Hydrogen produced renewably can help to solve the energy problems of the 21st Century, providing a carbon-free fuel. The Renewable Hydrogen Research and Demonstration Centre shown was completed in August 2008 and was officially opened by Wales’s First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM on 9th Oct 2008. It will demonstrate the viability of hydrogen production from a range of indigenous renewable energy sources and evaluate the benefits of using hydrogen as an energy storage medium for these intermittent renewables.
This project follows on from H2Wales, which was part-funded by ERDF Objective 1. The Centre has been funded, again in part through ERDF Objective 1, and the contract was received on 24th November 2006. The Centre is located at Baglan Energy Park, South Wales. The initial EDRF funding finishes at the end of 2008 but the Centre has longer term funding guaranteed by the University of Glamorgan.
Half of the building is designed to house equipment such as an electrolizer, hydrogen compression and storage facilities etc. The other half accommodates offices and a display, demonstration, educational area. Further details can be found at H2Wales.
Hydrogen will initially be produced renewably by electrolysis using wind and solar power and later biologically and will be used in stationary fuel cells and in vehicles. The electricity will come from photovoltaics, and from remote wind turbines via a data link to demonstrate energy savings through peak-lopping. It is anticipated that the Centre will link in with other production facilities throughout South Wales to form the 'hydrogen highway’. See the 'CORDIS article’ (page 23) for a press release. A pdf leaflet (2.9Mb) describing the project can be obtained by e-mail from the address on the contact page.
Research projects will be on a variety of technical, social and economic aspects of moving towards a hydrogen economy.