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New Modular Green Hydrogen Fuel Station Keeps It Above Ground

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Green hydrogen fans have lots to cheer about these days as one huge mega-project after another takes shape, but there is also some interesting activity bubbling up on the small end of the scale. With that in mind, let’s check out a new modular, off-grid, above-ground, rainwater harvesting, solar powered hydrogen fuel station over in Australia. Wait, doesn’t the US have one of those, too?

Keeping It Above Ground

Above ground is the keyword here. Electric cars get props for having nothing coming out of their tailpipes, and they also have this extra benefit of not contributing to the LUST problem, which for some reason nobody talks about. However, people should be talking about it, because LUST is a big problem — for gasmobiles, that is.

That’s LUST, as in Leaking Underground Storage Tanks. When you pull into your local gas station, all of your gas does not come out of that little thing sticking up out of the ground. It comes from a storage tank below the surface. Not all of them leak, of course. However, there are a lot of them, and some of them leak into the ground, potentially impacting people who depend on underground aquifers for drinking, which EPA estimates includes about half the US population.

Here in the US, in 1984 Congress finally passed a law requiring corrective action for old leaking underground tanks for petroleum and other hazardous liquids, setting standards for new ones, and tasking EPA with creating a program to deal with the whole mess. Since then the law has been strengthened and expanded, but the problem persists.

Though EPA calculates that 37 states closed about 90% of their problem sites over the past 20 years, 544,000 underground storage tanks remain. They require constant monitoring, correction, and removal if necessary, and a quick stroll through the Intertubes reveals plenty of holes in the program.

“Addressing the LUST sites remaining to be cleaned up continues to be a high priority for EPA and our state, territorial, and tribal partners,” EPA recently wrote, by way of introducing the idea that a backlog of cases remains, even as new ones pop up.

Above-Ground Modular Green Hydrogen Refueling Station To The Rescue

One obvious solution to the LUST problem is to store your hazardous liquids above ground, where you can keep an eye on them. Another part of the solution is to store only the minimum necessary to fulfill near-term needs, and that’s where green hydrogen comes in.

For those of you new to the hydrogen topic, most of the world’s supply of hydrogen is produced by pulling it out of natural gas, which is why hydrogen fuel cell cars get the stink-eye from advocates for climate action. They have zero tailpipe emissions, but they drag a long tail of fossil energy baggage behind them.

Green hydrogen from renewable resources could solve that problem. It used to be a pie in the sky idea, until recent years when the cost of wind and solar power began to sink like a stone. That set the stage for electrolysis, which refers to systems that apply an electrical current to water, and out bubbles the green hydrogen.

That opens the door for hydrogen fuel stations that can store green hydrogen in above-ground tanks. Add a water storage tank and perhaps throw in a battery for additional energy storage, and everything you need is out in the open air.

That finally brings us to the latest news about green hydrogen fuel stations. The firm Hydrogen Fuels Australia has just dropped word that plans for a new hydrogen fuel station are under way for the Melbourne suburb of Truganina, which will give it bragging rights to the first ever off-grid modular green hydrogen production and fuel station in all of Australia.

“Founded on environmentally sustainable and ‘low impact’ concepts, H2FA’s operation uses its own electrolysis assets (in island mode) to convert renewable power into green hydrogen,” explains the company, emphasizing that this is a modular, off-grid system and not a grid-connected system.

The sustainable element includes rainwater harvesting to supply the electrolysis system.

The Global Green Hydrogen Technology Network Is Growing

H2FA also emphasizes that the site is not a one-off. It will serve as an R&D center to fine tune the technology and scale up the green hydrogen production end of things.

The project also demonstrates how the international knowledge base and supply chain is pivoting into green hydrogen.

Partners in the project include Australia-based Skai Energies along with Nilsson Energy of Sweden to manage the site’s microgrid, with Green Hydrogen Systems of Denmark providing the electrolyzers, and the US firm Plug Power supplying power to the site.

If you’re not surprised to see Plug Power in the green hydrogen mix, join the club. CleanTechnica first took note of Plug Power back in 2010, when it was pitching hydrogen fuel cell forklifts to the masses. That was before the green hydrogen industry began to emerge. Now that it has, Plug Power is still eyeballing all sorts of hydrogen-fueled mobility devices, but apparently it has also come to realize that green hydrogen production is a money maker.

