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H2 Logic and Air Liquide to build network of hydrogen refueling stations in Denmark

25 June 2014

H2 Logic A/S and Air Liquide have concluded a joint investment in their joint venture hydrogen fuel company, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network A/S (CHN). The company is already operating a hydrogen refueling station in Copenhagen that will be followed by four more stations during 2014. This will make Denmark will be the world’s first country where hydrogen fueling is available nationwide and based 100% on renewable energy.

In 2013 CHN opened its first hydrogen refueling station in Copenhagen that is providing hydrogen for a fleet of Hyundai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) at the Municipality of Copenhagen. Besides the CHN station in Copenhagen, another station has been operated since 2011 in the City of Holstebro by the energy company Vestforsyning.

During remainder of 2014 additional four stations are scheduled for opening in the cities of Vejle, Aalborg and Copenhagen. This will enable FCEV owners to conduct return trips to any location in the country from the major cities where hydrogen stations are in operation. Additionally it will connect the Danish network to Hamburg and Germany.

During 2015 Danish national plans call for five additional hydrogen stations; this will ensure that more than 50% of the population will be less than 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from a station.

The hydrogen supply is entirely based on domestic and foreign independent renewable electricity that produce hydrogen via electrolysis form water. This is in line with the Danish national goal of ensuring fossil-fuel independence by 2050 within energy and transport.

Denmark is one among the countries in the world with the best incentives for FCEVs as these are exempted for normal registration taxes of up to 180% of the base vehicle price. This combined with nationwide hydrogen fueling provides one of the most attractive market platforms for international car manufacturers to successfully offer FCEVs for vehicle owners.

The five hydrogen refueling stations for CHN will be supplied by H2 Logic and based on the H2Station CAR-100 product that has been in volume production since 2012. Today H2 Logic is one among few global leaders on fast refueling for FCEVs with a market share of 40% of all new hydrogen refueling stations in Europe in 2013. H2Station technology is used on a daily basis across Europe for fueling of vehicles from leading international car manufacturers.

The CHN hydrogen refueling station network in Denmark is constructed with public support from the European FCH-JU and TEN-T programs and the Danish national EUDP program.

CHN is a joint venture owned by Air Liquide and H2 Logic and is focusing solely on hydrogen station operation in Denmark. This does not affect the normal businesses of Air Liquide and H2 Logic that will continue to address the international markets for hydrogen refueling.

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This makes sense for Denmark, as wind is massively variable.
They have a choice between more or less giving the surplus away when it is windy, as northern Germany will also have strong winds at the same time, or storing it even though of course that is lossy.

Personally I would simply build out nuclear, but those in favour of a very high proportion of renewables should face the fact that the only way to do that is to store it, so you can be battery electric and nuclear, but advocates of very high amounts of renewables need hydrogen and fuel cells to make it work, and evade that, or simply can't add up.

Denmark led with Wind farms and seems to be leading again with the installation of 'clean' standardized H2 stations and FCEVs.

Where Wind and/or Solar and Hydro clean energy is available, H2 production and storage is a very clean solution to manage intermittent energy sources and supply clean H2 for FCEVs.

An FCEV can supply enough energy for the average home for one full week or more. Also ideal to manage peak loads and/or power grid failures.

An interesting viewpoint on Danish CO2 emissions:

http://canadianenergyissues.com/2014/06/20/whats-rotten-in-the-state-of-denmark-electricity-policy-and-its-even-more-rotten-in-germany/

Danes emit 3X the CO2 of residents of Ontario per kW electricity consumed. Nuclear power is the difference.

Do the Danes just 'give away their surplus when it is too windy?' Seeing as how they can export electricity to Norway, Sweden and Germany which all have large hydro capacity it seems to me they're already storing it for later use.

Whether or not this is a "give away" would depend on the price difference between imports and exports. No?

@Ai vin:

It does depend on the market and Denmark loses massively on electricity trades.

Basically they have the power when everyone else has too, and need to buy power when it is in short supply across northern Europe.

I agree with Nick and they should build nuclear which works great with battery cars, but they ain't doing that and the high renewables route definitely needs hydrogen for storage.

It is still a very expensive way of doing things, but can be made to work, just about, which is impossible without hydrogen storage.

I agree that renewables with H2 storage can be made to work, but this is a very first-world solution--way too expensive to be adopted by the developing world, which is where coal is currently king and where the CO2 emissions battle will be won or lost.

