The Hydrogen Stream: Hyundai wants to halve fuel cell system costs in two years

Elsewhere, Uniper and the Port of Rotterdam have signed a deal to produce green hydrogen at the former’s site on the Maasvlakte extension of the port, and the Japanese government is helping Azerbaijan develop a green hydrogen and ammonia market.

September 7, 2021

South Korean carmaker Hyundai wants to equip its entire commercial vehicle line-up to run on fuel cells by 2028, it announced today, during a presentation of its 2040 vision. “The group [wants] to introduce [a] next-generation fuel cell system in 2023, with costs being lowered by more than 50%, total package volume reduced by 30% and power output doubled,” said the company, noting it wants to achieve a fuel cell vehicle price comparable to a battery-electric vehicle this decade. The offering will include a fully-autonomous-enabled, hydrogen-powered container transporter; a heavy-duty vehicle with fuel-cell electric vehicle charging facilities; and a drone for operations such as fire-fighting and life-saving. Chairman Chung Eui-sun said the company’s hydrogen plans are not restricted to transport, adding: “Hyundai Motor Group’s vision is to apply hydrogen energy in all areas of life and industry, such as our homes, workplaces and factories. The goal is to make hydrogen readily used for everyone, everything, and everywhere.” Hyundai is one of the founding partners of a national hydrogen council that may be launched tomorrow, alongside conglomerates SK Corp and Lotte Corp, and steelmaker POSCO.

Düsseldorf-based energy company Uniper and the Port of Rotterdam Authority intend to produce green hydrogen at the Uniper site on the Maasvlakte extension to the port which was built on land reclaimed from the sea. “These plans build on the findings of a recent feasibility study and are in line with the new hydrogen infrastructure that has been planned, and the growing demand for sustainable hydrogen from the Rotterdam petrochemical industry,” read a note released yesterday. Rotterdam currently hosts half of the Netherlands hydrogen projects which have been designated important projects of common European interest (IPCEIs) by the European Commission, and the Uniper plan is also on the IPCEI shortlist. “The Uniper hydrogen plant is to be connected to the HyTransport.RTM pipeline that runs through the Port of Rotterdam,” stated the press release, in reference to the hydrogen gas pipeline being planned by the port and state-owned energy company Gasunie. “The pipeline also connects the Uniper plant to the national hydrogen infrastructure and the Delta Corridor pipeline bundle. The latter project is intended for delivering hydrogen to chemical clusters in Moerdijk and Geleen (Chemelot) [a chemicals industry cluster at the city of Geleen] and farther away, in North Rhine-Westphalia.”

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has selected domestic engineer JGC Holdings Corp to carry out a feasibility study on a project for the introduction of green hydrogen and ammonia to Azerbaijan. “This project aims to conduct a feasibility study on the development of facilities and infrastructure for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia through the use of solar and wind power, for the Republic of Azerbaijan – using Japanese technology and expertise; and to formulate a roadmap for the future large scale production of green ammonia for power generation and export, and for the development of related infrastructure,” read a note published yesterday. JGC said Azerbaijan is an ideal location for solar and wind power generation, especially near the Caspian Sea, and is near consumer markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. “In addition, the country has an existing ammonia plant and … domestic transport infrastructure for fertilizer, making it a potential location for future green hydrogen and ammonia projects,” added the press release.

The government of Western Australia has announced an additional AU$61.5 million (€38.4 million) investment in the region’s renewable hydrogen industry. “A new [AU]$50 million [€31.3 million] fund, included in the [Mark] McGowan [state] government’s 2021-22 budget will be used to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings, and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen,” read a statement released today. The funds aim to upgrade infrastructure at the Oakajee strategic industrial area to establish a renewable hydrogen hub. The state government has committed AU$7.5 million [€4.7 million] for roads, and AU$4 million for additional infrastructure. “The new funding commitment comes as the McGowan government progresses a[n AU]$900,000 [€564,000] investment towards three industry-led feasibility studies into renewable hydrogen projects across the state,” added the note, mentioning energy business BP Australia, Sydney-based professional services company APT Management Services, and the Global Energy Ventures developer planning the vast Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the state. APT will assess the potential conversion of the Parmelia gas pipeline into a 100% hydrogen facility and Global Energy Ventures will receive funds for feasibility studies on opportunities to export green hydrogen to the Asia-Pacific market.

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German car giant BMW has said its focus is on the circular economy and sustainable urban mobility, at today’s opening of the IAA Mobility motor show in Munich. BMW displayed several battery electric vehicles, including all-electric models the iX and i4 and also presented the BMW Concept iX5 Hydrogen Protection VR6 model, which it claims is the world’s first certified security vehicle with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train. “With this concept car, the BMW Group underlines both the importance of hydrogen fuel cell technology for the locally CO2-free mobility of tomorrow and its ability to master completely new challenges in the development of safety vehicles – while still pursuing sustainable solutions,” the carmaker said.

London-based Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) and German chemical company Linde are in their final stage of signing a mutual contract for syngas production. “The feasibility study envisaged a plant to be jointly developed by Linde, HUI and Powerhouse Energy (PHE), located in Konin in central Poland,” stated a press release issued on Sunday. “The plan is to convert 40 tons of plastic waste into 58 MWh of renewable electricity and clean hydrogen per day. Once the plant is realized, the hydrogen will be used locally, as a fuel for city buses and other heavy-duty vehicles, as well as for passenger cars.” The project is subject to funding approval by the EU’s Just Transition Fund – which aims to disburse energy transition cash in areas traditionally dependent on fossil fuel industries. The Polish government will match fund any European backing for the project.

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