A 750-kilowatt solar array will power the electrolysis system at the Truganina site. The initial plans call for 60-90 kilograms of green hydrogen daily, eventually ramping up to 3,000 kilograms. H2FA calculates that will provide enough to fuel over 100 vehicles daily.

More Modular, Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Stations For The US

If all goes according to plan, the new H2FA fuel station will be up and running next year. The company is already planning to expand the concept across Victoria and the rest of Australia, too.

So, what about the US? Although hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars have struggled to find a foothold in the market, a growing number of auto makers are eyeballing the long haul truck field and other heavy duty uses. Quick refueling, long range, and high power are the basic benefits.

The US Department of Energy, for one, is a huge fan. Earlier this month Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced that hydrogen will be the first area of focus under the Energy Department’s new Earthshots innovation initiative, modeled on the successful Moonshot and Sunshot programs.

The Earthshots initiative follows on the heels of a growing movement among hydrogen stakeholders in the US to pump up interest in green hydrogen as a decarbonization pathway, and not just for mobility purposes. In one especially noteworthy development that should send shivers up the spines of natural gas stakeholders, the powerhouse legacy firm Mitsubishi has come up with a new gas turbine for power plants that is specifically designed to integrate green hydrogen with natural gas on an incremental basis, until sufficient supplies are available for 100% green hydrogen operations.

Yikes! Hopefully those green hydrogen power stations will do a better job under climate impacts than natural gas power plants. Natural gas was supposed to be a cleaner “bridge” fuel to deep decarbonization, but for one thing its cleanliness is in question, and for another thing it doesn’t seem up to the task of providing power on a reliable basis during hot spells as well as cold ones.

Looking at you, Texas. In an interesting twist, earlier this year Texas launched a project to explore the development of a regional hydrogen hub, leveraging its considerable wind and solar resources, so perhaps help is on the way.

Follow me on Twitter @TinaMCasey.

Image (screenshot): Courtesy of Hydrogen Fuels Australia.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/18/new-modular-green-hydrogen-fuel-station-keeps-it-above-ground/

Cleantech

Zero Emissions Zones: A Tool to Target Benefits of Vehicle Electrification to Communities that Need it Most

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Originally published by Union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation.
By David Reichmuth and Leslie Aguayo, a Climate Equity Program Manager from The Greenlining Institute

Zero-emission vehicle technologies, like battery electric and fuel cell vehicles, are critical to reducing air pollution and climate-changing emissions from transportation. State and federal policies that require and incentivize zero emission vehicles sales are important tools to ensure that this transition away from fossil fuel combustion happens as rapidly as possible. The reduction in tailpipe pollution will help address harmful and inequitable air pollution exposure from on-road vehicles. And, there are tools that could be used to target these benefits to specific communities — communities that are disproportionately burdened by air pollution. One promising tool is the use of low- or zero-emission zones to prioritize the use of cleaner vehicles.

Low- and zero-emissions zones are a policy tool available to cities to improve air quality and can reduce congestion, raise revenue, and achieve climate goals. There are more than 250 of these zones across Europe, but can they work in the United States? To help answer this question, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Greenlining Institute have created a primer to explore potential benefits to communities, as well as factors to consider in using zones as a tool to increase racial and economic equity. The goal of this primer is not to be prescriptive, but instead as an aid to help policymakers and stakeholders understand and evaluate the utility of low- and zero-emissions zones for their communities, as well as provide important considerations towards equitable policymaking.

Congestion, low-emission, and zero-emission zones compared

A congestion zone is designed primarily to reduce vehicle travel and is often used to combat traffic and other issues caused by having many vehicles on the road. Low-emissions zones (LEZ) and zero-emissions zones (ZEZ) are designed primarily to reduce emissions, and are often used to combat air pollution and meet global warming pollution reduction goals.

Congestion zones and LEZs or ZEZs are similar to each other, but there are key differences. In California, a city has the ability to implement a congestion zone on its own, but legislation may be needed before a city can begin creating LEZs or ZEZs.