Intermittent clean energy sources like Wind and Solar are ideal for clean H2 generation and storage. Cost per kWh and H2/Kg will come down and will soon be below the current $7+/gal for gasoline in most countries in EU.

Everybody will gain when ICEVs and CPPs are phased out.

Right, imports and exports are about a third of their production/consumption numbers. But wasn't that the case even before they went the wind energy route?

I will like to go to vacation in Denmark very soon as here in Canada they do nothing about efficient energy like the atrotious tar sands of in the east imported petrol. They should like them here in montreal Canada.

@ai vin:
Yep, for fossil fuels they are virtually all imported.
Renewables entail a lot of load balancing, as well as reliance on alternatives which go way beyond back up when it the sun isn't shining, like most of the winter as well as nights at the latitude of Denmark when it is not windy either.

Apart from fossil fuels the only way the Danes have to do that at present is to use Norwegian hydro power.
The trouble is that that is in limited supply, and in the winter especially in calm weather they could see all they can produce several times over to Germany alone.

That is a recipe for high prices.

Off course they could solve the whole thing with 5 or six nuclear reactors, but they aren't going to do that.

Right. 48% of Denmark's electricity comes from coal which is import from outside of Europe. But the implied claim that they are taking a loss by exporting wind energy seems intuitively wrong: There is an alternative to generating too much wind energy - you simply turn off some of the turbines. If the Danes are choosing to keep them generating at times of high wind and export the power they must be seeing some kind of benefit. Maybe in a purchase agreement to get the energy back when they need it, maybe as an offset to imports they would have to make regardless, whatever/I don't know. I did find this from wikipedia;

"Annual wind power production is currently (2012-2013) equal to about 30% of electricity consumed in Denmark.[2] The proportion of this that is actually consumed in Denmark has been disputed, with claims of up to 40% of wind power being exported,[25][26] countered by claims that only 1% was exported.[27] According to the first argument, power in excess of immediate demand is exported to Germany, Norway, and Sweden. The latter two have considerable hydropower resources, which can rapidly reduce their generation whenever wind farms are generating surplus power, saving water for later, and can export electricity to Denmark when wind power output drops. The benefit of this goes to Denmark's neighbours: when Denmark's wind farms are exporting power, it is sold at the spot market price, which sometimes falls to near or below zero.[28] According to the second argument, the correlation between exports and wind power is weak, and a similar correlation exists with conventional thermal plants; meanwhile, causal analysis shows that export from Denmark typically occurs as a consequence of the merit order effect, when large thermal plants have reserve capacities at times the spot market price of electricity is high. In any case, the export price is the intermediate between the prices of the two areas, so the exporting TSO (Energinet) uses the profit to relieve tariffs.[29] This service of timeshifting production and consumption is also found around the world in pumped-storage hydroelectricity balancing coal and nuclear plants. Wind power organizations state that Denmark exports power at a higher price than it imports at.[30]"

Complicating the issue is that the Danish grid is actually two grids, the connection between the west and east can only handle so much so the balance between imports and exports must be done for both; http://docs.wind-watch.org/dk-analysis-wind.pdf

Also complicating the issue is that in Denmark thermal power plants also supply district heating so they can't simply be shut off on a cold winter night when the wind would otherwise be strong enough to allow that. This could chance as they are looking into storing excess wind energy as heat. And also as the growing trend in Passihaus buildings reduces the need for heating.

I don't know why you rely on intuition when the facts can be turned up by a quick google.
Perhaps they are not convenient to your preconceptions.

Although about one third of electricity is produced by wind, the country's use of this electricity is much lower. A 2009 report by Danish policy think tank CEPOS estimates that Denmark consumes around half of its wind-generated electricity on averageg,1. Wind power is heavily subsidized by Denmark but, because this power is exported at the spot price, the subsidies are effectively exported.'

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/Denmark/

If I were going to rely on intuition instead of proper research, then the fact that Denmark has some of the highest electricity prices in the world would provide a tip as to what is actually going on.

Seeing as how they can export electricity to Norway, Sweden and Germany which all have large hydro capacity it seems to me they're already storing it for later use.

Or they're deferring use (by deferring the consumption of water behind Swedish and Norwegian dams).

