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Gigastack Phase One Feasibility Study: Identifying a route to low-cost, zero-carbon hydrogen at Gigawatt-scale

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Gigastack Phase 2 was publicly launched on 18th February 2020 to demonstrate the delivery of bulk, low-cost, zero-carbon hydrogen in the UK to Gigawatt scale. This project brings together a consortium comprised of ITM Power, Ørsted, Phillips 66 and Element Energy to show how renewable hydrogen derived from offshore wind can support the UK’s 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emission target. This project is built upon the foundations of Gigastack Phase 1. Funded by BEIS’ Hydrogen Supply Competition, the Gigastack Phase 1 feasibility study enabled ITM Power, Ørsted and Element Energy to demonstrate the potential for renewable hydrogen for the UK. As a result of this project, the consortium delivered the following primary conclusions:

  • ITM Power has furthered the designs of its next generation of innovative stack technology. The new 5MW stack will enable the development of the 100MW electrolyser systems that are required to meet the UK’s legally binding net zero target by 2050. These installations will come at a fraction of today’s cost, with the installed electrolyser system costing less than £400/kW.
  • These stacks will benefit from cost reductions due to ITM Power’s new Giga-Factory at Bessemer Park, Sheffield. This will come about due to standardisation and industrialisation. As a result of the capacity modelling and machine analysis, the factory will manufacture 60 stacks per year from 2023 (300MW/yr), tending towards 200 stacks per year in the mid-2020s (1GW/yr).
  • The most significant contributor to the cost of renewable hydrogen is the cost of the electrical input. Work by Element Energy and Ørsted assessed siting the electrolyser in innovative locations and exploiting electrolyser-windfarm configurations to reduce these costs. Today, the cost of renewable hydrogen from grid-connected electrolysers is more than £8/kg. The pathways analysed here for the new 5MW electrolyser and power supply, without full exposure to grid fees, could deliver a produced renewable hydrogen relative cost saving of more than 50%. With further regulatory intervention, commercial optimisation, industrialisation and increased production volumes of electrolysers the results of the feasibility study show further potential cost reductions of up to 50% (scenario dependent).
  • Combined the reduced stack cost, increased manufacturing capacity and the innovative technical configurations enabled the consortium to identify viable business cases for supplying hydrogen to industry and transport end-users. This is enabled through cost competitive renewable and high purity hydrogen at a range of scales, not possible for reformers with carbon capture and storage (CCS) due to the high purification costs and inflexibility in build capacity.
  • An analysis of the hydrogen demand from target markets for renewable hydrogen (i.e. industry, transport, hydrogen for heat) both nationally and internationally from 2020 to 2030 validates ITM Power’s proposal decision to ramp-up to a factory capacity of 1GW/yr over an accelerated timeframe. In all scenarios considered, the hydrogen market deemed accessible to ITM Power’s new 5MW stack far exceeded their production rate of 1GW/yr from 2025. The High Ambition scenario even demonstrated that two additional factories of similar capacity would be required to satisfy the accessible demand by 2030.

The Public Report provides in greater detail the findings from this study and the need for renewable electrolytic hydrogen at scale in the UK.

For further information, please contact Matt Wilson or visit www.gigastack.co.uk.

Posted in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Northern Powergrid publishes Distribution Future Energy Scenarios

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Northern Powergrid, the Distribution Network Operator for  Yorkshire, the Northeast and northern Lincolnshire, has published their Distribution Future Energy Scenarios presenting different potential futures for the region they serve based upon analysis performed by Element Energy. Element Energy produced regionally bespoke scenarios of future demand and generation for Northern Powergrid based upon the 2019 Future Energy Scenarios published by National Grid, the Electricity System Operator for Great Britain. These scenarios feed into the Element Energy Load Growth model that Element Energy built for Northern Powergrid as part of a recent Network Innovation Allowance project. This tool allows them to investigate the impact of the different future demand and generation scenarios on their distribution network to help them plan for how the electricity network can support decarbonisation in their region. These regional forecasts, including the uptake of low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, can be investigated at a local authority level in an interactive online tool. Northern Powergrid are now running consultations, supported by Element Energy and ODI Leeds, to get feedback from local stakeholders on their plans for decarbonisation to help inform the next iteration of their Distribution Future Energy Scenarios.

