September 22, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 150
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In episode 150, Siemens has a big announcement in Germany, and Loop Energy announces a fuel cell system that can directly take on diesel efficiency. All of this on today's hydrogen podcast.
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Siemens has a big announcement in Germany, and Loop Energy announces a fuel cell system that can directly take on diesel efficiency. All of this on today's hydrogen podcast.
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.
In a press release on September 14, Siemens commissions one of Germany's largest green hydrogen generation plants in Wunsiedel, Upper Franconia, one of Germany's largest green hydrogen generation plants, has been planted digitally and commissioned by Siemens. Demonstrating the key role hydrogen can play in Germany's energy future. Around one year after the official groundbreaking ceremony, Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder, Siemens Managing Board member Matthias Rebellius and Siemens Financial Services CEO Veronika Bienert handed over the plant to the operating company WUN H2, represented by Managing Directors Thilo Rießner and Philipp Matthes. Up to 1,350 tons of green hydrogen can now be generated annually from renewable solar and wind power in the Wunsiedel Energy Park. Hydrogen is generated by an electrolyzer – with a total capacity of 8.75 megawatts – from Siemens Energy’s latest and most powerful product line.
The “Silyzer 300” is based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology, which is optimally suited for operation with renewable energies. The hydrogen will be used primarily in the region’s industrial and commercial enterprises, but also in road transport. With this amount of hydrogen, 400 40-ton hydrogen-powered trucks could – assuming a regional distance of 150 kilometers per day – drive for an entire year without emitting any CO2. By using the hydrogen generated in Wunsiedel and the related replacement of fossil fuels, annual CO2 emissions can be cut by up to 13,500 tons. As general contractor, Siemens Smart Infrastructure is responsible for the construction of the hydrogen plant and the creation of an intelligently monitored and controlled power grid.
The customer for green hydrogen is the regional business community – encompassing everything from the glass and ceramics industry to transport companies, automotive suppliers and the neighboring sawmill. The hydrogen will be distributed by truck trailers on a decentralized basis to end customers mainly within a radius of around 150 to 200 kilometers (Northern Bavaria, Thuringia, Southern Saxony and Western Bohemia). In addition, following the construction of an H2 filling station at the Wunsiedel Energy Park, scheduled for completion in 2023, the regional fleet of commercial vehicles can be decarbonized. In a quote from a Matthias Rebellius Managing Board Member of Siemens AG and CEO of Smart Infrastructure said, With global warming, energy dependency and rising costs becoming increasingly pressing issues, real-world solutions for the future of energy are crucial. The Wunsiedel project is an excellent demonstration of how vision and initiative combined with the right technology and financing can drive forward the development of a carbon-free power supply. Siemens Financial Services is supporting the project with an intelligent financing concept and holds a 45 percent stake in the operating company WUN H2.
Rießner-Gase, located in Lichtenfels also holds a 45 percent stake and the utility company Stadtwerke Wunsiedel (SWW) the remaining 10 percent. And according to Veronika Bienert, CEO of Siemens Financial Services, the financing arm of Siemens AG, Future-oriented projects need a solid financing basis, In Wunsiedel, we teamed up with an external lender, the UmweltBank in Nuremberg, to implement the first non-recourse project financing – in other words, financing without counter-liability to the shareholders – for such a plant in Germany and thus demonstrate the project’s economic feasibility. In Wunsiedel, the energy transition is already a reality. The energy used by the community of 10,000 is 100 percent climate neutral. Wunsiedel also generates its own electricity and heating. The hydrogen generation plant will be linked to Siemens’ existing battery storage facility and with neighboring industrial enterprises, which can use – for example – its waste heat or the oxygen split off during electrolysis. Hydrogen also plays a major role in Germany’s decarbonization strategy to make transportation, steel production and the chemical industry carbon-neutral, since it can be used to implement many processes previously dependent on fossil fuels, without releasing CO2 in the reconversion into energy.
Hydrogen is also an important storage provider for renewable energies. By 2030, 10 million tons of green hydrogen are to be generated annually in the European Union alone. With the commissioning of the hydrogen generation plant, the commercial production of the energy source H2 in Wunsiedel will begin. Talks regarding the expansion of the plant’s capacity to 17.5 megawatts are already underway. Alright, so big news in Germany, and congratulations to Siemens on getting this contract. And one of the main points I want to showcase in this announcement is just how heavily Siemens is relying on digital twins and other technology to showcase the viability of the plant. And I remember talking about this last year that digital twins was one of the primary ways of lowering the economics surrounding green hydrogen.
And the fact that they're already talking about doubling the size of this plant points to the fact that they already know that this plant at 8.75 megawatts is going to be economically viable. Next in some technology news. In a press release by Loop Energy hydrogen cost parity with diesel cut by up to eight years with new loop energy fuel cell. Loop energy, a designer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells for commercial mobility will unveil its landmark 120 kilowatt fuel cell system at IAA Transportation 2022 and Hannover Germany. The announcement marks and milestone for loop energy, as it believes this new product is a significant achievement in advancing the global hydrogen industry and the transition of commercial transport industries by achieving fuel cost parity with diesel by up to eight years earlier than previously possible.
The 120 kilowatt fuel cell system, the S1200 builds on loop energy's existing technology to provide additional efficiency gain of 20%. When it generates electricity, the s 1200 is designed to deliver up to 60% in net system efficiency. This efficiency enables an electric vehicle powered by a loop energy fuel cell to deliver up to 54% fuel to wheel efficiency compared to the typical fuel of wheel efficiency delivered by a diesel engine powered vehicle of 20 to 25%. Loop energy believes that s 1200 and its next generation technology will significantly benefit commercial vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and associated industries as well as a clean energy transition as governments seek to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Loop energy has achieved this efficiency gain because of its patented e flow fuel cell architecture.
Specifically, loop energy uses a signature trapezoid plate with narrowing channels for its bipolar plates, which increases gas velocity down the plate to deliver superior performance for fuel efficiency and power output. For fleet managers, operators or commercial vehicles and the wider hydrogen infrastructure market. That means less hydrogen fuel used per kilometer, lowering the total cost of ownership of hydrogen electric commercial vehicles. The fuel costs make up roughly half the total cost of ownership for heavy duty hydrogen vehicles, which makes advancement in fuel cell efficiency a significant factor in creating a tipping point for commercial transition from diesel to clean fuels. Loop energy's presence at IWA transportation 2022 also signifies its commitment to the European continent, where it plans to expand its presence and customer base.
Loop Energy already has offices in Italy and the UK and is actively engaged with OEMs across the region. Loop energy is also active in Asia. With its new manufacturing facility in Shanghai, the s 1200 opens up a new market for loop energy as the product is specifically designed for medium to heavy duty commercial vehicles, which is a step up in power range and scope compared to its other fuel cell products. The s&p 500 is delivered as a complete fuel cell system which simplifies and quickens integration for vehicle OEMs and makes it a ready to adopt system
Mission for heavy duty transportation and power system applications. Okay, so a pretty big announcement by Luke energy saying that this new system of theirs is now in parity with diesel costs. And that is a very bold claim. But the interesting thing about this is that this company isn't alone in designing and developing these fuel cell systems for large, heavy duty transportation vehicles. And we've talked recently that Cummins Bosch, and several other companies are designing the same thing. Now, we don't have any efficiency estimations from these other companies. So loop definitely has a step in that direction. But really, what this press release, and the previous press release from Siemens tells me is that technological advancements and hydrogen generation and hydrogen utilization are progressing more rapidly than we even anticipated. Making the hydrogen economy or reality sooner than anyone could have imagined.
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