Last July, the kick-off meeting of the COLHIBRI project was held at the CIDAUT facilities. The meeting was attended by the project partners: COGERSA, IMASA TECHNOLOGIES (IMATECH); Ingeniería y Biogás, S.L. (Inbiogas); JALVASUB Engineering SL and CIDAUT Foundation as coordinator.
The general objective of this project is to develop new systems for the production of electrical and thermal energy based on H2 technologies that constitute a more efficient and cleaner alternative to current cogenerations based on ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). It is also intended that, within the solutions based on H2 technologies, the proposed interaction between them will allow an advantageous solution to be obtained in terms of both investment and operating costs. The strategic objectives consider enhancing the transition towards the circular economy and creating more efficient ways for the production of renovable H2 from biogas, as well as increasing the available supply of renewable H2 and decarbonising the waste treatment industry (WWTP, landfills, anaerobic digestion of waste, etc.).
The kick-off meeting served to officially start research on each of the subsystems that make up the mobile research laboratory that will eventually integrate the complete system consisting of the biogas treatment system, the reforming system for obtaining H2 and the high-temperature PEM stack that will use the H2 obtained. The consortium was convened for an upcoming meeting to start sharing the requirements of each of these subsystems.
During these months, work has also been carried out on the development of the project website (https://colhibri.es/), as well as on the presentation of the project at various dissemination events such as the Green Gas Mobility Summit in Madrid and the III Renewable Gas Exhibition (III Salón del Gas Renovable) in Valladolid.
This project, with file number PR-H2CVAL4-C1-2022-0054, has been approved in the first call corresponding to the “Incentive Programme 4: Basic-Fundamental Research Challenges, Innovative Pilots and Training in Key Enabling Technologies within the Incentive Programmes for the Innovative and Knowledge-based Renewable Hydrogen Value Chain”, included in the framework of the Incentive Programmes for the Innovative and Knowledge-based Renewable Hydrogen Value Chain in the Framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan – Funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.
In recent months, CIDAUT has participated in various conferences and congresses to discuss and disseminate CIDAUT’s vision of the current energy transition.
On 27 June, Alfonso Horrillo, head of CIDAUT’s Energy and Environment area, moderated the round table “Society and Energy Transition” at the 10th Sernauto Congress. He discussed the need to decarbonise mobility by using technologies that allow us to find the right solution for each type of mobility. To this end, we have the challenge of offering citizens sustainable and affordable mobility while maintaining the competitiveness of the industry.
The III OKGREEN Conference “Present and future of green hydrogen in Castilla y León” was held on 5 July in Valladolid, organised by Ok Diario and sponsored by DH2 Energy. José Ignacio Domínguez, head of Energy projects at the CIDAUT Foundation, participated by commenting on the importance of renewable hydrogen as a decarbonising energy vector. He also recalled that we are at the moment of implementing the new hydrogen economy, being necessary to continue with the technological development to reduce costs and increase the reliability of these hydrogen technologies.
Finally, CIDAUT also actively participated in the Green Gas Mobility Summit 2023, organised by GASNAM-Neutral Transport on 20 and 21 September in Madrid. This congress is the reference point for the use of renewable gases in the mobility sector in Spain. During this event, CIDAUT presented different initiatives in which it is working to introduce hydrogen in maritime and road transport. Some of these projects in which CIDAUT participates are: Hydromar project, NewBunker project, Zeppelin project and Colhibri project.
The presentation of Hydeal took place on 14 June at the Nexo Fundación Caja de Burgos building in the capital of Burgos. This project constitutes the largest integrated renewable and competitive hydrogen hub in the world, which will create a “new and clean industrial revolution”, and will be an “opportunity” for the economic development of Castilla y León. This was defined by the president of the Hydeal Ambition platform, Thierry Lepercqu, who unveiled this project at a business meeting in Burgos of the Castilla y León Hydrogen Association (H2CYL). CIDAUT, as a member of this association, had the opportunity to attend the meeting and share impressions with the attendees and the other members of the association.
Hydeal is a project that was born in Spain three years ago and is based on the generation of green hydrogen in Castilla y León for the production of green steels, fertilisers and green ammonia. During the presentation of the project, the Hydeal representative explained that this project can be used in industrial developments or in mobility, and can “feed industrial parks”, which are “smaller consumers”, but thanks to this project they can “change their processes not only in a clean way, but also in a competitive way”. He stressed that one of the most important things about hydrogen is that it is “competitive”.
The meeting, which was attended by the Director General of Economic Policy and Competitiveness of the Junta de Castilla y León, Rosa Cuesta, the Director General of Industry of the Junta de Castilla y León, Jesús Jimenez and representatives of the Regional Energy Entity and the Directorate General of Infrastructures and Environmental Sustainability, brought together more than 70 attendees from 50 different companies, both from the Region and from outside it.
