CHBC Development Specialist – F-Cell, IEA Hydrogen Task 39 Maritime Meeting, Clean Air Action Plan Advisory Meeting, CHBC Ports Workshop, NorCal CleanTech Forum

Cory Shumaker, Development Specialist, wanted to share a number of key issues with the hydrogen and fuel cell community.

 F-Cell Conference on September 18-19 in Stuttgart, Germany

The hydrogen and fuel cells market is accelerating in regions around the world in a variety market sectors. Last month at the F-Cell Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, large industry players and some of the world’s leading nations in hydrogen came together to discuss the latest updates in fuel cell technology and projects. This summer, Daimler announced the closure of its fuel cell stack development joint venture with Ford, the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation based in Canada. Both companies will begin fuel cell stack development in-house. The release of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell one year ago was met with much enthusiasm and excitement from the global fuel cell car community, which is lacking a luxury car option. However, this excitement was short lived with a very small number of GLC F-Cells scheduled to be produced and most will not see global markets outside of Germany. Daimler will complete a low number single production run of these vehicles and abandon the model. BMW is looking at providing fuel cell system components to the heavy duty market but has no plans to release a fuel cell passenger car within the next 3 years. Volkswagen has doubled down on EVs after dieselgate with Electrify America, which did nothing but add to their sales with a record setting year in 2017, and 2018 scheduled to be another record year with 7.3 million vehicles delivered in the first eight months of this year already.

Audi (owned by VW) is the only German car brand investing in fuel cell vehicles with a 3.5 year agreement with Canadian fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems, as well as, their collaboration with Hyundai on fuel cell technology. Audi is scheduled to release its h-tron quattro concept in 2020, with the production run number unknown. Germany can be proud of the world’s largest PEM electrolyzer at 10MW, which will be instated at Shell’s Rhineland Refinery, and the 100 hydrogen fuel passenger trains to be deployed in the country, with the first already in revenue service in Bremervorde, Germany and 14 going to Lower Saxony by 2021. Ballard and Siemens have reached an agreement to work together on passenger trains in addition to the 100 Alstom trains.

One country that has been on everyone’s mind in the hydrogen industry lately is Norway. The wealthy Nordic country continues to push forward with its ambitious fuel cell maritime vessel and renewable hydrogen production plans. There is huge potential for electrolyzed hydrogen produced from both on and off shore wind power amounting to 100 Terawatt hours by 2050. Due to the large costs of connecting remote windy areas of Norway to the electrical grid, electrolyzing, storing and transporting hydrogen is an economically viable solution for energy storage and distribution. Norway and Sweden now have a Green Certificate Market to exchange renewable electricity and credits. Norway is already a net energy exporter, producing 10X the amount of energy consumed. Looking at the large demand of hydrogen required for Japan, Norway is working with Kawasaki on large-scale liquid hydrogen transport between the northern part of Norway, through the melted polar ice area, to Japan. Starting in 2025 Norway will be able to export one full Kawasaki liquid hydrogen carrier per week. Researchers at SINTEF in Trondheim, Norway are focusing on renewable hydrogen production from wind and the potential for hydrogen pipelines stretching from Norway into mainland Europe in 2025. With the mandate for all fjords to be “zero emission zones” by 2026 the effort to build battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell ferries by shipbuilders is increasing. The case for hydrogen fuel cells on ferries is an easy one to make for the longer routes that would require 55 tons of batteries compared to 10 tons of hydrogen and fuel cells. On a vessel, weight means a lot and similar to heavy duty trucks the more payload capacity the better for business. The first hydrogen ferry car crossing will operate the crossing of Hjelmeland-Nesvik starting in 2021 and will use liquid hydrogen onboard storage. High speed passenger ferry concepts are being developed next year. Both the oil and gas platform service vessels and fishing vessels are under feasibility studies for using hydrogen and fuel cells. There is a potential for up to 40 hydrogen ships (passenger ferries, car crossing ferries) in the next 15 years. The Norwegian government created an ocean strategy with three centers of expertise: maritime, subsea, and seafood. All three centers are looking at incorporating hydrogen solutions. The shipping industry in Norway is ready to use large scale hydrogen solutions, MW size.

