The city of Perth in southwestern Australia was already one of twelve cities worldwide at the beginning of the 21st century that tested fuel cell buses in local transport. After that, however, the energy-rich country no longer emerged as a major promoter of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. And why should it? After all, the country has huge reserves of fossil fuels, precious metals and rare earth metals. But is that really reason enough not to look for alternatives?
Now, there’s another installation to add to the growing list of hydrogen production systems: H2Future in Linz, Austria. Supported by the European commission, it is managed by a consortium aiming to produce “green” hydrogen in large quantities to bring the energy and industrial sector closer together.
During the industry conference Energy – Think Outside the Box in Berlin, William M. Colton, vice president corporate strategic planning at ExxonMobil, talked about the big potential of a technology called “carbon capture.” By that, he meant the option to add CO2 to hydrogen to create methane and convert the result into power and heat inside a fuel cell. ExxonMobil’s partner for generating energy from emissions is FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL). Days later, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a speech that he intended to “end the war on coal” and that the United States was going to have “clean coal.”