Digital value creation in a green hydrogen economy

Results of Fraunhofer’s PLATON research project

Hybrid value creation model for the green hydrogen economy
Hybrid value creation model for the green hydrogen economy

Three Fraunhofer institutes in Germany – IAO, IIS and IMW – have been tackling key questions on the nature of digital value creation in relation to green hydrogen. The research comes as part of the PLATON project which has been investigating the platform economy in the hydrogen sector. The results of the project have now been published in a study. The outcome is a hybrid value creation model that helps companies to take a systematic approach to digital value creation.

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Fraunhofer Hydrogen Labs

Test area of the Hydrogen Lab Leuna, © Fraunhofer IMWS / Moritz Kühnel
Test area of the Hydrogen Lab Leuna, © Fraunhofer IMWS / Moritz Kühnel

Test centres for industrial hydrogen technology start operation

The industry needs reliable technologies for the broad application of green hydrogen. In the Hydrogen Labs, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is pooling its expertise in the generation and use of green H2 and creating a unique research infrastructure for practical performance and load tests on an industrial scale in order to decisively advance the development of H2 technologies suitable for mass production and thus the market ramp-up.

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Handelsblatt magazine’s Hydrogen Summit

Driven in part by the recent decarbonization aims of multiple countries and businesses around the world, there is now pressure on every stakeholder in the sector to establish a global hydrogen economy as fast as possible. That much was clear to those attending German Handelsblatt magazine’s online Hydrogen Summit on May 26 and 27. An oft-discussed issue also brought up at the summit was the color of future hydrogen supplies. In response, Wolfgang Büchele, who was Linde’s chief executive from 2014 to 2016, said, roughly, that the color of the gas – be it green, blue or gray – was not nearly as important as the speed at which a steady supply of hydrogen could become a reality.

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The cost of clean hydrogen-generated electricity…

… and the challenge of going mainstream

Fig. 1: Learning curve-based LCOE estimates for renewable and conventional power plants in Germany by 2035, taken from Fraunhofer ISE’s March 2018 study “Levelized Electricity Cost – Renewable Energy Technologies.”
© Fraunhofer ISE

This article will review the cost of clean, hydrogen-generated electricity based on the levelized cost of energy, grid parity, baseload, and intermediate and peak load. The question to answer is, what power prices can consumers and industrial customers expect at the point of use?

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Clean hydrogen on demand

PowerPaste of the IFAM
PowerPaste, © IFAM

A few years ago, research at Dresden-based Fraunhofer IFAM’s Hydrogen Technologies department led to the development of a paste-like substance that can provide on-demand energy under well-controllable conditions for multiple kinds of fuel cell applications. In partnership with businesses and other research institutes, IFAM has since launched several projects to demonstrate that this substance called PowerPaste, the main ingredient of which is magnesium hydride, is both safe and easy to handle. The institute is also currently building a system to produce multiple tons of PowerPaste a year for use in field tests.

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Fuel-Cell Cars and Their GHG Emissions

Graph-2a
Greenhouse gas emissions caused by production, use and disposal after one year

In 2012, the transport sector’s share in overall greenhouse gas emissions was 19.7% across the 28 member states of the European Union, making it the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases after the energy sector. To achieve the EU Commission’s climate protection targets for the transport industry, these emissions need to be lowered by 70% compared to 2008 values. The following will give an overview of how fuel-cell cars can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the EU up to 2050 and help achieve EU goals. The carbon footprint is

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Fraunhofer ISE Inaugurates New Testing Site

Fraunhofer-ISE-Einweihung
Fraunhofer ISE Lab Inauguration, © Fraunhofer ISE

The energy transformation needs efficient storage solutions and technologies for heat conversion. One of the institutions playing an important role in advancing the transformation of the energy sector is the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, ISE, in Freiburg. Increasing interest in energy storage technologies as well as efficient heating and cooling processes has led to an expansion of ISE’s

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