Hydrogen-powered trains for the German network


From pv magazine Global | via the Hydrogen Stream

Representatives of Siemens Mobility and Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) signed a leasing contract for the first hydrogen-powered train in Bavaria. “The two-car hydrogen-powered trainset of the latest generation will be presented to the public in the spring of 2022. The train will be tested on the Augsburg-Füssen route, among others, beginning in mid-2023. Pilot operations in the rail network of Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) are initially planned for 30 months. The train is expected to officially enter passenger service as of January 2024,” Siemens Mobility wrote on Wednesday. The contract is a follow-up to the letter of intent signed in July 2021. The train deploys roof-mounted fuel cells and underfloor batteries supplied by Saft.

The Danish government has reached an agreement on Power-to-X, including a government tender for DKK 1.25 billion (€0.17 billion). Denmark plans to build up an electrolysis capacity of 4-6 GW by 2030. “High ambitions for green fuels are crucial to phase out fossil energy, reduce climate loads, support green growth and loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s energy supply,” the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities wrote on Tuesday. The government wants to launch the tender “as soon as possible”. With the new measure, the Danish government has approved a total of €400 million support for PtX technologies since 2019. “If we are to succeed, we must dare to take political decisions more quickly in the future,” commented Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Radical Party spokesman on climate, energy and supply. The Danish government floated the idea already at the end of January, but the agreement throughout the political spectrum suggests developments could accelerate, becoming the government’s priority. The multi-party agreement aims to create green fuel for planes, ships and trucks both at home and abroad.

Germany and Norway agreed to conduct a feasibility study on large-scale hydrogen transport, including via pipeline. “In order to realise the fastest possible high-volume imports of hydrogen and ensure the rapid availability thereof, we will also jointly plan the use of blue hydrogen for a transition period. In this context, we will ensure environmental and climate integrity by establishing for example the highest possible standards for Carbon Capture and Storage,” reads the joint statement published on Wednesday. The two countries will also team up on offshore wind projects in the North Sea, also eyeing collaboration in the green hydrogen sector in the longer term, despite the current focus on blue hydrogen. 

State Premier Reiner Haseloff and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze handed over the approval notice for a green hydrogen plant in Saxony-Anhalt to German developer Getec green energy. The facility will be built on the former Zerbst military airfield, Saxony-Anhalt’s government wrote on Wednesday. According to reports shared by the German state, the company will be investing €75 million to build, among other things, seven new wind turbines, a weather station, and a 16-kilometre pipeline.

The development of green hydrogen projects will strongly depend on location, wrote consultancy WoodMackenzie on Wednesday, commenting on the agreement between British oil and gas company bp and Oman. “With the entire green hydrogen value chain being nascent, getting access to the best location for consistent renewable power has a significant impact on project values. Therefore, the importance of capturing and analysing the renewables data on a large scale is analogous to geological surveys aimed at identifying technically and commercially visible hydrocarbon reserves,” wrote Claude Mourey, director for Hydrogen and New Energies for the MENA region. WoodMackenzie’s analysis suggests that Oman’s green hydrogen levelised costs could reach less than US$2/kg by 2030. A stable mix of wind and solar adds to the other factors already outlined by previous research: water, proximity to export infrastructures and existing local demand for hydrogen.

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