Hydrogen, one solution to several challenges: FCH JU projects in Austria.
The transition towards clean energy systems implies building bridges from the fossil world of oil, coal and gas applications to the green world and the use of local resources from solar, wind and water. Hydrogen plays an important role as a "bridge energy carrier". It can be produced from water and green electricity (electricity from hydropower, wind and photovoltaic) wherever it is needed. It can be stored and, when needed, converted into electricity for mobility systems and/or heat. Europe has enabled this transition and many cities and regions are now taking the next step to look and implement innovative green and sustainable solutions, such as hydrogen technologies. Tyrol is one good case, planning to be an energy-autonomous region by 2050. This vision implies that the energy system must be rebuilt over the coming period.
Europe's largest Single-Stack-Electrolyser for regulating the electricity grid and producing green hydrogen for the food retailer
A new FCH JU project has recently seen the light of day, Demo4Grid, aiming at developing and installing green hydrogen production and exploitation facilities in the Tyrol region, in the city of Innsbruck. The project will support the electricity networks by storing electricity in hydrogen and thereby produce CO2-free fuel for the mobility and heating market. If there is too much electricity in the grid due to the production of wind or solar electricity, this energy will be stored by the plant in the form of hydrogen.
Kick-Off Dissemination Meeting of the Demo4Grid project at the Green Energy Center Europe in Innsbruck
The electrolysis plant is installed in Völs near Innsbruck. As of 2019, the energy plant will be built and operated in the facilities of MPREIS, a regional food producer. The resulting hydrogen will be used in the production plant with the aim of replacing natural gas for the heating of the ovens, contributing to producing “zero CO2 bread”.
But subsequently, the hydrogen produced will also be used as a diesel replacement for the MPREIS logistics fleet and will be available for CO2-free mobility applications.This plant also provides the basis for fueling fuel cell buses in public transport. "With this facility, we are able to use our own resources, our green Tyrolean electricity to make the public bus traffic in the greater Innsbruck area noise and emision-free" notes Dr. Ernst Fleischhacker, CEO of FEN-SYSTEMS and initiator of the project.
By supporting projects like DEMO4GRID, the FCH JU aims at addressing several societal challenges as once, building on the potential of one technology and going beyond sectorial boundaries.
This can facilitate Europe's shift to renewable energy sources by providing an option for large scale energy storage, also effective in the decarbonisation of the transport and industrial sectors.
The city of Innsbruck already benefit from a fleet of hydrogen vehicles and refueling stations (HyFive project of the FCH JU) and is keen to introduce H2 buses for the clean transportation of the 6 million visitors of Tirol as explained above.
Austria is also the welcoming territory of FCH JU latest project H2 FUTURE, aiming at building a 6 MW electrolyser in Linz to green industrial steel-making process.
Modeling its energy policy around incentives making favorable electricity cost regime, countries such as Austria allows for joint initiatives to build on the catalyst effect enabled by the FCH JU and make a green energy system come true.