Road transport accounts for 21% of global CO2 emissions. Renewable energy can reduce these emissions, but with a share of just 8.1% in 2018 the EU has a long way to go to reach its goal of a 32% share by 2030.
Hydrogen-powered fuel cell engines can play a key role in reaching EU targets, especially since they are more suitable for heavy vehicles and for long-distance transport than battery-powered electric vehicles. However, 95% of the world’s hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, with just 5% coming from renewable energy – green hydrogen – that can contribute to a reduction in GHG emissions. Since there are only a few hydrogen vehicles in use there only a few hydrogen fuelling stations in the Netherlands, and the possibilities to scale up are stalled. Additionally, investment costs in green hydrogen production are high, and there is no hydrogen distribution system.
The province of Utrecht in the center of the Netherlands has developed a Hydrogen Covenant, which aims to boost hydrogen mobility in the region. The province is the Netherlands’ primary transport hub and the region with the highest transport density.
The LIFE NEW HYTS project will demonstrate the possibilities for local production, distribution and use of green hydrogen for road transport. In doing so, it will aim to create the right conditions for a rapid uptake of green hydrogen fueled heavy-duty vehicles of different kinds.
Furthermore, the project will provide the Province of Utrecht with valuable data and practical support for accelerating the uptake of green hydrogen in transport, expanding the covenant and furthering its implementation in additional municipalities. It will serve as a blueprint for regional green hydrogen production, distribution and use elsewhere in the Netherlands, as well as the Bruges region in Belgium and the NorthRhein Westphalia region in Germany.
- Installation and operation of a 2MW electrolyser, producing 650 tonnes of green H2 during the project and 1.875 tonnes during its technical lifespan of 10 years. By using the produced H2 in heavy duty vehicles, 10 206 tonnes CO2 emissions will be saved (4 082 tonnes annually) and an expected amount of 34 700 tonnes CO2 during the technical lifespan;
- Six zero emission Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) for transport purchased and operated by ABs in the project. (These vehicles consume around 35 000 000MJ of renewable energy, a reduction on the estimated 45 500 000 MJ with fossil fuel since FCEVs are 30% more efficient than diesel trucks);
- Eight dual fuel machines (diesel/H2), which are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 22% and NOx emissions by 75%; and
- Development of a business case for the project’s approach as well as a Life Cycle Analysis.