The Hydrogen Stream: Hydrogen power plants feasible but inefficient, says CATF

The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) says in a new report that dedicated clean hydrogen production and use is often a costly, inefficient decarbonization strategy for the power sector, while American Airlines says it has signed a deal with ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen-electric engines.

CATF said in a new report that dedicated clean hydrogen production and use can be a costly and inefficient decarbonization strategy for the power sector. The use of electrolytic hydrogen as a storage fuel to balance excess clean electricity may have limited applications, it said, but noted that “alternative strategies that minimize the need for long-duration storage, such as deploying clean firm generation like geothermal or nuclear, would likely be more cost-effective.” The report also noted the significant need for infrastructure investments to ensure any future role for hydrogen storage and transmission in the power sector.

American Airlines has signed a conditional purchase agreement with ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen-electric engines to power regional jet aircraft. ZeroAvia said it will also receive more funds from the airline, following an initial investment in 2022 and a Series C financing round.

Extreme H has launched its first hydrogen-powered racing car. “The ‘Pioneer 25’ hydrogen race car was revealed in front of global media and invited guests aboard the series’ St. Helena vessel, with London’s Tower Bridge; providing a stunning reveal setting as the countdown officially begins to its maiden season starting in April 2025,” said the FIA-sanctioned international off-road racing series.

Nikola has wholesaled 72 Class 8 Nikola hydrogen fuel cell trucks, above the high end of truck sales guidance of 60 units during the second quarter of the year. For the first half of 2024, the company wholesaled 112 hydrogen fuel cell trucks. “We are continuing to secure our first-mover advantage in zero-emissions Class 8 trucks in North America, as well as with our HYLA hydrogen refueling solutions,” said Nikola CEO Steve Girsky. 

Hyzon said that it will halt its operations in the Netherlands and Australia. The US-based manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell systems said that government support for fuel cell-powered transportation in Europe and Australia has diminished compared to North America’s efforts to accelerate the hydrogen transition and the adoption of zero-emission technology. The company said it expects to incur charges of around $17 million.

Agora Industry has mapped the cost of green hydrogen production in Europe, highlighting two emerging regions. “The levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) map shows that while wind resources are more favorable in coastal plain areas around the North and Baltic Seas, solar PV performs best in Southern Europe,” said the think tank in a report. “These hotspots could become renewable energy hubs supplying Europe with much of the electricity needed to decarbonize all sectors, including those few applications requiring green hydrogen.”

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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