You can see the full Northern Powergrid press release here.

For more details on this work please contact Jake Howe or Mark Hughes.












Posted in Energy Networks

Hy4Heat WP6 has shown that switching industrial heating equipment to hydrogen is technically feasible, with large potential to support initiation of the hydrogen economy in the 2020s

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Element Energy’s recent report for BEIS Hy4Heat programme shows that it is technically feasible to use clean hydrogen fuel in many industrial heating applications through equipment modification. Key challenges to hydrogen conversion were found to include changes in heat transfer characteristics, increased NOx emissions and changes in flue gas composition, but solutions are already emerging. Small scale hydrogen boilers already exist, and it is thought that industrial equipment such as furnaces, steam boilers, ovens and kilns could be commercially ready by the mid-2020s. The overall capital investment required to convert large UK industrial sites on the <7bar gas network to hydrogen, including the natural gas heating equipment, was estimated at £1.0 – £3.9 billion for costs in scope. To find out more about the potential for hydrogen fuel use in industry, see the full report

For more information on the Hy4Heat programme see www.hy4heat.info

For more information on Element Energy’s study please contact Emrah Durusut (emrah.durusut@element-energy.co.uk).

Posted in Buildings, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Smart Energy Systems

Element Energy-led project UKESL demonstrates grading and sorting of end of life Nissan EV batteries, for the first time in the UK

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A new public report produced by Element Energy summarises the key activities of the UK Energy Storage Lab project and the implications for the battery and energy storage sectors

Once EV batteries have fulfilled their life-span for automotive applications, they are usually recycled. However many automotive batteries have enough life left in them after the car is scrapped for ‘second-life’ uses. To do this, it is necessary to “grade” the used batteries – identifying whether they are suitable for use as spare parts or “second life”.

Car company Nissan were keen to explore ways to make a much faster grading process for their used Nissan LEAF’s batteries. Part-funded by BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) the ‘UK Energy Storage Laboratory’ project was launched, where 50 Nissan LEAF batteries were used to develop the existing grading process led by Nissan, WMG, AMETEK and Element Energy.

WMG developed a methodology for used automotive Lithium-ion batteries, at pack level. This methodology was successfully transferred to a pilot facility, where the target of 1MWh of packs graded for second-life energy storage applications was achieved.

In addition, WMG developed ways of grading modules – the sub-components of battery packs in as little as 3 minutes – a process which previously took over 3 hours. The algorithm was integrated into AMETEK’s machine with the aim to commercialise the prototype as a new product.

Second-life battery packs can provide reliable and convenient energy storage options for customers with solar panels and for customers in need of electricity on the move. Crucially, the packs can be used for storage of intermittent renewable energy.

Celine Cluzel, Director, Element Energy comments:
“Reconditioning car batteries has to become business as usual – it makes sense environmentally and commercially. This project has proven a scalable process to deploy reconditioning and represents a significant milestone in the UK pathway to net zero emissions.”

The full press release can be found on WMG’S Website.

For more information on this project, please see the UKESL Public Report here or contact Sarah Clements (sarah.clements@element-energy.co.uk).








Posted in Transport

The Hy-Impact series of 4 studies shows the role of hydrogen and CCS in reaching net-zero emissions

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The 4 ‘Hy-Impact’ reports for Equinor outline the opportunity for hydrogen in the UK net-zero transition, including technical and economic perspectives.

The Hy-Impact series of studies explores the technical and economic impacts of deploying hydrogen and CCS technologies in the UK. Blue hydrogen is capable of decarbonising industry, heat, transport and power.















The studies assess aspects from job creation to emissions reduction, and hydrogen production to its end-use, including complementing renewables in the power sector. The studies were carried out for Equinor, a long-term energy investor in the UK in a broad range of areas and also the country’s largest supplier of natural gas.

