It seems that the desire to share experiences and knowledge about hydrogen has not diminished during this time. After the break caused by the pandemic, events related to hydrogen are stronger than ever and occupy a relevant place. In this sense, CIDAUT has had the opportunity to attend several of those that have already taken place and those that are coming soon.
Experts from more than 40 companies analysed the levers of renewable hydrogen on 30 March in Gasnam. José Ignacio Domínguez attended this session representing CIDAUT and all of attendees agreed that hydrogen can contribute to Spain reaching its climate objectives, although it will be necessary to break down some barriers. They talked about increasing the intensity of the funding included in the national calls for proposals and removing some obstacles, such as, for example, receiving funding against final certification. The need to categorise the project as R&D&I by a certifier, to extend the object of the subsidy to network injection projects and to blending in combustion engines was also mentioned. The need to develop a regulatory framework that allows renewable hydrogen to be treated as a fuel of general interest and not just as a mere chemical product was discussed. Another of the barriers discussed was that the injection of hydrogen into the grid is a necessary lever, and therefore the implementation of real experiences to validate the technology should be promoted. Among other barriers, the urgency of the implementation of the Guarantees of Origin mechanism for renewable gases was also mentioned.
Last 4th of May a Practical Workshop on the PERTE on Energy, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (PERTE ERHA) took place in CIDAUT. In this workshop, representatives of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) through IDAE (Santiago González Herráiz) and CIUDEN (Miguel Angel Delgado) informed about the recent PERTE ERHA call. On behalf of CIDAUT, Jose Ignacio Dominguez made a presentation about the Future of H2 technologies and CIDAUT’s developments and Alvaro Villarino presented the Centratec3 Programme. The event was held both in person and online and was followed by more than 30 regional entities, which indicates the interest in this topic.
Last but not least, the European Hydrogen Energy Conference(EHEC 2022) will be held in Madrid on 18, 19 and 20 May. This conference is the European conference of reference in the field of hydrogen energy. EHEC was identified in Spain’s 2020 Hydrogen Roadmap as one of the measures to position Spain as a benchmark for these technologies in Europe. EHEC provides an excellent framework for upgrading hydrogen energy technologies. It will bring together the latest advances in research and business related to hydrogen.
On this edition, CIDAUT will participate with two oral presentations and a poster. Additionally, CIDAUT will be part of the Side Event organised by the Spanish Hydrogen Technology Platform, which will be attended by Jose Ignacio Dominguez. Miguel Castaños will speak on “Multi-zone thermodynamic model for the design of piston compressors for hydrogen at high pressures” and Elena Castilla will present on “Analysis of the integration of bioethanol production plants with bioethanol steam reforming processes to produce hydrogen”. The poster by Marcos Sánchez will deal with “Effect of air temperature on steady-state ammonia combustion by diffusion”.
CIDAUT is one of the research entities participating in the Zeppelin industrial research project, which aims to develop efficient and circular technological solutions for the production and storage of green hydrogen. The project aims to use innovation to reduce the current costs of renewable fuel production.
Led by the company Aqualia, Zeppelin has the participation of other actors in the hydrogen sector such as Redexis, Naturgy, Norvento, Perseo, Reganosa, Técnicas Reunidas and Repsol.
The general objectives of the project are to research new green hydrogen production technologies that are alternatives to electrolysis and that promote the circular economy through the recovery of waste and by-products from different sectors (agri-food, textiles, WWTPs, refineries, etc.).
Currently, 96% of the hydrogen produced in the world comes from fossil fuels and only 1% from renewable sources. Spain’s Hydrogen Roadmap calls for 25% of the hydrogen consumed by industry to be renewable by 2030, which will begin to power our trains, planes and vehicles. The Zeppelin project will contribute to achieving these Roadmap targets.
New materials and carriers for storing green hydrogen and modelling tools for the different technologies developed will also be evaluated. All of this, aligned with the objective of reducing the energy, economic and environmental costs associated with current hydrogen production and promoting safe, efficient and clean energy.
Within Activity 4: Research into H2 storage processes, led by Redexis, CIDAUT will collaborate in the research into alternative storage processes for green hydrogen in the form of ammonia. A comparative study with other forms of H2 storage will be carried out and a process for H2 storage in form of ammonia adapted to production and use needs will be dimensioned.
Zeppelin is funded by the Centre for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI), through the CDTI Missions programme, aimed at financing large strategic business R&D initiatives that propose solutions to cross-cutting and strategic challenges for Spanish society and with the support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. It has a budget of more than 7 million euros and the research will last until the end of 2024.The budget granted is financed by the European Union through the Next Generation Fund.
In our commitment to fight climate change, Cidaut is contributing to European Commission’s ambitious policies framed in Green Deal Initiative. The European Climate Pact is an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build greener Europe. This initiative is based on connecting and sharing knowledge, learning about climate change, and developing, implementing and scaling up solutions.
In this frame, Cidaut, together with 46 partners, participates in Probono European project. The vision of Probono is to create a people-focused European construction industry that works with a community of stakeholders to create sustainable positive and zero-carbon emitting green buildings and neighbourhoods. The consortium consists of construction actors, public asset service mangers, municipalities, technology solutions providers and experts to transform six European districts into green buildings and neighbourhoods.
The six districts are located in Madrid, Dublin, Aarhus, Brussels, Porto and Prague, where living labs will be implemented to validate Probono’s innovations. The living labs will provide experimentation and innovation environment and will allow testing different solutions for sustainable buildings, circular economy, material up-grading and electromobility. These solutions will be implemented in the coming five years.
