As the logistics and transportation sectors continue their slow shift from fossil fuels to electric power, some industry voices are saying that the success of the effort will hinge on generating that electricity from hydrogen, in addition to other fossil and renewable sources.
In England, the zero-emission vehicle maker Tevva Motors Ltd. says that the U.K. Hydrogen Strategy estimates that to meet Net Zero aims for the decarbonization of industry, power, heat, and transport by 2050, hydrogen will need to make up 20-35% of the nation’s final energy demand.
That effort will be particularly important in the transportation sector, since around one fifth of global CO2 emissions comes from trucks, the firm said. But before those fleets can be electrified, they will to clear hurdles like the lack of hydrogen refueling stations, the fact that most fleet operators have no experience of hydrogen, and likewise, many hydrogen suppliers have no experience of truck fleets, Tevva’s Head of Hydrogen, Harsh Pershad, said in a whitepaper.
One company investing in solutions to those challenges is the French firm Lhyfe, a renewable hydrogen producer that started construction this week on its third green hydrogen production site, in partnership with AREC Occitanie. The Regional Energy & Climate Agency (AREC) develops solutions to encourage communities and businesses to make the French area of Occitanie the first positive energy region by 2050.
Funded 80% by Lhyfe and 20% by AREC Occitanie, the facility in Bessières (Haute-Garonne) will follow other generation sites in Pays de la Loire (Bouin, Vendée) and in Brittany (Buléon, Morbihan).
Lhyfe Occitanie plans to promote a short supply chain plan, with energy produced and consumed locally, including deliveries within a radius of 200 kilometres. That approach is intended to help meet the green and renewable hydrogen needs of industry—such as aeronautics and equipment manufacturing—transport/logistics providers, and other local authorities in the area wishing to decarbonize their mobility and/or processes.
“Lhyfe Occitanie will be our first achievement in the South of France,” Maud Augeai, head of territorial development France at Lhyfe, said in a release. “We are fully focused on its realization in order to deliver the first kilos of green and renewable hydrogen from the end of 2023, and enable the transportation of tons of goods and thousands of people in the region without emitting CO2. As our plant is modular and scalable, it will adapt to the growth in uses in the coming months and years.”