Global freight is expected to double by 2050, regions and countries around the world are looking for zero and near-zero emissions solutions. Thirty-nine percent of global transport emissions are from trucks. Nikola is looking to take advantage of this with their Nikola Two, expected to have 450-700mi range with a 240kW fuel cell and 125-250kW battery pack and 80kg of hydrogen onboard. Norwegian company Nel will be providing the stations starting with a 1-ton/day station in 2018. Fueling the Nikola Two will take 80kg of hydrogen, in 10 minutes according to Nel. Nikola will own four 8-ton/day hydrogen stations provided by Nel, scalable up to 32-ton/day at 70MPa fast fueling by 2021. All the hydrogen for the Nikola trucks will be produced renewably via electrolysis. Hyundai has been quiet on heavy duty until last month when it announced the sale of 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell heavy duty box trucks to Switzerland consortium H2 Mobility Switzerland Association. The trucks will be deployed in stages starting in 2019 and finishing by 2023. The fuel cell system produces 190kW of power and has a range of about 250 miles. Infrastructure to support these trucks will be built by H2 Energy with an expected 50 stations required.

The rollout of hydrogen vehicles in China over the next few years will be mostly trucks and buses. The government is subsidizing the buildout of hydrogen infrastructure with 4 million RMB per station. Currently there are 12 hydrogen stations operating in China, with 27 under construction. In the past two years the major fuel cell companies (Hydrogenics, Ballard, and PowerCell) all have started offices and operations in China. China has its eye on becoming the world leader in fuel cell stack manufacturing with the help of foreign IP. They are expecting to produce 2 million fuel cell stacks per year by 2020, going into vehicles and trucks. China also expects 100 hydrogen stations and 10,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2020.

The global buzzword around hydrogen right now is sector coupling. Producing hydrogen through renewables for both the energy sector (grid balancing, gas grid decarbonization, etc.) and transportation sector (mainly commercial vehicles). Hydrogen will allow for the decarbonization of the transportation and energy sectors around the world.

Blockchain will change the way hydrogen is bought and sold on a global market. It allows sellers to set specific prices for different customers and buyers to state what they’re willing to pay. This will greatly enable the quick distribution of hydrogen to large companies using it for their manufacturing process, all the way down to nonprofits and schools needing free hydrogen.

IEA Hydrogen Task 39 Maritime Meeting on September 20-21st in Trieste, Italy

The International Energy Association created Task 39, an expert group around the topic of hydrogen used in ports and maritime in 2017. Their goal is to produce white papers on the requirements for hydrogen in ports. The group meets twice a year, in March and September, at different international locations. In September, the group met in Trieste, Italy in order to get a tour of the Wärtsilä ship engine factory, where they have integrated the use of hydrogen into their combustion engines as a 30/70 mix with diesel.

The two-day meeting consisted of a conference style program with presentations from stakeholders in the hydrogen ports and maritime sector providing updates on their work. DNV-GL says there will be a 32% rise in overseas trade between 2016-2030. At the same time the IMO stated this year that greenhouse gases from ships will have to be reduced by 50% by 2050. Drivers for fuel cells in shipping are reduced vibrations, political regulations, reduced fuel consumption and maintenance. The challenges for fuel cells in maritime are: regulations, access to fuel, on board storage, safety and costs.

Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilding company, has been using fuel cells for 15 years, starting with a submarine. They recently have performed a concept study for the use of fuel cells on a cruise ship. The challenge is that energy density of hydrogen is 3 times less than conventional fuels, resulting in 4.5 times more tank volume. It will take 50MW of fuel cells to provide power for propulsion on cruise ships. Shipbuilders need regulatory framework to design the ships of the future. Typically designing and constructing a ship takes 4 years. With regard to development of standards for hydrogen and fuel cells used on vessels, DNV-GL has written the requirements for fuel cell installations on ships. For the IMO code there are still a lot of questions to be answered for liquified hydrogen and some for compressed hydrogen. DNV-GL provides information to the IMO and is not yet confident in prescribing standards for hydrogen on ships since there is so much unknown and very little experience. It took 13 years for LNG to be added to the IMO code, the timeline for hydrogen must be shorter.

