Air Liquide to build $150mn liquid hydrogen plant to supply California demand
French-owned industrial gas producer Air Liquide announced plans this week to spend US$150mn on the construction of a liquid hydrogen plant in the Western United States. The plant will produce liquid hydrogen for the fuel cells used to power electric vehicles.
Air Liquide claims the plant will produce enough hydrogen to provide fuel for ‘at least 35,000 fuel cell electric vehicles’, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.
The announcement follows the completion of a deal between Air Liquide and Newport Beach, California-based FirstElement Fuel, a leading fuel cell retailer, according to the Chronicle.
California is leading the US in sales of electric vehicles. According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, “about 96,000 electric vehicles were sold in California in 2017… and California accounted for half of all EV purchases in the U.S.”
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State governor Jerry Brown announced in the first half of 2018 that, by 2030, California would have 5mn electric vehicles on its roads. And, according to the Houston Chronicle, California is expected to have 40,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the roads by 2022. Touted as a zero-emissions vehicles, hydrogen-powered cars, trucks and buses only produce water and heat as byproducts.”
“Air Liquide described the new plant as the first large-scale investment into the infrastructure needed to support hydrogen-based transportation.” The new plant, the location for which has yet to be chosen, is expected to produce 30 tons of hydrogen fuel per day.
Air Liquide USA executive vice president, Michael Graff, told the press that “"we are convinced that hydrogen is an essential sustainable energy vector of the future and a cornerstone of the energy transition”.
Construction on the new plant is scheduled to begin in 2019.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.