A Toyota FCV-adv refuelling at H2Logic’s movable hydrogen station, placed in Copenhagen during the event days.
A Toyota FCV-adv refuelling at H2Logic’s movable hydrogen station, placed in Copenhagen during the event days.Finally, Denmark’s highly ambitious vision for a hydrogen infrastructure roll out by 2050 is to supply 95% zero emission cars. Following automobile industry’s guidance this will possibly be achieved by an equal share of battery (short range) and fuel cell (medium to long range) electric vehicles. Today, there are three HRS in Denmark, but only one of these has latest pre-cooling, 700 bar technology. Until 2015, a network of stations shall be erected in Denmark to become denser in the following years. A cash flow assessment showed that from 2025 onwards commercial business can be expected. As Denmark profits from a perfect wind energy potential, the hydrogen stations are supposed to be supplied by onsite hydrogen production. Today, Denmark has about 2,000 gasoline stations to supply about 2.1 million passenger cars, yielding a ratio of 1,000 cars per station which is much higher than the average fuel station density in Europe (Germany: about 3,000 cars per station). It is anticipated that a network of 450 hydrogen refueling station will allow a full coverage of the country then growing further if hydrogen has kicked off as a major fuel. A fairly recent development, which has also been taken up by Danish actors, is the economic improvement of the use of hydrogen as vehicle fuel and storage medium at large scale, leveling out fluctuating renewable electricity.www.hydrogenlink.net
Among others, the audience was keen to understand the societal costs for the required fuelling infrastructure? It was pointed out that a (cheap) bottle of wine per inhabitant per day for one year would cover the initial development costs. In comparison about 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations are needed for base coverage and to cover the investments about 5 % of the vehicles’ price tag could pay for this early roll-out.
Another question addressed whether industry believed that home refueling stations would ever become competitive for individual households. Although not being an issue for some of the stakeholders at all (“even a washing machine is seen as a product too complex to stand in each single household”) , one automobile manufacturer thought it could become an option for collective fuel supply for new residential projects in the form of energy stations, including stationary fuel cell for energy co-generation, serving several households. A rhetoric question was answered as expected pointing out at the economic synergy of using fork lift truck refueling stations to simultaneously providing public hydrogen fuel.
The last session was focusing on “Outside views on hydrogen & electro-mobility”. A representative from the City of Copenhagen presented the ambitious efforts that are being undertaken to improve today’s unsustainable transport in Copenhagen (local and GHG emissions, noise and congestion) in a city posed to grow from 500 to 600 thousand inhabitants by 2015. The general goal of the “Copenhagen 2025 Climate Plan” aims to reduce CO2 emissions for Copenhagen to zero by 2025. 200-250 billion DKK and about 28,000-35,000 FTE (full time equivalent) of manpower are earmarked to solve the challenges. 11% of the total CO2 reduction needs to be provided from the transport sector. Clean fuels are but just one option to solve the environmental and sustainability challenges. The vision is that an equal share of 1/3 will finally be shouldered by bicycles, public transport as well as individual cars. To enable the fuel cell vehicle market to kick off, three 700 bar hydrogen refueling stations of latest design HRS are to be built in Copenhagen until 2015. Also, by 2015 (!) the municipal car fleet should be composed of 85% CO2 free vehicles with batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
The questions from the audience addressed the issue of congestion charges in Copenhagen resembling those for London, only exempting electric cars. Even though the Copenhagen City Council is in favor of such a solution and different from London, Copenhagen alone cannot enact such a regulation as this would have to be decided at national level.
The clear statement of the Danish Oil Industry Association was that hydrogen as one optional alternative fuels of the future in need to demonstrate the performance of fossil based fuels today. Based on its insights (drivability, comfort, reach, refuelability, economy, ecologic performance, etc.), hydrogen fuelled fuel cell cars already today offer a relevant perspective even though several ‘bugs’ need to be solved (costs and infrastructure, safety perception in the public). From their view, hydrogen should be produced from renewable and sustainable sources at affordable costs and profitable for industry.
A (rhetoric) question from the audience touched on the issue whether the societal costs of fossil energy imports, instead of creating value within Denmark and Scandinavia have already been addressed. Also, one opinion was that a ‘black&white’ approach should be avoided of e.g. ‘only hydrogen from renewable’ versus ‘a cost and ecological impact’ approach which would allow growing quantities of renewable hydrogen to enter the market. This would truly reflect the universality of hydrogen as alternative vehicle fuel and energy carrier.