A congestion zone may limit vehicle entry by type or time of day. Often, a fee will be used to incentivize drivers to choose an alternative form of transportation within the zone or to avoid it altogether. LEZs and ZEZs usually require vehicles to meet a certain pollution standard, but they can also be designed to apply only to certain classes of vehicles, such as heavy-duty trucks.

Congestion, low-emissions, and zero-emissions zones can be designed to meet an area’s particular challenges with the best practices for that community. Some of the factors to consider are included in the table above.

Consideration of local needs vital to implementation

Communities in other countries have established ZEZs to discourage the use of polluting gasoline and diesel vehicles in dense urban areas. Given the high levels of vehicular air pollution in California and the racial inequities in exposure to tailpipe pollution, communities may want to explore ZEZs as a potential remedy ZEZs are promising because, in addition to promoting long-term change, such as the transition to electric vehicles, if designed equitably, they can direct the benefits of existing clean vehicle policies to people who are overburdened by harmful air pollution.

In implementing ZEZs in hardest hit communities, there are important equity considerations that must be addressed, such as access to cleaner vehicles and chargers, ensuring market-based approaches result in real-world emissions reductions, and, most importantly, assurance that the community has the power to determine the structure and implementation of the zone.

Similarly, decisionmakers must consider many factors in pursuing an LEZ/ZEZ, and each city will need to explore the options that work locally. For too long, in implementing solutions to help the environment, decisionmakers have missed the opportunity to center economic and racial justice. ZEZs hold potential to further all three, but the policy should be considered carefully within each local context.

In fact, equitable implementation of an LEZ or ZEZ is not possible if it is done in an acontextual or ahistorical manner, particularly in California where car dependency, highways, and transit systems were born out of racialized policies. New policies must not ignore the impact of past decisions such as the construction of highways intentionally designed to segregate communities of color or punitive, racially-targeted transit enforcement. On a smaller scale, each locality’s unique context must also be factored to design an appropriate ZEZ that targets community needs, seizes opportunities for economic development and prioritizes racial equity.

For these reasons, this primer highlights the critical importance of context, and prioritized interviews and qualitative data from stakeholders in California’s communities with the highest levels of air pollution and poverty levels (AB 617 Communities). The feedback received was critical for understanding community perspectives on ZEZs, developing equity considerations, policy recommendations for decision makers, and mitigating future transportation induced environmental inequality.

While LEZs and ZEZs are not the silver bullet to equitable transportation or pollution reduction, if done with an equity-centered approach, and in combination with other community-driven strategies, the potential benefits could serve as a step in the right direction.

Featured image from LACI, from related story: USA’s 1st Zero-Emissions Delivery Zone Is In Santa Monica, California


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/28/zero-emissions-zones-a-tool-to-target-benefits-of-vehicle-electrification-to-communities-that-need-it-most/

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Cleantech

Tesla Model 3 Review After 3 Years: “I really, really, capital letters L-O-V-E, LOVE this car!”

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Arash Malek, the founder of Scentwedge, has shared a 3 year review of his Tesla Model 3. He has accumulated 80,000 miles in those 3 years, which inspired him to share a review on how he truly feels about the car.

Arash starts the video by emphasizing that he loves his car. Imagine loving your car after owning it for three years. Many I know would be ready for a new car due to issues they have with parts or just aging.

“To summarize it with one word, I guess it would be that I love, love, love, love it — love it! I freaking love the car. I really, really, capital letters L-O-V-E, LOVE this car. Let me tell you why.

“Aesthetically speaking, the Tesla Model 3 is the most minimal interior of any car, in my opinion. Everything that’s there is absolutely necessary to be there and I find it beautiful when something is clearly a subtractive design process. When you focus on removing rather than adding, that really resonates with me, and I prefer the Tesla Model 3 interior over the Tesla Model S or Model X interior — well, not the refresh, but the one before the refresh. And I just find it so naturally beautiful.”

As he spoke, he shared footage of his Model 3 driving in the lush mountain scenery that was accented by the warm glow of the sun. There’s a small lake to the left, vibrant green grass on either side of the road that curves into a horizon guarded by small mountains. This scene reflects Arash’s aesthetic, which he described as a minimalist purist.

