Editor’s note: No mention is made how Air Liquide will product the hydrogen needed for the 400 stations. Proposals for similar stations in the U.S. would produce the gas on demand from electrolyzers, ideally powered by wind turbines.
Air Liquide, together with its partners of the “H2 Mobility” initiative, has signed a term- sheet agreement to implement a major action plan for the construction of a nationwide hydrogen-filling-station network in Germany. By 2023, the current German network of 15 hydrogen filling stations will be expanded to about 400 hydrogen stations covering the whole country. The overall investment by all partners will be around €350 million.
This will ensure a need-related supply for the fuel cell electric vehicles available to the market in the coming years. A first step will be the deployment of 100 hydrogen stations in Germany over the next 4 years.
Since 2010, Air Liquide has been a partner of the “H2 Mobility” initiative, aimed at evaluating and contributing to the development of a hydrogen infrastructure in Germany, to support the mass production of fuel cell electric vehicles. In 2012, Air Liquide opened its first hydrogen station for the general public in DuI^sseldorf, Germany. The Group is also a partner of comparable initiatives in Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland as well as in Japan.
Air Liquide runs the entire supply chain of hydrogen, from production to storage, distribution, and use by the end consumer. In the last decade, the Group has built more than 60 hydrogen stations in the world. The stations fill vehicles with gaseous hydrogen in less than 5 min.
Alongside the automotive industry, the company supplies hydrogen for forklift truck fleets for logistics warehouses in France, Canada, and the US, as well as for municipal bus fleets.
“This agreement represents a major step forward in the construction of a hydrogen filling infrastructure in Germany and beyond in Europe,” says FrancIssois Darchis, Senior VP and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee. “Hydrogen contributes to the challenges of sustainable mobility: reducing greenhouse gases and local pollution in our cities, and thus ultimately to the preservation of the environment.”
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It might be so thar electrolizers – so far – is not as efficient as other ways of producing hydrogen but it is still better than wasting the windpower energi produced at nighttime when demand is so low that prices go into negative!
Electrolysis is a very inefficient way of making hydrogen. It takes a lot of electricity, and while I’m sure wind farms can help produce that electricity I doubt it will generate enough power to fuel the damand the article talks about. Also, the cells used to generate hydrogen through electrolysis are constructed of chemicals so nasty that nobody in the United States is willing to build them. Only poor labor in third world countries will take on the job.
What all of the hydrogen fanatics don’t realize is that the most cost effective way of making hydrogen is through steam-methane reformation. This requires a large source of methane and an abundant amount of steam. Of course steam is heated water, so you need a heat source, and the most economical way of making steam is through fossil fuels. So switching to hydrogen cars still doesn’t get you free of fossil fuels. Even if you can get a good portion of the population hooked on hydrogen cars by generating the hydrogen with electrolysis, it would just be a matter of time before someone would come along and try to get a big piece of market share through cheaper hydrogen that is produced by SMR. If hydrogen cars were so great, we would all be driving one by now. The only people buying hydrogen cars today are governments that use taxpayer dollars to buy them and thus don’t care what they cost.