UK-based ITM Power launched its Hydrogen On Site Trial (HOST) program in March, with Stansted Airport the first of 21 partner trials across the UK. HOST comprises the operation of two hydrogen internal combustion engine Ford Transit vehicles, with hydrogen supplied by an HFuel® transportable high-pressure refueling unit.
The hydrogen costs are best expressed in £/kg, and reflect both capital cost amortisation and electricity cost.
The modular HFuel system can be switched on/off in a second, and can be managed on the demand side as a smart load. This could result in electricity costs of less than 4p/kWh – and potentially as low as 0p/kWh or negative electricity prices in parts of Europe that utilise a high percentage of intermittent renewable power.
Based on a 100 kg/day HFuel system, hydrogen cost ranges from £3.88/kg (based on 4p/kWh and a 20-year CAPEX amortisation), to £10.71/kg (based on 8p/kWh and a 5-year amortisation).
Compare this with €9.90/kg (£8.49/kg), which is the European target (according to a report last fall by McKinsey) for 2015, coinciding with the major rollout of fuel cell vehicles across Europe.
ITM Power says its HOST experience has shown that an electricity cost of 6.5p/kWh provides the same cost per mile as diesel in an internal combustion engine vehicle, based on input electricity costs. Moving to a hydrogen fuel cell platform would improve the economics very significantly.
‘Hydrogen from HFuel costs less than EU targets, and is competitive with fuel on the high street today,’ says Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power. ‘What could be more compelling than an economic fuel made from renewable power that has zero emissions?’