Hydrogen on the Rise

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Representatives from Clarion Energy, Ansaldo, NEL Hydrogen, and MAN Energy Solutions discussed the future role of hydrogen in the power industry during a session sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency at POWERGEN International.

Jeff Benoit with Ansaldo Energia showed attendees how this resource can be used in gas turbines to produce energy, which is something that Ansaldo client Dow Chemical is doing with the left-over hydrogen it produces from its manufacturing processes.

Benoit further explained the difference between green (produced with renewable energy), blue (produced from natural gas through steam reformation) and black hydrogen (produced with synthetic gas derived from coal).

Following Benoit’s focus on turbines, Jeff Syzmanski with Nel Hydrogen stepped up to the podium to show the audience how his company’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser works and talk about some of the projects that the company is involved in.

PEM electrolysis is a technology that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen.

He said his company is scaling quickly. “We are trying to keep pace with the demand for power-to-gas use cases that we see in the pipeline,” he said.

Syzmanski said electrolyser costs are falling along the same trajectory that solar PV followed. “The cost of electrolysers are not going to be a barrier,” he said.

Great interest in hydrogen

According to Syzmanski, there is interest in this energy source from the heavy-duty industry and pointed out that Nikola motor, maker of heavy-duty trucks, plans to roll out a large fleet of hydrogen-powered trucks in 2022. He said they have an order for 800 heavy-duty trucks for Anheuser Busch.

“We are looking at a demand of more than 1GW with this one customer alone,” he said.

Dr Eng Florian Gruschwitz from MAN Energy Solutions said his company has “hydrogen in our blood”.  He explained how this resource will be an important part of decarbonising the industrial sector.

Paddy Young, event director for POWERGEN Europe owned by Clarion Energy, moderated the panel and referred to himself as an enthusiast in the technology.

Europe is heavily investing in this energy resource as a means to decarbonise the entire industry – not just the electricity sector – and Young said he was pleased to see that the interest is strong here [in the US], too.

Author: Jennifer Runyon for power-eng.com

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.


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