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Hydrogen mobility is the future
Green hydrogen is part of the energy transition and seems to be becoming more and more promising as a fuel and for energy storage. It is a sustainable emission-free medium to be used in vehicles.
Driving on hydrogen, however, is still a 'chicken and egg' story. Without hydrogen cars no entrepreneur wants to invest in filling stations and without filling stations no one wants a car running on hydrogen. The costs of a hydrogen filling station are high. On the one hand because hydrogen needs a lot of volume and therefore needs to be compressed with a compressor. On the other hand because it is necessary to be able to fill up quickly, for which the hydrogen is cooled and buffers at high pressure are needed. With the help of government subsidies, a few public hydrogen filling stations will be built in the Netherlands at the end of 2019.
For some, this is not fast enough. These pioneers are already investing heavily in the future. One of them is Jan Paul Kerkhof. He decided to break the 'chicken and egg' story and has a hydrogen filling station built on the site of his existing Shell filling station in The Hague. "I want to make sure that people can drive in an environmentally friendly way. The demand for circular life is increasing and if there is no alternative, everyone will eventually start driving electric batteries."
"I am the third generation of our family business that started with coal. My father switched over in time and I'm now doing the same with this new energy transition. I will set up that filling station and I am convinced that people will eventually 'turn around' and drive on hydrogen. There are two possibilities; it can be achieved or not. In the latter case, I can at least fill up my own car."
Kerkhof states that moving hundreds of kilos of batteries with you in an electric car also costs energy. "Then you're better off with five kilos of hydrogen and a fuel cell. But for the energy transition to succeed, everything must be able to coexist. For cars that drive only a few kilometres, an electric battery may be a better option than hydrogen." Construction is still in its early stages, Kerkhof will open the hydrogen filling station in April.
Fleet Owner Station
For organisations with their own cars, there is another solution: the Fleet Owner Station, which allows cars to be refuelled within one hour. Because it does not have to be 'fast', the investment is significantly lower. Twinning Energy supplies organisations with total solutions for refuelling with hydrogen. One of these solutions is a Fleet Owner Station, product of Resato International, that can be installed on site. They will soon place it at their first customer: Infram in Maarn.
General manager of Twinning Energy, Wim Peels, says: "The festive opening is on 15 November and we seize the opportunity to show guests what is already possible with hydrogen as fuel. We offer a complete package of facilities and services for driving on hydrogen for business purposes. We take care of the organisation from permit application to maintenance." Municipalities generally appear to be positive about the arrival of an FOS. "If a municipality grants a permit, the sustainability of such an installation not only reflects on the organisation, but also on them.
Peels notes that interest is increasing. "We are already having conversations with many companies about mobility on hydrogen. We are also investigating what else can be done with hydrogen; natural gas-free homes, in the agricultural sector and in industry."
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