Axpo launches hydrogen initiative in Switzerland

15.04.2021 - Axpo plans to produce green hydrogen from the power of the river Rhine. A hydrogen production facility at the Eglisau-Glattfelden hydropower plant in Switzerland is the first of several that Axpo will commission in the coming years.

Scheduled to go onstream in autumn 2022, the 2.5-megawatt hydrogen production facility will produce about 350 tonnes of green hydrogen annually. This will save the road transport sector more than 1.5 million litres of diesel fuel a year.

If demand for hydrogen grows as expected, plant capacity can be doubled to 5 megawatts. Direct connection of the production facility to the power plant will ensure climate neutral hydrogen production. Preparations for the official approval process will commence in a matter of days.

Axpo began planning a hydrogen production facility at the same power plant in 2015. However, the project was not pursued further because hydrogen sales volumes remained below expectations. Guy Bühler, Head of Hydrogen at Axpo, explained: "Since then, the fight against climate change has become significantly more important, while hydrogen has proven to be a suitable energy source for de-carbonisation in the mobility and industry sectors."

Hydrogen filling station network under development

As the mobility sector’s hydrogen eco-system continues to develop in Switzerland, Axpo is teaming with Hydrospider AG to market the hydrogen produced at the Eglisau-Glattfelden power plant, delivering the hydrogen directly from the production facility to a network of filling stations. Today, there are already more than 50 trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells on the road in Switzerland. According to Hydrospider, there will be more than 1,600 by the year 2026. The network of hydrogen filling stations will also grow significantly in the next two years, from a current six to approximately 50.

Green hydrogen is one of the most important climate friendly energy sources, especially in the industry and mobility area. It will also be key to achieving the de-carbonisation strategies of the European Union and other countries. Having recently established its own hydrogen business, Axpo intends to take a leading role in the transition to CO2-free energy supply. The company aims to develop projects with a combined capacity of 5 megawatts by 2022. More plants like the Eglisau-Glattfelden power plant are in the planning stages.

About Axpo: Axpo is Switzerland's largest producer of renewable energy and an international leader in energy trading and the marketing of solar and wind power. 5,000 employees combine experience and expertise with a passion for innovation. Axpo develops innovative energy solutions for its customers in 30 countries in Europe, North America and Asia, based on state-of-the-art technology.

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