“For that reason, I haven’t done many modifications to the car. In fact, the only other thing that I’ve done is add a little bit more wood to the interior of the car with the Scentwedge center console. But aside from that, I’ve done zero modifications to the car and I absolutely love it the way it rolled off the lot.”

He explained that he’s not a car person. Before he drove his Model 3, he had a Honda Accord and only used it to get from point A to point B. He really wasn’t a fan of the car and isn’t much into babying a car. He would wash it in an automated car wash and didn’t really focus on protecting the paint — it was just a car.

“It’s not so much that I want to baby the car and protect it. It’s more so I still see it as a tool, but I see it as the best freaking tool — the most fun tool. And the smartest tool available that happens to also be the fastest and most fun thing to drive and get around with.

“How often do you change the oil? And the answer to that is, ‘Never. I’ve never changed the oil on my car.’”

He explained how convenient charging is, especially on road trips. When Arash was in Norway, he took his Model 3 on a five-day-long road trip. He noted that range anxiety was nonexistent.

“Going from point A to point B, the idea of charging doesn’t even cross my mind because the car navigates you to the chargers that you need along your route based on charge status — and road conditions, inclines, declines, weather — and it just does all the thinking for you. So, figuring out how you’re going to charge, where you’re going to charge, is a non-issue because the car does it for you.”

Arash also explained that although many may fret over changing the brake pads in their cars, this is not an issue for a Tesla due to Tesla’s regen braking.

“The wear and tear on the brakes are significantly less than a traditional gas-powered car. So, actually replacing the brakes if you don’t race with the car, which I don’t, is not that frequent at all. I mean I think over the course of 80,000 miles I’ve only changed my brakes maybe once and I’m not even sure of that.

“After 80,000 miles of use, I still feel the same way about it as the first day that I purchased the car. And I think something about that is intrinsically magical. It’s constantly pushing the status quo of what it used to be. It’s kind of impossible to get tired of it and that’s my genuine review of the Tesla Model 3 after 80,000 miles. It just keeps getting better and it’s never been to the point where I’ve even considered upgrading the car to anything else.

Arash said that he considered getting a Model Y due to space and car camping, but he’s already on the waiting list for the Cybertruck and he thinks that will be his end vehicle.

“I tell everyone that I know: It’s the best product that I’ve ever purchased, hands down.”

You can watch Arash’s full review here.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/28/tesla-model-3-review-after-3-years-i-really-really-capital-letters-l-o-v-e-love-this-car/

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Cleantech

Tesla Model 3 Review After 3 Years: “I really, really, capital letters L-O-V-E, LOVE this car!”

Published

on

Arash Malek, the founder of Scentwedge, has shared a 3 year review of his Tesla Model 3. He has accumulated 80,000 miles in those 3 years, which inspired him to share a review on how he truly feels about the car.

Arash starts the video by emphasizing that he loves his car. Imagine loving your car after owning it for three years. Many I know would be ready for a new car due to issues they have with parts or just aging.

“To summarize it with one word, I guess it would be that I love, love, love, love it — love it! I freaking love the car. I really, really, capital letters L-O-V-E, LOVE this car. Let me tell you why.

“Aesthetically speaking, the Tesla Model 3 is the most minimal interior of any car, in my opinion. Everything that’s there is absolutely necessary to be there and I find it beautiful when something is clearly a subtractive design process. When you focus on removing rather than adding, that really resonates with me, and I prefer the Tesla Model 3 interior over the Tesla Model S or Model X interior — well, not the refresh, but the one before the refresh. And I just find it so naturally beautiful.”

As he spoke, he shared footage of his Model 3 driving in the lush mountain scenery that was accented by the warm glow of the sun. There’s a small lake to the left, vibrant green grass on either side of the road that curves into a horizon guarded by small mountains. This scene reflects Arash’s aesthetic, which he described as a minimalist purist.

“For that reason, I haven’t done many modifications to the car. In fact, the only other thing that I’ve done is add a little bit more wood to the interior of the car with the Scentwedge center console. But aside from that, I’ve done zero modifications to the car and I absolutely love it the way it rolled off the lot.”

