EU mulls green nuclear hydrogen; EverWind wins N.American approval

Our pick of the latest hydrogen news you need to know

Cofrentes nuclear plant in Spain. (Source: Reuters/Eva Manez)

The European Commission (EC) has proposed detailed rules on what constitutes renewable hydrogen which open the door to nuclear-power-derived hydrogen, according to an EC statement.

The adoption of two Delegated Acts will provide regulatory certainty to investors as the EU aims to reach 10 million tons of domestic renewable hydrogen production and 10 million tons of imported hydrogen in line with the REPowerEU Plan, it said.

Three types of hydrogen will count toward renewables targets, including hydrogen from facilities connected to a new renewable electricity generator, and those that take grid power if the local electricity zone had more than an average of 90% share of renewable power last year.

Low CO2 emission regions, which may include nuclear, can also feed electrolyzers as long as the producer signs a long-term power purchase agreement (PPE) with a renewable electricity provider their region, it said.

Countries have two months to object to the new rules before they enter into force.

European countries fundamentally disagree over nuclear power, with countries such as Germany closing down fully functioning plants, while France relies on nuclear power to supply some 70% of its electricity supply.

EverWind Fuels wins approval for N. America project

Canada based EverWind Fuels has won Environmental Approval for the first phase of a green hydrogen and ammonia project located in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, the company said in a statement.

The company plans to invest some $6 billion on the 1-million-ton green hydrogen and ammonia per year facility which aims to deliver to German off-takers, E-ON, and Uniper by 2025 as part of the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance signed in August 2022.

The approval clears the way for construction to commence in the first half of this year, the company said.

It is the first independent green hydrogen and green ammonia project in North America to receive an Environmental Approval, it said.

EverWind is applying for leases on 137,000 acres of land to develop a 2 GW onshore wind farm which is expected to power the second phase of its production facility by 2026.

The company acquired the former oil storage facility Point Tupper terminal in early 2022 and the site has a capacity to produce more than 10 million tons per year of green ammonia with existing storage and logistics assets and connected via rail, road, pipelines, and the port facility.

“The Environmental Approval announced today, will enhance the region's ability to create the first mover supply chains necessary to scale quickly in new markets. Furthermore, it creates the foundation of a new industry in Canada and Nova Scotia that will lead the green energy transition," CEO and Founder Trent Vichie said in the statement.

Wrightbus to build hydrogen production facility

Sustainable bus manufacturer Wrightbus has unveiled plans to build a green hydrogen production facility at the Ballymena headquarters in Northern Ireland, the company said in a statement.

The facility, subject to planning approval, will be built with Hygen Energy, will initially produce enough hydrogen to run 300 hydrogen-powered buses a day in Northern Ireland, and will have a potential to triple in scale as demand for hydrogen increases, the company said.

Wrightbus introduced the world’s first hydrogen-powered fleet of double-decker buses in 2020 which had covered some 1.75 million miles (2.82 million kilometers) by November 2022.

“Hydrogen is the best means of decarbonising many bus routes, but for this to happen bus operators need a reliable and voluminous supply of low-cost low carbon hydrogen.  It is great to see a project that is being sized to enable future demand for hydrogen here in Northern Ireland to be met,” Chairman of Wrightbus Jo Bamford said.

The planning application for the production facility will be submitted in April and a decision is expected to be issued before the end of 2023, with the facility becoming operational in the summer of 2024.

New Zealand consortium launched for hydrogen aviation

Six international companies have formed a new consortium to pioneer the commercial deployment of green hydrogen-powered aircraft to New Zealand, the companies said in a statement.

The consortium partners include Airbus, green energy company Fortescue Future Industries, Air New Zealand, energy generation company Hiringa Energy, liquid hydrogen group Fabrum, and New Zealand’s Christchurch Airport.

The Hydrogen Consortium was launched at Christchurch Airport where a 400-hectare (988 acre) renewable energy project, Kōwhai Park, is under development.

The first phase of the project will focus on research and will be completed by the end of 2023, while the second phase will look at whether hydrogen aircraft test flights can be held in New Zealand.

“The consortium pulls together some of world’s best experts in green hydrogen – having all of these organizations around the same table will turbocharge what we all learn,” Fabrum Co-founder Christopher Boyle said in the statement.

“Together we’ll make a big difference in taking zero emission aviation forward which is good news to anyone who wants to fly sustainably in the future.”

By Reuters Events Hydrogen