The FCH JU has funded four projects with hydrogen in maritime: PURE (fuel cell for APUs), MARANDA (fuel cell for research vessel positioning), BIG HIT (a large multi-sector project in the Orkney Islands), and HySeas III (fuel cell propulsion sea-going ferry). In January, the FCH JU will be releasing two new calls for projects involving mid-size passenger ferries, inland freight, fuel cells for dockside power, and next generation fuel cell propulsion systems for waterborne transport of 55+MW.

At the end of the meeting, the Port of Treiste presented their sustainability projects, with other ports in the Adriatic Sea, funded by the EU. They will test hybrid passenger vessels in the Adriatic Sea, which has 20 cruise ports and 40 ferry ports. The next IEA Hydrogen Task 39 Maritime meeting will be held on March 18-19th at Boldrewood Innovation Campus, University of Southampton, UK. For more information and to request to attend the next meeting you can email Ingrid Schjolberg at

Clean Air Action Plan Advisory Meeting on September 26th in Long Beach, CA.

The Clean Air Action Plan created by the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in 2006 was recently updated in 2017. This year the CAAP working group, consisting of representatives from the two ports, are conducting quarterly meetings to provide an update to the objectives, targets and work plans while soliciting feedback from the community and stakeholders.

On September 26th, the Q3 meeting was held at the POLB headquarters near the Long Beach airport. In regards to the Clean Truck Program, an initial feasibility study will be completed by 2019 on the capability of the port switching to zero emission trucks by 2035, with an initial study completed and will be released for public comment in November 2018. For achieving zero emission cargo equipment by 2030, a separate feasibility study will be performed. OEMs of cargo equipment have been surveyed and an initial study has been performed with release for public comment occurring in December. The deployment of near zero emission trucks will be on the road by the end of this year. The ports want to rollout a large zero emission truck deployment pilot project with 50-100 trucks. To do this they are surveying various trucking fleets in the area for their feedback, issuing an RFI to OEMS, conducted a workgroup meeting in mid-October and will be putting together a scope of work/concept paper in Q4 2018. The next steps will be putting out an RFP to OEMs in Q1 2019, making funding awards, monitoring progress and issuing progress reports. The ports put out an RFP for at-berth technologies, looking for more shoreside power since pollution from this source is a major issue. CARB is proposing amendments to current regulation to increase requirements for ships in port, adding requirements for Ro-Ros and Tankers, as well as proposing that 100% of TRUs be plugged-in. CARB is talking with POLA to see if it’s feasible. The Technology Advancement Program, as part of the CAAP, will be putting out an RFP for at-berth systems for alternative emissions controls. Harbor craft and railroad are also heavy polluters. The release of the CAAP annual report with funding priorities is expected to be released in February 2019.

Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facility Funding Program by CARB resulted in POLB being awarded $50 million for 102 pieces of zero emissions equipment (33 battery-electric yard tractors by Dina with Transpower; 1 battery operated top handler; 5 battery electric trucks by Peterbuilt), 1 near zero emissions tug boat, 2 Tier 3 container ships, and public charging for trucks. The project included $52 million from public and private funding in addition to the grant. Operators for the project are SSA Marine, Shippers Transport Express (most moves of any trucking fleet), Matson, and Harley Marine. The port will be partnering with community colleges and high schools for workforce development.