He explained that he’s not a car person. Before he drove his Model 3, he had a Honda Accord and only used it to get from point A to point B. He really wasn’t a fan of the car and isn’t much into babying a car. He would wash it in an automated car wash and didn’t really focus on protecting the paint — it was just a car.

“It’s not so much that I want to baby the car and protect it. It’s more so I still see it as a tool, but I see it as the best freaking tool — the most fun tool. And the smartest tool available that happens to also be the fastest and most fun thing to drive and get around with.

“How often do you change the oil? And the answer to that is, ‘Never. I’ve never changed the oil on my car.’”

He explained how convenient charging is, especially on road trips. When Arash was in Norway, he took his Model 3 on a five-day-long road trip. He noted that range anxiety was nonexistent.

“Going from point A to point B, the idea of charging doesn’t even cross my mind because the car navigates you to the chargers that you need along your route based on charge status — and road conditions, inclines, declines, weather — and it just does all the thinking for you. So, figuring out how you’re going to charge, where you’re going to charge, is a non-issue because the car does it for you.”

Arash also explained that although many may fret over changing the brake pads in their cars, this is not an issue for a Tesla due to Tesla’s regen braking.

“The wear and tear on the brakes are significantly less than a traditional gas-powered car. So, actually replacing the brakes if you don’t race with the car, which I don’t, is not that frequent at all. I mean I think over the course of 80,000 miles I’ve only changed my brakes maybe once and I’m not even sure of that.

“After 80,000 miles of use, I still feel the same way about it as the first day that I purchased the car. And I think something about that is intrinsically magical. It’s constantly pushing the status quo of what it used to be. It’s kind of impossible to get tired of it and that’s my genuine review of the Tesla Model 3 after 80,000 miles. It just keeps getting better and it’s never been to the point where I’ve even considered upgrading the car to anything else.

Arash said that he considered getting a Model Y due to space and car camping, but he’s already on the waiting list for the Cybertruck and he thinks that will be his end vehicle.

“I tell everyone that I know: It’s the best product that I’ve ever purchased, hands down.”

You can watch Arash’s full review here.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/28/tesla-model-3-review-after-3-years-i-really-really-capital-letters-l-o-v-e-love-this-car/

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Cleantech

Who on Earth is Twiggy Forest? 

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Andrew “Twiggy” Forest is Australia’s second richest person. His wealth has been accumulated from mining and other ventures. He is the major shareholder and former CEO of Fortesque Metals, which holds massive iron ore leases in the Pilbara of Western Australia. Inspired by other billionaires (like Bill and Melinda Gates), he has pledged to give away his wealth during his lifetime. To do so, so far, he has funded philanthropic foundations to wipe out modern slavery (The Global Freedom Network), encourage the employment of indigenous Australians, and grant scholarships for higher learning. 

But, you are asking, how does this relate to the readers of CleanTechnica? Let me tell you about what Twiggy is up to now. Twiggy Forest has established Fortesque Future Industries. Current projects include:

  • Successful combustion of ammonia to power locomotives and large marine vessels, including ore carriers.
  • Design and construction of hydrogen powered mining trucks and drilling rigs.
  • Successful production of green iron and green cement. 

The Outback’s answer to Steve Jobs plans to make Fortesque one of the world’s biggest energy companies by using green hydrogen. Australia’s vast renewable energy resources will be tapped to create green hydrogen that will power not only Forest’s huge mining ventures but also be available for export. 

Fortesque plans to build a 40 GW renewable energy hub in the Pilbara. This energy will be used to create hydrogen which will in turn be used to produce green steel. The EU and associated countries will be looking for products that are produced in a low-carbon environment. The export potential is mind boggling. 

The transition to green steel will not be easy. Twiggy anticipates that as green hydrogen becomes cost effective, the fossil fuel industry will fight back by slashing prices. In a recent Australian Broadcasting Commission lecture, he described it thus: “At the end, it will be grim – think of a knife fight in a telephone box.”

Judging by his track record so far, I think I know who will win. We have a ringside seat, pass the popcorn!


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/28/who-on-earth-is-twiggy-forest/

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