The meeting took the opportunity to host the first meeting of the associates of the Castilla y León Hydrogen Association (H2CYL), including CIDAUT. This meeting aimed to “promote consumption generation projects and technological development in the field of renewable hydrogen”, as explained by its president, Rafael Barbero.
The Automotive Cluster of Castilla y León, FaCyL, as part of the activities programmed by the Think Tank ‘Retos de Futuro de la Automoción de Castilla y León’ of the sectorial brand Polo de la Automoción, brought together around twenty experts on June 8. The objective was to share knowledge and develop a strategic vision on the roadmap for the sustainability of this ecosystem on the occasion of the celebration of Environment Day. This collaborative activity seeks to draw a strategic path for companies in the community in this area.
CIDAUT’s participation, led by José Ignacio Domínguez, from the Energy and Environment area, provided the vision of a technology centre with extensive experience in the automotive sector. Sustainability is one of the key lines of research, both from the point of view of the circular economy of the materials used, and from the perspective of efficiency and zero emissions from the propulsion systems of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cells vehicles. This activity provided an insight into how automotive companies in the autonomous community are facing the challenges involved in adapting to the manufacturing process of new vehicle models that are more environmentally friendly. In addition, the dynamic has also made it possible to exchange experiences on how companies see the new mobility and what actions can be developed to achieve a better understanding between all the actors involved in this challenge.
Last June CIDAUT had the opportunity to participate in several events around H2 at European and national level.
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Community and the ETSI de Minas y Energía of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid organised the Hydrogen Storage Conference on 6 June in the auditorium of the ETSI de Minas y Energía to find out which technologies are being used in industry and which are being worked on in research centres to implement them in the near future.
After the official inauguration by the Rector of the UPM, the Director General of Energy Policy and Mines of MITERD and the President of Hydrogen Europe Research, the day was organised into two round tables. The first aimed to offer a more business-oriented view of current hydrogen storage technologies with the participation of representatives from Naturgy, Navantia, Airburs, Aciturri and Enagas. The second round table focused on Innovation in hydrogen storage. At this round table there were interventions by representatives of the CSIC, CIEMAT, the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation and the ETSI of Mines and Energy of the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Continuing with the hydrogen events in Madrid, the following day the Hydrogen Europe Research (HER) General Assembly took place at the ETSII School of Industrial Engineering of the UPM. The meeting took place in a hybrid format, both online and in person, and was attended by more than 123 organisations from 29 countries across Europe. During the General Assembly, Hydrogen Europe Research provided an update on the activities of the Board of Directors, welcomed 23 new members, promoted its communication, policy and competence activities and presented the latest developments of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership. Luigi Crema, as chairman of HER, anticipated some future projects, such as the launch of a Working Group on Low TRL Research, and a Working Group on Research and Technology Infrastructures. CIDAUT attended in person and had the opportunity to exchange views and greet members in person.
Finally, and continuing with events organised by HER, CIDAUT presented part of its activity in the framework of H2 transport at the “Meet our members” event on H2 carriers, showing our projects and capabilities. This session took place on 31 May and was attended by many members of the association’s research community.
One of the most important challenges that the building sector faces is the reduction of energy consumption throughout the entire life cycle, i.e. from the manufacture of building elements, through their useful life, to their demolition. So much so that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that buildings consume approximately 40% of the world’s energy, 25% of the world’s water and 40% of the world’s resources; moreover, buildings are responsible for approximately 1/3 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In Europe alone, more than 220 million existing buildings – approximately 75 per cent of the building stock – are energy inefficient indeed, many of them rely on fossil fuels for heating and cooling.
In view of the construction sector is responsible for more than 35% of the EU’s total waste generation, one of the main promising measures to tackle the high CO2 emissions of this sector and move towards a more circular economy is to encourage the use of secondary materials.
Faced with this situation, the CIDAUT Foundation takes part in PROBONO project, a European project in which the implementation of the circular economy in this sector is essential. In this line, the CIDAUT Foundation is going to use recycled materials in insulation and structural applications to achieve more sustainable and efficient buildings. This will avoid the use of materials of fossil origin as well as introduce recyclable and lightweight materials.
One of the strategies for reducing the heating and cooling demands is to focus on improving the insulation properties of building envelopes, in addition to enhancing the efficiency of appliances or modifying citizen life styles. The first action plays a decisive role, as it can lead to significant improvements with a short payback period. This action is aligned with the European strategy of introducing more efficient and environmentally friendly materials. This is why the PROBONO project is working on the implementation of insulating as well as sustainable materials and processes.