Axpo plans to produce green hydrogen from the power of the Rhine river. The hydrogen production facility at the Eglisau-Glattfelden hydropower plant in Switzerland is the first of several that Axpo will commission in the coming years.
Scheduled to enter service in the fall of 2022, the 2.5 MW hydrogen production facility will produce about 350 tpy of green hydrogen. This will save the road transport sector more than 1.5 million liters of diesel a year.
If demand for hydrogen grows as expected, generating capacity could double to 5 MW. The direct connection of the production facility to the power plant will ensure climate neutral hydrogen production. Preparations for the official approval process will begin in a few days.
Axpo started planning a hydrogen production facility at the same power plant in 2015. However, the project was discontinued as hydrogen sales volume remained below expectations. Guy Bühler, Head of Hydrogen at Axpo, explains: “Since then, the fight against climate change has become much more important, while hydrogen has proven to be a suitable energy source for de-carbonization in the mobility and industrial sectors.”
A network of hydrogen filling stations is being developed
As the mobility sector hydrogen ecosystem continues to evolve in Switzerland, Axpo is working with Hydrospider AG to market the hydrogen produced at the Eglisau-Glattfelden power plant, delivering hydrogen directly from the production facility to a network of filling stations. Currently, there are more than 50 hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks on the roads in Switzerland. According to Hydrospider, there will be more than 1,600 by 2026.The network of hydrogen filling stations will also grow significantly in the next two years, from currently six to around 50.
Green hydrogen is one of the most important climate-friendly energy sources, especially in industry and mobility. It will also be key to achieving the de-carbonization strategy of the EU and other countries. Having recently set up his own hydrogen business, Axpo intends to take a leading role in the transition to CO2-free energy supply. The company aims to develop a project with a combined capacity of 5 MW by 2022. More power plants such as the Eglisau-Glattfelden power plant are in the planning stages.
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