Denmark has the highest electric rates in Europe, and very dirty (in terms of both CO2 and ash production) power as well.  Neighboring Sweden has about 1/15 the per-kWh emissions of Denmark.  Sweden achieves this using hydro and... nuclear.

We'll see if Denmark can "make it work", or if they go broke first.

Yes Dave I do know how to google, in fact the world-nuclear.org thing was one of pages it found for me. The problem is it was ONLY one of the pages it found for me. Other pages had other opinions. I'm trying to separate the wheat from the chaff here, that's why I'm trying to keep the dialog going - to get more opinions. Your help in that is welcome.

Perhaps I am being a bit grumpy.
I always get prickly when people start talking about their intuition which IMO is only trotted out when even the person concerned knows that they have a flimsy or non-existent rational case, but want to sound as though they can still say something worthwhile.


One thing is almost certain: Pro-Nuke posters are and will be anti-wind and anti-solar clean energy and anti-H2 energy storage to spread solar-wind energy on a 24/7 basis and feed extended range very quick refill FCEVs.

In the long run, clean renewable solar energy together with Wind and hydro will replace most other energy sources. Improved nuclear energy may be the exception, specialy for base load, if cost and public acceptance can be better managed.

My intuition tells me I should forgive you. ;^)

One thing is almost certain: Pro-Nuke posters are and will be anti-wind and anti-solar clean energy

No, Harvey, you have this exactly backwards:  pro-"Green" advocates are anti-nuclear even at the cost of hugely increased GHG emissions.  They do this despite nuclear power's vastly superior record of cutting greenhouse gases and other pollutants.  Nuclear advocates cannot support wind and solar because those forces regard nuclear as THE enemy, worse than climate chaos.

If you actually want carbon emissions stopped, you cannot get behind ANY technology that cannot survive without fossil fuels backing it up.  This is where hydrogen comes in; it is supposed to be the replacement for natural gas.  But all the talk about hydrogen lacks serious discussion of the crucial factor for everything:  what will it cost?  If you are paying a feed-in tariff to wind generators, and using its excess generation to make hydrogen (at some low capacity factor, thus high capital cost per average kW) at a net energy loss, then paying to store this hydrogen... can you afford to drive your car on it?  Can you even afford to heat your house?

You can afford to heat your house with nuclear electricity.  That's what the Swedes do.

At this point, renewables are failing miserably even at affordable generation.  The Ivanpah CSP plant costs about $18,000 per average kilowatt.  The pricetag for the Vogtle plants is coming in at about a third of that.  It's clear which is affordable and which isn't remotely so.

Harvey D:

This pro nuclear poster supported solar for the last 40 years or so.

Where I differ from many of its advocates is that I support using it where it is sunny, which is far too picky for many to be bothered with.

Much of the world lives within 20 degrees or so of the equator, and solar can work really well there especially in rural areas, where it will enable billions to improve their lives.

What it does not do and can never do is substitute for nuclear power in northern latitudes.


What you really need for large scale solar to work is dry conditions, places with little cloud cover like deserts. The world's major deserts are actually located at about 30 degrees north & south of the equator but can reach as far as 40 degrees if the area is on the lee side of a mountain range. This includes quite a bit of the American southwest.

Pro-nuclear and pro-fossil fuels power plants posters seem to forget that those energy sources already got and are still getting huge direct and indirect subsidies.

Oil wars have cost USA over $30,000 billion USD ($17,000 billions for the last Irak war) in indirect subsidies in the last 30 years or so plus many $$ billions in direct subsidies.

Nuclear industries received huge subsidies for decades.

With the same subsidies, solar and wind energies cost could be as low as the energy produced by the non-sustainable sources.

Another way to level the playing field would be to apply appropriate compensations such as:

1) $100/tonne on GHG produced by CPPs and NGPPs and/
2) $0.05/kWh in a clean up fund for nuclear wastes disposal.

That way, future clean energy + storage could become cheaper than CPPs, NGPPs and Nuke power plants.

@Harvey,
Let RE be used for making synthetic fuels, and new nuclear SMR be used to replace the coal burner in coal power plants. This will result in the lowest-cost GHG-free energy.

I think intermittent, non-dispatchable RE sources will find their best use in environmental remediation, such as creating carbon sinks.  If people are relying on them to supply immediate needs, they'll turn to FFs whenever the RE isn't available.

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