Moving From Hydrogen Demonstration to Implementation

At a conference in Japan, top executives of Shell Hydrogen unveiled new concept to support the development of the global hydrogen market. Jeremy Bentham, CEO of Shell Hydrogen, revealed Shell Hydrogen’s new concept of “Mini-networks” as “Lighthouse Projects” to guide the development of the Hydrogen Market at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Japan 1 July 2004.

Yokohama, Japan – July 13, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] During the conference Bentham highlighted the success of the current hydrogen infrastructure projects so far and unveiled his proposal for the next phase of the development in hydrogen, namely, to develop a new generation of “Lighthouse Projects” that more accurately represent the reality of what the future will look like. “People need to be able to witness the wonder of hydrogen technology for themselves — not just read about it,” Bentham said. According to Shell, 50 Million tons of hydrogen is already produced and consumed worldwide every year, mainly in industrial settings. Much of this takes place in oil refineries, Shell produces more than 7000 tons of hydrogen each day, where it is used to produce cleaner, traditional fuels. Shell said that if one compares the locations of major cities where hydrogen-powered vehicles will be introduced with those of facilities where hydrogen is produced, it is clear that important production nodes are already in place and form an ideal platform to introduce “Lighthouse Projects” in the form of mini-networks. This would mean moving away from isolated industry demonstration projects to mini-networks that already have both semi-commercial and subsided elements. Elements of each new “Lighthouse Project” should include: – Fleets building up to 100 vehicles and beyond – Fuelled from mini-network of 4-6 integrated hydrogen/gasoline stations – Public Private Partnerships – More than one vehicle manufacturer – More than one infrastructure supplier – Fleet company – Government & regional/local authority – Both subsidized and semi-commercial elements – Focus on transportation in urbanized markets, e.g. Tokyo, Los Angeles, the Rhine region – Some stationary power elements – High visibility “If governments support these projects with the right development frameworks and incentives, then all the conditions to build a hydrogen infrastructure can be met,” Bentham said. Shell Hydrogen believes the creation of “Lighthouse Projects” involving “Mini-networks” is the next vital stretch on the development of the Hydrogen market, and will therefore actively engage and discuss this new concept seriously with all interested parties.
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