The studies aimed to answer a number of remaining questions around hydrogen deployment in the UK and concluded that:

  • Hydrogen and CCS deployment could enable over 200,000 jobs and could add £18 billion to the UK economy in 2050.
  • There is sufficient bioenergy to enable large-scale net-negative hydrogen production in the UK, through blending of biomethane into the reformer feedstock.
  • Hydrogen and CCS power technologies can cost-effectively replace planned nuclear and unabated gas power plants, while reducing electricity grid carbon intensity by 24%.
  • The Yorkshire and Humber region could represent an opportunity for development of an early hydrogen economy.

Click on the covers below to read our full reports

Hy-Impact summary













Hydrogen for economic growth

Net-zero hydrogen production














Hydrogen for power

H2 in Yorkshire & Humber













Plans are already developing in the UK to deploy hydrogen and CCS at scale and realise the associated benefits. For example, Drax Group, Equinor and National Grid Ventures announced the Zero Carbon Humber partnership earlier this year, aiming to deliver the UK’s first zero carbon cluster in the Yorkshire and Humber region; this would help position the UK at the heart of the global energy revolution. The proposed hydrogen demonstrator and test facility could be constructed as early as 2026, with scale-up and supply to regional end-users to follow.

For further information on the Hy-Impact series, please contact Emrah Durusut Emrah.Durusut@element-energy.co.uk. Click here for further information on the Zero Carbon Humber initiative.

Posted in CCS, CCUS & Industrial Decarbonisation, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Power Generation

Energywise project wins the Energy Institute Award for Community Initiative of the Year

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The Energywise project has recently been awarded the Energy Institute (EI) Award for Community Initiative of the Year (EIAwards 2019). Element Energy is one of the project partners on this important Ofgem funded Low Carbon Networks Fund project led by UK Power Networks. The project involved a number of energy efficiency and demand flexibility trials which investigated how households that may be struggling with their energy bills can access the benefits of energy efficiency and participate in a future smart flexible energy system.

Element Energy’s role in the project spanned the design of the first Critical Peak Rebate scheme trialled with pre-payment customers in the UK to a detailed analysis of the large smart meter and substation load monitoring datasets collected during the trials to determine the network impacts of energy efficiency savings and demand shifting from 550 households in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Thank you to the team at UK Power Networks and the other project partners for the great collaboration on this project.

For more information about this project please contact Richard Deuchler (Richard.Deuchler@element-energy.co.uk)

Posted in Energy Networks, Smart Energy Systems

Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles descended on Hamburg for the 2019 Hydrogen for Clean Transport – H2ME Mid-Term Conference summary

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Thirteen vehicles, starting in five countries across Europe (Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway), travelled nearly 6,000km to demonstrate the advantages of hydrogen mobility and the expanding network of refuelling stations.

The conference was attended by ~150 delegates with presentations from the FCH JU, H2 Mobility Deutschland, Element Energy, Cenex, Toyota Motor Europe, Symbio, Daimler, Nel H2, Fraunhofer ISE, Hynamics, Air Liquide, New Energy Coalition, EIFER and Hydrogen Europe.

The road trip marks the efforts in part due to funded installations from the pan-European Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME). The project, coordinated by Element Energy and made possible by funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), assesses the technical and commercial readiness of vehicles, fuelling stations and hydrogen production techniques. To date, the €170 million demonstration project has funded the installation of 32 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) across Europe, with a target of up to 49 by 2022.

The road trip utilised 15 HRSs, only a fraction of the 137 HRSs in Europe, which are now available to view on the recently launched European HRS Availability System.  More findings from the H2ME project were shared at this year’s Conference. The Hydrogen for Clean Transport Conference, which showcases the advances made by hydrogen technology in the transport sector, brought together sector experts to share emerging conclusions from the H2ME FCH JU-funded projects. All presentations from the conference can be viewed here.

To find out more about the H2ME European Road Trip, watch the video here.

For more information about the conference, H2ME, and Element Energy’s work in hydrogen technology, contact Lisa Ruf (lisa.ruf@element-energy.co.uk).

Posted in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Project Management

New analysis by Element Energy supported the Zero Carbon Humber Roadmap

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A new report providing the most detailed assessment yet of how the UK can develop the world’s first zero carbon industrial cluster has been published on the Zero Carbon Humber website.

The proposals published by the Zero Carbon Humber campaign, led by multinational energy firms Drax Group, Equinor and National Grid Ventures, could help protect 55,000 jobs and deliver the biggest contribution to the UK’s climate goals of any industrial region.

