrogen as highlighted by Guy De Reals from Air Liquide and Bernardo Mota from BMW during their presentations at the CertifHy event. Furthermore, a GO for Premium Hydrogen can enhance renewable energy use and can contribute to the development of energy storage and energy security.
The Future of Premium Hydrogen GOs
After having developed the framework for Premium Hydrogen and a roadmap for implementation, the
next steps are to strengthening the momentum by building a supervisory board, assuring legal
safeguard and creating buy-in for the scheme. At the same time, it is necessary to build the GO
infrastructure and test it by pilot projects. That way green hydrogen can become an important
cornerstone of tomorrow’s energy system.
For further information, please visit www.certifhy.eu or contact Vanessa Wabitsch at vanessa.wabitsch@hinicio.com

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Press release: New Bus Refuelling for European Hydrogen Bus Depots

NewBusFuel is an ongoing study funded by Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking with the goal of resolving the knowledge gap for establishment of large-scale hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for fuel cell buses – silent electric buses with long driving range and with zero local emissions.

The study that commenced in summer 2015 has assessed the central technology- and engineering solutions required for the refuelling of a large number of hydrogen fuel cell buses at a single bus depot, which is under way to evolve into fleet development in the coming years. Large scale bus depot refuelling imposes significant new challenges which have not yet been tackled by the hydrogen refuelling sector:

  • Scale – throughputs in excess of 2,000kg/day (compared to 100kg/day for current passenger car stations)
  • Close to 100% available supply for the public transport networks which will rely on hydrogen
  • Short refuelling window – buses will be refuelled in a short overnight window, leading to rapid H2 throughput
  • Footprint – the refuelling units needs to be reduced to fit within busy urban bus depots
  • Volume of hydrogen storage – which can exceed 10 tonnes per depot and leads to new regulatory and safety constraints or alternative supply and backup concepts to minimize storage effort on site
  • New business concepts leading to competitive fuel prices

A large and pan-European consortium have developed solutions to these challenges. The consortium involves 10 of Europe’s leading technology providers involved in hydrogen production and refuelling. These partners have worked with 12 bus operators in Europe, each of whom have demonstrated political support for the deployment of hydrogen bus fleets. In each location engineering studies have been produced, by collaborative design teams involving bus operators and industrial HRS experts, each defining the optimal design in terms of regulatory boundary conditions, available space and economics, hydrogen supply route, commercial arrangements and the practicalities for a hydrogen station capable of providing fuel to a fleet of fuel cell buses (40-260 buses).
Public reports are in preparation based on an analysis across the studies, with an aim to provide design guidelines to bus operators considering deploying hydrogen buses, as well as to  demonstrate the range of depot fuelling solutions which exist (and their economics) to a wider audience. “NewBusFuel is a very important project and a necessary link for the commercialisation of fuel cell buses in Europe,” said Ben Madden, Director, Element Energy the project coordinator for NewBusFuel. “Our aim is to ensure that the bus operator sector in Europe possesses the knowledge required to plan and then build the ultra-reliable and high capacity hydrogen bus refuelling facilities which will be required for large fuel cell bus fleets of the future.”

Madden continued; “NewBusFuel brings together experts from hydrogen fuelling station providers, their equipment suppliers and hydrogen bus operators to develop workable designs of high capacity hydrogen fuelling stations which are needed for busy bus depots. The insights from analysing the designs will demonstrate that a range of reliable and affordable hydrogen fuelling solutions can be made available to fuel depot-scale hydrogen bus fleets.”

Commenting on the project, Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the FCH JU said; “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen production technologies are a very important piece in the puzzle for low and zero emission public transport in Europe. We have seen the last years, significant development and news on the commercialisation of heavy-duty hydrogen-powered vehicles (buses, trucks, trains recently). It is crucial that we now bridge the gap from small-scale, small-fleet demonstration projects to robust large scale infrastructure, which is a key factor if hydrogen powered public transport is going to be deployed in significant numbers in the transportation sector. NewBusFuel will bring crucial knowledge available to those not yet familiarized with FC bus and infrastructure technology.”
The results of this project will be published in early 2017. These results will be disseminated widely to provide confidence to the whole bus sector that this potential barrier to commercialisation of hydrogen bus technology has been overcome.
Read more on the project webpage at: www.newbusfuel.eu 
FCH JU project info: www.fch.europa.eu/project/new-bus-refuelling-european-hydrogen-bus-depots

Partnership overview:

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HyER member Aberdeen City Council wins two major awards for hydrogen activities

HyER member Aberdeen City Council has won two LowCVP (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership) Awards in Milton Keynes (United Kingdom) last Wednesday 13th of September.

The Aberdeen Bus Project, which deployed the biggest fuel cell bus fleet in Europe and delivered the UK’s largest hydrogen production and bus refuelling station, won the Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year award. The EU funded projects High V.LO-City and HyTransit are part of the Aberdeen Bus Project.

Aberdeen City Council also won the ‘Grand Prix Award’: Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport (Winner of winners) awards for its H2 Aberdeen initiative. The H2 Aberdeen initiative incorporates all the hydrogen activities developed in Aberdeen.

HyER would like to warmly congratulate the HyER President Councillor Barney Crockett, the Aberdeen City Council staff and all their collaborators for all the hard work undertaken in the hydrogen sector in the last few years, making the Aberdeen Bus Project a success story and making Aberdeen a pioneer city in Europe. These awards are a due recognition of the Council’s work and HyER is hoping that more successful projects will be launched in the coming years in the city.

The press release from Aberdeen City Council can be found here.

More information about Aberdeen’s H2 strategy and projects here

More information about High V.LO-City on the project website.

More about the LowCVP Awards here.