The state of hydrogen fueling infrastructure

Key take-aways from PitPoint's presentation at gasworld Europe


On April 24, Oskar Voorsmit, Senior Business Development Manager at PitPoint clean fuels delivered a presentation on the state of hydrogen fueling infrastructure at gasworld’s Europe Conference 2018 in Amsterdam. Day one of this event on clean energies was dedicated to tackling the evolving hydrogen economy in Europe.

“We see hydrogen as a very strong fuel for future possibilities for several reasons. The main one is that it gives us the opportunity to decarbonise our energy system and for us that means decarbonise transport. But equally important, it also gives us the opportunity to accomplish our targets regarding clean air,” Oskar Voorsmit told the international audience, as quoted here by gasworld.

Oskar’s main message to the industry stakeholders: To make hydrogen competitive as a fuel for mobility we must and can bring down the costs by collaborating and innovating throughout the entire value chain.

“We need to innovate, which some of us here are doing, but we also need to get those cars and those buses on the road,” thus Oskar in another gasworld article.

H2 enabler for the energy transition

In his presentation, Oskar explained why hydrogen fueling infrastructure can serve as an enabler for the energy transition. In the future, the availability of energy will no longer be the issue anymore. The likes of wind and solar are renewable sources of energy which are becoming increasingly competitive with fossil energy.

The challenge will be to distribute intermittent forms of energy in place and time. This is where hydrogen or ‘H2’ comes in. H2 can be produced through power (electrons) and water. Being a molecule, it can be used to store and transport energy. Moreover, it can be used as a fuel for fuel cell electric vehicles to enable zero-emission driving: mobility without any harmful emissions.

value chain: challenges

Why is hydrogen not a competitive fuel option yet? According to Oskar, the required infrastructure is expensive in part because the technology is not mature enough. And components are not yet produced in great numbers. But solving the technology issue is not enough. “We need to go further. Every stakeholder in the hydrogen value chain must play its part.”

“At PitPoint, we design, finance, build, maintain and operate filling stations for clean fuels. Using our CNG experience of more than 10 years, we believe that we can make an important contribution to bringing down the costs of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Also, we understand the need for constant innovation, and collaboration with partners. Both critical factors to achieve our vision of 100 percent clean transport from 2030.”

Expanding global hydrogen hot spots

In conclusion, Oskar called out the need to expand the four H2 mobility hot spots in the world: California, Germany, Japan and South Korea. In his view, the answer to the question whether these hot spots will grow into one global hot spot is twofold.

“Conditions are looking good: There is a strong sense of urgency with the Paris climate accord. And renewable energy, the basis for a sustainable hydrogen economy, is getting cheaper by the day. But the truth is that it is really up to us, to everyone in the hydrogen value chain, to innovate and scale up in order to put in place fueling infrastructure that makes hydrogen commercially attractive.”

For a comprehensive summary of all sessions on day one of gasworld’s Europe Conference 2018 read these two articles: The digest from the ‘Dam: Calls to action from hydrogen stakeholders and Day one of gasworld’s Europe Conference 2018 closes.