Capture for Growth: Creating the world’s first zero carbon economy sets out how the region could deliver the government’s world-leading ambition to establish the first ‘net zero’ carbon industrial cluster in the UK by 2040, helping the Humber to compete on the world stage by attracting new investment, industries and employment.

The proposals are supported by new analysis by Element Energy, which finds that if the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster is developed in the Humber region, 53 million tonnes of CO2 a year could be captured – that’s around 15% of the UK’s current annual CO2 emissions. They would also help save industrial businesses in the region carbon taxes of up to £27.5bn by 2040 helping to protect jobs and competitiveness.

An Executive Summary based on modelling work conducted by Element Energy for the Zero Carbon Humber Consortium has been published. The study assessed the Zero Carbon Humber Consortium’s investment plans in the Yorkshire and Humber region, as well as potential hydrogen and CCUS users, the likelihood of adoption, the potential roll-out schedule and a detailed economic impact assessment has been carried out.

For more information on Element Energy’s studies please contact Emrah Durusut (CCUS and Industrial Decarbonisation team lead).

Posted in Uncategorized

XPRESS: Towards Public-Private Collaboration In The Energy Sector

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In an era when environmental issues are exponentially raising concern around the world and calling for sustainable solutions, the XPRESS project aims to facilitate the introduction of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in specific cities and municipalities within the UK, Italy, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Slovakia, Portugal and Belgium with the prospect of expanding RES solutions in other countries. These environmentally friendly services will be implemented through Green Public Procurement (GPP) in collaboration with SMEs. In order to achieve significant impact, the project is supported by the Horizon 2020 programme, the most considerable research and innovation initiative by the European Union.

XPRESS – Facilitating green public procurement in the energy sector, has a total budget of 3 Million Euros,  with 16 partners. Element Energy will be playing a key role covering all of the project’s work packages, bringing expertise in renewable generation technologies and the barriers associated with their uptake, as well as the the whole-life costs and impacts of these technologies.

XPRESS focuses on GPP procedures to join forces with the public sector. The transition towards sustainable solutions assumes high risk innovations along with additional funds, unlikely to be raised by the private sector on its own. Banks and other financial entities tend to hesitate to supply funds for RES as the probability of survival of innovative SMEs is uncertain. The XPRESS project aims to help stimulate constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors, evaluating the impact of GPP and other strategies on the probability of SMEs to survive the so called “valley of death”. The final and most important goal is to raise the share of renewable energy solutions in final energy consumption.

To meet these challenges, XPRESS will create a web platform as a means to raise interaction between public procurers, innovative SMEs and end users of green innovations; map the cities and municipalities’ low carbon energy needs with RES technology developed by innovative SMEs; improve the application of GPP to innovative RES technologies; and lastly increase the awareness of innovative SMEs about RES technologies. By doing so, XPRESS will demonstrate the positive impact of innovative GPP on cities, municipalities and SMEs in terms of energy saving, energy efficiency and low carbon emissions.

Posted in Power Generation

Element Energy-led H2Haul project launches

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IVECO, FPT Industrial and VDL ETS will develop fuel cell electric heavy-duty trucks for European markets. 

Leading European heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers, fuel cell suppliers, and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure providers announce a collaboration to develop and test fleets of zero emission trucks and hydrogen refuelling stations.

Today a European consortium announced the launch of the H2Haul project in which major European manufacturers IVECO, FPT Industrial powertrain producer and VDL ETS will design, build, and test three new types of fuel cell electric heavy-duty trucks, including rigid and articulated vehicles up to 44 tonnes. Fuel cell systems for the vehicles will be produced in Europe by three different suppliers – ElringKlinger (DE), Hydrogenics (DE), and Powercell (SE) – and the project will make a significant contribution towards preparing the market for further deployment of the technology in the 2020s and contribute to the 2030 EU CO2 reduction target attainment.

A total of 16 vehicles will be tested in real-world operations at sites in Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland. The innovative hydrogen refuelling stations to be deployed will offer rapid, high capacity fuelling and thus support the demonstration of how fuel cell trucks can operate as direct replacements for diesel vehicles, with the equivalent driving range and load capacity, but with zero emissions.

