FCH JU recognises trailblazing clean hydrogen energy projects

The FCH JU acknowledged successful collaborations between research, industry and policymakers at its awards ceremony in Brussels on 29 November. The winning projects are delivering world-class solutions and accelerating the transition to a greener world.

Best Innovation Award: EVERYWH2ERE

The FCH JU introduced this award in 2018 as an additional incentive for project beneficiaries to excel.

Proving that hydrogen power development is not only for industrial users, the winning project, EVERYWH2ERE is a demonstration-to-market project that developed portable fuel-cell units, or gensets.

These can provide power to construction sites, music festivals and other temporary events in European cities, providing a solution to a real need. The gensets feature proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and safe, pressurised-hydrogen technology.

The innovation has helped to bring hydrogen fuel cell technology closer to citizens, eliminating the noise and pollution of diesel generators.

Receiving the award on behalf of the consortium, Rina project manager Stefano Barberis said: ‘Our project will increase social awareness of FCH technologies, which will be the backbone of future clean energy and a hydrogen-based EU society.’

Best Success Story Award: Towards a sustainable and circular hydrogen economy

This award, also introduced in 2018, goes to a group of projects that contributed to the circularity of the hydrogen sector. This year there were 13 finalists, with project achievements across the entire hydrogen value chain, ranging from hydrogen-powered aviation to hydrogen valleys.

Six projects contributed to the winning success story and each received the award: FC-HYGUIDE, SH2E, HYTECHCYCLING, BEST4HY, EGHOST and CERTIFHY.

The winning success story demonstrates that hydrogen power must not only deliver clean energy efficiently and cost-effectively, but should also incorporate sustainability.

The industrial partners and researchers involved in this success story are developing guidelines on materials sourcing, dismantling, and recycling in line with a circular, clean hydrogen economy.

FC-HYGUIDE developed guidance, training materials and courses on how to use life cycle assessments. The SH2E project is building on this to include economic and social dimensions.

HYTECHCYCLING and BEST4HY focused on recycling and dismantling, recovery and reuse of resources such as platinum. Currently, EGHOST is developing environmentally friendly design criteria in technology development.

Finally, CERTIFHY created the first EU-wide guarantee of origin (GO) scheme for green and low-carbon hydrogen. The project’s current third phase includes building a market for GO trade and harmonisation across all Member States.

‘Without the backing of the FCH JU since 2014, CERTIFHY could have never achieved the leading role we now have worldwide on certification schemes. We are honoured to get this award. It boosts our enthusiasm to continue the project,’ said Wouter Vanhoudt, Director Europe and Asia at Hinicio, the coordinators of CERTIFHY.

Best Outreach Award: REFHYNE

This award goes to a project for excellent public engagement and creative use of communication activities, to spread the word about the production of clean hydrogen. The 2021 winner is Clean Refinery Hydrogen for Europe (REFHYNE).

The five-year project began in 2018 and built a 10 MW Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysis plant, the largest in Europe, at the Shell Rhineland Refinery in Wesseling, near Cologne, Germany. This electrolyser for industrial applications started operation this year in July and can produce up to four tonnes of hydrogen a day when running at full power. It can also help balance the refinery’s internal electricity grid, while selling Primary Control Reserve service to the German Transmission System Operators. Plans are underway to expand the capacity of the electrolysis plant to 100MW.

Anders Ødegård of SINTEF, REFHYNE project coordinator concluded: "We are honoured to receive this award in recognition of our dissemination activities. We believe it is vital to share our experiences and learnings to accelerate the further scale up of clean hydrogen production. On behalf of the entire REFHYNE consortium, I want to thank the FCH JU for the support for our 10MW PEM electrolyser project and for this distinct outreach award".

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