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Hydrogen – A CO2-free alternative energy carrier

In order to combat climate change, there is an urgent need for alternative energy carriers that can be generated and used without emitting CO2. Hydrogen is an optimal alternative to fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, and contributes to the decarbonisation of road transport and of the heavy industry. Provided that the energy-intensive production process based on electrolysis is carried out using carbon-neutral, renewable electricity.

Hydrogen production using renewable energy sources

As the leading source of renewable energy, hydropower is particularly well suited for hydrogen production. Thanks to their long operating hours, run-of-river power plants enable hydrogen production plants to run with a high degree of utilisation. An optimal balance between hydrogen and electricity generation is key to ensuring that production is economical and that sufficient electricity is available in the grid during critical periods.

In future, hydrogen production will also play a decisive role for other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Since hydrogen production can take up excess energy, it reduces the need for electricity grid expansions and contributes to the integration of new renewable energies into the energy system.

The advantage of the generated hydrogen is that it is transportable and can thus also be processed into methane or liquid fuels and combustibles regardless of location. Or it can be converted back into electricity and thus complement other storage solutions, such as stationary batteries.

Possible fields of application for hydrogen

In the transport sector, hydrogen is an alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used to power rockets and airplanes or in fuel cells for cars, trucks or ships that use electric propulsion. Its main advantages are its operating range and the fast conventional fuelling process as well as its low resource consumption and weight compared to a battery.

In the industrial sector, hydrogen is applied in various fields: from the long-term storage of large quantities of energy and for emergency power supplies to the synthesis of other energy carriers and fuels and in the refining processes of the chemical industry.

Alpiq and the production of hydrogen

With hydropower in our DNA, we have the best prerequisites for the carbon-neutral production of this alternative energy carrier. Our main focus is on the use of hydrogen for the road transport sector. With our commitment to hydrogen mobility, we are already making a decisive contribution to the evolution of mobility.

In cooperation with H2 Energy and Linde Gas, we also intend to establish hydrogen as an alternative energy carrier, focusing on heavy goods transport. For this purpose, we hold a 45 percent stake in Hydrospider AG. In a cost-efficient manner, the company guarantees hydrogen that fulfils the quality standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Hydrospider has completed a 2 MW electrolysis plant at the Gösgen run-of-river power station. This is the first plant of this size in Switzerland to produce hydrogen for commercial operation.

In cooperation with EW Höfe and SOCAR Energy Switzerland, we also plan to build an electrolysis plant with a capacity of up to 10 MW in Freienbach (SZ). When completed, the plant will produce an annual output of around 1000 to 1200 tonnes of green hydrogen to enable zero-emission mobility. In addition, the exhaust heat will be fed into the regional district heating network that is currently being established. The plant will thus set new standards in terms of overall efficiency and make an important contribution to Switzerland’s climate-friendly energy supply.

Hydrogen news

"Hydrogen: A must for the energy transition"

Led by the four Co-Presidents Maja Riniker, Doris Fiala, Isabelle Chevalley and Albert Rösti, the first event of the Parliamentary Group “Hydrogen” took place. Thanks to presentations by Lucas Grolimund (H2 Energy AG), Nicolas Crettenand (Head of Operations Hydrospider) and Jörg Ackermann (President of the H2 Mobility Switzerland Association), politicians from various parties obtained first-hand information on the topic of green hydrogen and its potential for achieving climate goals.

Unique hydrogen ecosystem

Hydrospider, Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility and Association pro H2 mobility Switzerland are currently establishing a business model for emission-free mobility that is unique in Europe - right in the middle of it all is the Alpiq Gösgen hydropower plant, where green hydrogen is produced from renewable hydropower.

Further information