The project will provide strong examples of green buildings and neighbourhoods’ technological and social innovation implementation by focusing on building infrastructure and exploiting digitalisation and smart technologies. Probono will create green buildings and neighbourhoods Strategic Planning Tools and provide evidence-based policy recommendations, standardisation actions, and robust adoption and commercialisation strategies. Project work will engage citizens in co-designing and co-delivering sustainable GBNs.
The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project PROBONO (GA #101037075)
Last 27th October 2021, the follow-up meeting of the MEDUSA 300 Phase I Project took place in the offices of the General Sub-Directorate for Planning, Technology and Innovation (SDG PLATIN) of the Ministry of Defence. The members of the MEDUSA Joint Venture, together with their collaborator the Fluid Physics Laboratory of the UNED, satisfactorily presented the results achieved related to the scaling, the optimisation of components and the design of 1 kW technological demonstrators. MEDUSA Joint Venture is a temporary union of companies constituted by the CIDAUT Foundation and JALVASUB Engineering to carry out the Phase I of the MEDUSA 300 Project.
The milestone reached is of great importance for the development of the next phases of the Project. It means having demonstrated the national technological and industrial capacity required to start, with all the guarantees and without risk, the manufacture of the PEM fuel cell demonstrators. This demonstration is intended to be on the real scale required for the S-80 submarine and with functional features achieved that even exceed those specified in the project.
This project will develop the fuel cell system for the AIP S-80 Spanish submarines, which will be based on the innovative design of the ULPHE-PEM (Ultra-Light Platinum Content High Efficient- PEM Fuel Cell). The ULPHE-PEM fuel cell is a new generation of polymeric fuel cells, which can operate both at low and high temperatures, and which is based on a completely Spanish-patented technology, more efficient and with lower weight, volume, and cost than those presently existing on the market.
The Spanish Railway Technology Platform (PTFE), whose technical secretariat is provided by the Spanish Railways Foundation, held its 16th Annual Assembly at the headquarters of the Spanish Railways Foundation on 17 November. This year the assembly returned to its normal on-site format. The meeting was chaired by Enrique Playán, Director of the Spanish Research Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and José Carlos Domínguez Curiel, Manager of the Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles.
Within the framework of the European Year of the Railway, the PTFE focused its debate on national and international R&D&I strategies, support instruments for the sector and the disruptive innovation vectors that will drive the railway mode in its consolidation as the backbone of sustainable, connected and safe mobility.
As usual in the PTFE Annual Assembly, the meeting included a specific session for the exhibition of innovative projects that ratify the capabilities of the ecosystem and have a positive impact on the competitiveness of the sector. Technology developments and new elements were presented by leading researchers and experts from different organisations.
On behalf of CIDAUT, Alfonso Horrillo contributed with the advances being made on renewable ammonia and bioethanol as hydrogen carriers in the railway. These developments will go deeper into the possibilities that the use of this energy will favour even more the energy efficiency that characterises the railway mode.
The 16th Annual Assembly ended with the presentation of the innovation strategies of two of the benchmark driving forces for the Spanish railway sector: RENFE and ADIF. The significant impact on the decline in rail transport caused by COVID-19, the liberalisation process, the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the development of ERJU (Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking), etc., have led to a review of the strategies of railway operators and managers in which the commitment to innovation is going to be a transcendental factor.
The most relevant innovation strategies and projects (own, collaborative and win win) were presented by Pilar Gorriz, Renfe’s Innovation Manager and José Conrado Martínez, Deputy Director of Innovation, both of whom explained their open approach to collaboration in the development of their innovation with the sector. Their organisations have a high potential to lead and undertake competitive and business processes that involve bringing innovations to the market with a greater potential for success.
Last November, two relevant events took place at national and European level in the field of energy and hydrogen, which CIDAUT had the opportunity to attend.
On 16, 17 and 18 November, the 24th edition of the Energy and Environment Fair, GENERA, was held in Madrid. The Spanish Hydrogen Association, AeH2, organised on 16 November, in collaboration with the Spanish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (PTE HPC), the conference ‘Green Hydrogen: towards a sustainable energy system’, which was attended by CIDAUT.
This day began with a brief welcome by Miguel Peña, secretary of AeH2, followed by a short introduction by Javier Brey, president of the Association, who began by stating that “interest in hydrogen in Spain is growing exponentially, not only in industry, but also among the population. This interest is more than justified due to the great potential of these technologies to move towards the decarbonisation of our economy”.
Subsequently, two round tables were held with the presence of representatives from the main entities involved in the hydrogen sector. The first round table, with the participation of Carlos de la Cruz Molina, Director of Evaluation and Technological Cooperation of the CDTI, and Santiago González, Head of Renewable Hydrogen in the Department of Regulatory Framework and Corporate Strategy of the IDAE, debated hydrogen as a reactivator of the economy. The second round table was entitled: “Accelerating the development of hydrogen in Spain”. It was attended by the directors and heads of the hydrogen areas of the AeH2 promoter partners.
At European level, the European Hydrogen Week 2021 (EHW 2021) was held in Brussels from 29 November to 3 December. In this edition a hybrid organisation between on-site and online was chosen. CIDAUT attended virtually to the different presentations that took place.
The Week discussed the tremendous opportunities associated with the production and use of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels in the different sectors of the economy and how hydrogen will play a key role in the European Green Deal. The EHW2021 marked the public launch of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership – as the successor of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). This edition featured sessions on the future research and deployment priorities for Clean Hydrogen as well the FCH JU Programme Review Days and the FCH JU Awards. The week will also saw the third European Clean Hydrogen Alliance Forum uniting its 1500 members. Topics covered the entire value chain needed to realise the hydrogen economy, scaling-up production, infrastructure, and end-use sectors, research and innovation priorities as well as skills and education.