The project, coordinated by Element Energy, has been made possible by a grant of €12 million from the European Commission via the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). The project consortium also includes the following organisations: Air Liquide, Eoly, H2 Energy, Hydrogen Europe, IRU Projects, THINKSTEP, WaterstofNet.

Marco Liccardo, Head of Medium and Heavy Trucks Global Product Line, commented: “We are very proud of being part of the ambitious H2Haul project supported by the European Commission. It is a strategic initiative for IVECO, as sustainability has long been a core value that has driven our 360-degree approach to alternative fuels and powertrain solutions. This project will play a key role in our strategy to further extend and enhance our offer of zero- and ultra-low emission vehicles, offering our customers – and their customers – a choice of technologies for their green fleets.”

Pierpaolo Biffali, Product Engineering Vice President of FPT Industrial said: “For FPT Industrial, the H2Haul project is strategic to lead the European zero-emission truck sector by developing the fuel cell electric vehicle as a viable solution for long-haul logistics, with direct access to urban areas. Thus offering a key contribution to decarbonize the commercial transportation and to improve air quality of European cities, together with hydrogen production by using renewable energy.

Menno Kleingeld, Managing Director of VDL Enabling Transport Solutions (VDL ETS), said: “Since the introduction of VDL’s first electric public transport bus in 2013 we have a strong focus on climate resilient electric heavy duty vehicles. Early on, VDL has already invested in the application of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source for long haul transport solutions. Being part of this European H2Haul consortium to further decarbonising the heavy duty vehicle market fits in our e-mobility strategy. Through H2Haul, VDL, together with respected partners, is intending to gain more insight into the economical applicability of hydrogen sustainable transport solutions for the heavy duty market. The hydrogen fuel cell system will be based on the modular construction method that VDL uses for its vehicles which means that the system can be easily integrated in other heavy duty applications. It is strategically important for the European transport manufacturing industries to come up with an economically resource efficient mass-deployable hydrogen system for the long haul heavy duty transport market which will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.”

Ben Madden, Director of Element Energy, said: “There is a growing need for zero emission vehicles across all transport modes, and fuel cell electric trucks offer the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonising the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) sector when refuelled with renewable hydrogen. The H2Haul project is strategically important as it brings together several leading suppliers who will develop and test the vehicles and infrastructure required for hydrogen-fuelled HGVs to become a mainstream choice for logistics providers seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.”

Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the FCH JU, said: “At EU level heavy-duty vehicles account 27% of the road transport CO2 emissions; the need of introducing innovative powertrains based clean energy is obvious and urgent. The H2Haul project will play a key role in demonstrating how fuel cells and hydrogen are perfectly suited for decarbonising this transport segment, while supporting the European value chain leadership in this domain.”

Background Information

About the H2Haul project:

The H2Haul project (Hydrogen fuel cell trucks for heavy-duty, zero emission logistics) is a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) grant funded (€12m) project deploying 16 zero emission fuel cell trucks in four demonstration sites. The project will run for five years from 2019 and is co-financed by the FCH 2 JU under the European Union – Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation under the project number 826236.

The following organisations are participating in the H2Haul project: Air Liquide, Element Energy Limited, ElringKlinger, Eoly, FPT Industrial, H2 Energy Limited, Hydrogen Europe, Hydrogenics, IRU Projects, IVECO, Powercell Sweden, THINKSTEP, VDL Enabling Transport Solutions, WaterstofNet. The trucks will be operated by a German logistics company (for BMW Group logistics), Coop, Colruyt Group, Carrefour (Chabas and Perrenot), and Air Liquide. Website: http://h2haul.eu/

About the FCH JU:

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system. The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by the research grouping Hydrogen Europe Research. Website: http://www.fch.europa.eu/

About Element Energy:

Element Energy Limited is a leading low carbon energy consultancy that provides services across a wide range of sectors: transport, power generation, energy networks, and the built environment. Element Energy has worked in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector for nearly two decades and has expertise in the initiation and coordination of innovative demonstration projects. Website: http://www.element-energy.co.uk

Posted in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Project Management
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