The North Denmark Region and the Municipality of Aalborg have signed contracts for delivery of three hydrogen buses and for the buidling of a hydrogen production and refuelling station, which will be operational from October 2019 as the country’s first fuel cell bus deployment. This initiative is a full part of the North Denmark Region committment to decarbonisation and a cleaner air.
The three hydrogen buses will be running in the city center of Aalborg and on selected regional bus lines around Aalborg from October 2019.
The hydrogen bus project are supported by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2JU) with app 1.2 mill. €, through the European project 3emotion which promotes hydrogen technology in public transport.
The Regional Council in North Jutland is excited about the potential of the new hydrogen buses, as the technology is advantageous for the immediate environment and will provide a key contribution to the struggle against climate change:
"Use of hydrogen is innovative within public transport, where we can reduce CO2 emissions significantly and completely avoid particle pollution in the immediate environment: Hydrogen buses emit only steam during travel. And by using only electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar when producing the hydrogen, hydrogen as fuel will be completely CO2 neutral" says Ole Stavad, Chairman of the Committee for Regional Development in North Denmark Region.
Another advantage of hydrogen buses is that they have a longer operational range than electric buses, and they are therefore more suitable for the regional bus routes and for longer city bus routes, where electric buses would require frequent recharging.
The Region and the City of Aalborg have also signed a contract on the infrastructure : a hydrogen refuelling station will be deployed along with an electrolysis system producing green hydrogen from renewable electricity .The aim is that the production system is managed in such way that it is primarily in use during timing where there is a surplus of electricity from wind turbines in the grid. In this way, not only hydrogen is completely green, it also allows recuperation of surplus electricity from wind energy which would otherwise be wasted.
The buses will be delivered by the Belgian company Van Hool, whilst the production and the refuelling station will be delivered by the Danish company GreenHydrogen.
Initially, the hydrogen buses in North Jutland will run for three years as part of the 3EMOTION project, but it is expected that the buses will continue in normal service after the end of the project.
The aim of the project is to gain experience with hydrogen technology, to benefit for the development of hydrogen solutions and for the commercial development of the hydrogen sector in the region. This is particilalry intrerested for North Jutland, given the large amount of wind electricity available (which can be used to produce hydrogen).
"We have strong competences within hydrogen energy through the cluster House of Energy and within the companies around Hydrogen Valley in Hobro such as Ballard who is producing fuel cells for buses. We would like to support the development in the cluster and at the same time, it is natural that we as climate region take a lead in the green transition in society. We can do that in the best possible way by testing the potential of changing from fossil fuels to locally produced green hydrogen in public transport", says Leader of the Regional Council, Ulla Astman.