How LIFE is powering transport using green hydrogen

How LIFE is powering transport using green hydrogen

European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency — 2023-11-16

News from Brussels

Road transportation is responsible for 21% of global carbon emissions, but hydrogen-powered vehicles can reduce them. In the city of Nieuwegein in the Dutch province of Utrecht, an electrolyser being fed by green electricity is connected via a pipeline to a refuelling station. This is the LIFE NEW HYTS project which is producing green hydrogen for the local transport network. LIFE NEW HYTS – which stands for reNEWable green HYdrogen for TranSport – runs from 2021 until 2025 with a budget of 8.4 m, of which the EU contributes  4.6 m.  

Hydrogen has been identified as a fuel source for vehicles. Globally, 95% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, and only 5% from renewables, known as green hydrogen. In the Netherlands, using hydrogen for vehicles is a challenge. Production is expensive, with a limited availability of green hydrogen, and a lack of fuelling stations and distribution networks.  

LIFE NEW HYTS is part of the Province of Utrecht’s hydrogen ambitions. Utrecht is the most important transport hub in the Netherlands, with the highest density of transport. In April 2021, the province launched the Covenant on Hydrogen in Mobility, with KWR Water Research Institute, EnergieCollectief Utrechtse Bedrijven and a number of municipalities. The Covenant aims to boost the production and use of green hydrogen for Utrecht’s transport network. It now has over 120 signatories, from local businesses, trades, and automotive companies.  

At LIFE NEW HYTS, the 2,5 MW electrolyser demonstrates how green hydrogen can be produced, distributed, and used locally. It can produce up to 300 tonnes of green hydrogen per year and will produce at least 1 875 tonnes in its 10 year lifespan.  

The hydrogen is being used in heavy-duty and freight vehicles, and infrastructure vehicles such as cranes and tractors. With partner contracting company Jos Scholman, the project has launched a mobile crane powered by green hydrogen – a national first for the Netherlands. A second crane is now ready for use, and trucks will be developed next. Using green hydrogen in heavy-duty vehicles will save 4 082 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. The electrolyser will save 34 700 tonnes of carbon emissions over its lifespan. 

LIFE NEW HYTS provides Utrecht with data about green hydrogen production and use. Knowledge and lessons learned are also being shared with other municipalities in the Netherlands, the Flanders region of in Belgium, and Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany.  

‘Thanks to the support of the LIFE Programme, we have taken the first steps in realising a green hydrogen chain including green hydrogen production, hydrogen-powered vehicles and training opportunities. This is already giving a huge and necessary boost to green hydrogen, both locally and nationally,’ says Daniël Bakker, KWR Water Research Institute senior researcher. 

The European Hydrogen Week, taking place from 20 to 24 November in Brussels, will cover the most recent advancements in hydrogen across national, European and global levels. CINEA will be at the exhibition to showcase its role in funding and managing cutting-edge hydrogen projects across many of its funding programmes including the LIFE Programme, Connecting Europe Facility, the Innovation Fund, and Horizon EU. LIFE NEW HYTS will be showcased there.