POLA was awarded $41 million by CARB for a “Ship to Store” clean supply chain from ship to drayage truck to warehouse to final storefront. There will be 10 fuel cell electric Class 8 trucks in two waves of 5 from Toyota and Kenworth, each with a range of up to 400 miles of operation to the inland empire and Merced County. Routes will be between Port of Hueneme. There will be 2 new HD fueling stations one in Wilmington and one in Ontario as part of a network of 5 in total. The project combined $42 million from public and private partners in addition to the grant.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in Ports and Shipping Workshop on October 9-10th at Banning’s Landing Community Center in Port of Los Angeles, CA

In its third year, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in Ports and Shipping Workshop was held at Banning’s Landing Community Center on October 9-10th. The two-day program spent the first afternoon focused solely on the use of hydrogen and fuel cells on vessels, with the second day focused on the port side power needs and cargo handling equipment. It brought together a diverse speaker lineup from all over the world.

The Ports of Auckland, New Zealand and Valencia, Spain presented their plans for using hydrogen in and around their port. Representatives from France and Italy discussed the various fuel cell maritime projects going on in Europe funded by the FCH JU. The US hydrogen and fuel cell sector was also well represented with Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine presenting their hydrogen fuel cell ferry that will be operated by Red & White Fleet in San Francisco as soon as October 2019. Each of the two local ports, LA and Long Beach, shared their challenge with transitioning to zero emissions and challenged the hydrogen and fuel cell industry to come up with economically viable solutions for trucks and port equipment.

One stakeholder group that has been largely absent from the last two workshops is the community and environmental justice organizations. This year their needs and perspectives were highlighted on the Port Community Impact Panel. Both the hydrogen industry and the representatives from the community/environmental groups were educated on what solutions are available today and what education still needs to be done. A report of the workshop will be released in November with a webinar presenting the report likely in December.

NorCal CleanTech Forum and West Coast Collaborative Partners Meeting on October 17-18th, 2018 in Sacramento, CA

The NorCal CleanTech Forum and West Coast Collaborative Partners Meeting was held on October 17-18th in Sacramento, CA. Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD, stated the collaborative is about working together to enhance the available resources in reducing emissions and pollutants across the west coast of the US. With mobile sources accounting for 90% of emissions, the heavy duty sector is what the agency is focusing on. SCAQMD is working close with the EPA to get to a national goal.

California needs to reduce NOx by 45% by 2023 and that will only be happening through incentive funds. The Air Quality Management Plan by SCAQMD states $1-2 billion a year is needed to achieve the goals laid out by the Governor. Sam Wade, CARB, presented the change to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard: starting January 1, 2019 credits for hydrogen at stations will be accounted for by station capacity instead of the current method of reporting throughput. This will provide higher credit revenues for station operators.

Renewable diesel is increasing in supply, hydrogen is used in the process of production. Cynthia Marvin, CARB further discussed the need to shift from equality to equity with some groups getting more support than others as needed in achieving air quality goals. AB617, Community Air Protection Program, will help with that. CARB will be focusing more on zero emission TRUs, local trucks and ships at berth in 2019, and zero emission drayage trucks and cargo equipment in 2022. It is important that California move towards shore power at berth. Ships will be the top source of NOx in the near future, there needs to be more plug-ins available at more locations. CARB is looking for tighter restrictions on NOx, GHGs, and SOx from the IMO.

Heather Tomley, Port of Long Beach shared that they currently have 183 pieces of zero emissions equipment as of 2017 and will have 225 by 2020, which will then be 16% of all terminal equipment. The ports hope that there will be State funding to help them achieve the aggressive timelines for transition to zero emissions. She stated there needs to be broader deployments, such as a 50-100 zero emission pilot truck demonstrations, to understand the difficulties of a larger zero emission fleet and improving the workforce development to have the labor force ready.

Dan Yuska, US MARAD talked about the Maritime Environmental & Technical Assistance Program (META), which provides $3-4 million in funding annually. Projects involve public vessels owned by MARAD, private vessels under US registry and ports. More information on META can be found at:  Ben Sharpe, International Council on Clean Transportation, pointed out that there are 12 years left to hold off a 1.5 degree Celsius warming of the planet. On road vehicles make up 75% of the global CO2 emissions. It’s a critical time to act for the wellbeing of the planet and future generations.