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Posted on February 23, 2017

Shell launches its first hydroge refuelling station in the UK

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Shell announces the launch of its first hydrogen refuelling station in the UK at its Cobham service station on the M25. The new hydrogen station has been supplied by ITM Power and is the first fully branded and public hydrogen refuelling site in the UK. It is the first of three hydrogen stations Shell plans to open in the UK in 2017.
 
Matthew Tipper, Vice President, Future Fuels at Shell said: "Hydrogen has the potential to become a clean and versatile transport fuel for the future, and the Cobham hydrogen site is one of the ways Shell is encouraging the use of alternative fuels to contribute to the energy transition. This will provide customers with hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles the ability to refuel simply and quickly, at one of the largest petrol stations in the UK."
 
The opening of Shell's first UK hydrogen site follows the success of sites in California, and in Germany where Shell is part of a joint venture with the ambition to open a network of up to 400 hydrogen sites by 2023. Shell is in the process of assessing the potential of future projects in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
 
In addition, Shell is a founding member of the Hydrogen Council, announced at Davos in January 2017, comprising energy companies, OEMs and technology partners with a collective pledge to accelerate investment in the development and commercialisation of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors.
 
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Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity and produce only heat and water when driven. They offer an alternative to the conventional internal combustion engine, a driving experience similar to electric cars, and no local emissions. Hydrogen vehicles can drive up to 700 kilometers without refuelling and can be refuelled in a few minutes at a standard forecourt with a hydrogen pump.
 
Sinead Lynch, Shell's UK Country Chair, commented: "We believe the journey to a low-carbon economy requires a coordinated and collaborative approach among organisations in the transport sector, including providers of energy and transport vehicles, users of transport vehicles, local authorities as well as government. The Cobham retail site is a small but significant first step toward developing infrastructure needed for increased usage of hydrogen vehicles."
 
The hydrogen is generated on-site using an electrolyser which requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas. The hydrogen station at Cobham is the third hydrogen site in the UK to be supplied by ITM Power and opened as part of the HyFive project. The initiative has been partially funded by the European Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, and the UKs Office of Low Emission Vehicles.
 
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Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said: "ITM Power is pleased to partner with Shell to bring their first forecourt hydrogen fuelling site to life. Electrolytic Hydrogen is the cleanest and lowest cost renewable fuel available for fuel cell electric vehicles. We look forward to working with Shell to introduce additional hydrogen stations on their forecourts in the UK in the near future."
 
Bart Biebuyck, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) Executive Director, commented: "While FCH JU project HyFIVE already delivered significant results and contributed to addressing major EU challenges, we are very pleased to see an important industry player joining the venture. The opening of Shell's first station in UK occurs one month after the Hydrogen Council announcement at Davos, and reinforces the industrial commitment towards decarbonisation."
 
Shell's Cobham site opened in 2012 and was built for the 150,000 vehicles that travel on the M25 on a daily basis. The site received more than a million customer visits in 2016.
 
ABOUT HYDROGEN AS A TRANSPORT FUEL:
 
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are one of the technological innovations that help reduce emissions and address air pollution while offering convenience for motorists
  • FCEVs are powered by electricity and only produce water vapour, helping to improve local air quality.
  • FCEVs do not produce CO2, or other harmful emissions from their tailpipe.
  • Hydrogen technology has potential to store energy easily.
  • Energy is stored in compressed hydrogen fuel, rather than in a battery.
 
Hydrogen mobility is a 'chicken and egg' situation. FCEVs will only be bought by customers if there is a refuelling infrastructure. Establishing and maintaining investment in fuelling infrastructure is only commercially attractive and sustainable if there are enough FCEV customers.
 
In the longer term, hydrogen in transport can help reduce well-to-wheel CO2 emissions from the transport sector if the electricity that creates the hydrogen is generated by renewable technologies such as wind or solar.
 
SHELL AND HYDROGEN:
 
Over the past 20 years Shell has embarked on several initiatives to encourage the adoption of hydrogen electric energy as a transport fuel.
  • Ben van Beurden, along with 12 other CEOs and Chairpersons from energy, transport, and industry companies, recently launched the Hydrogen Council. The first global initiative of its kind, the Hydrogen Council will provide a united vision, long-term ambition and practical recommendations for how hydrogen can be implemented at scale to foster the energy transition.
  • In Germany, Shell has four hydrogen fuelling stations, and is part of the H2 Mobility joint venture, alongside partners Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV and Total. With the support of the federal government, the joint venture is in the process of installing a nationwide network of hydrogen electric fuelling pumps.
  • Shell also has two hydrogen fuelling stations in Los Angeles, California, with three planed hydrogen stations in the UK, and is exploring the possibility for additional sites in global markets.
 
Source and top image: ITM Power
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Energy Independent Electric Vehicles 2017 External Link on 27 - 28 Sep 2017 in TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands hosted by IDTechEx.