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Hydrogen technology advancements in Western Switzerland

Cleantech

13 May 2024

Key players from Western Switzerland are coming together to strengthen the region's commitment to renewable hydrogen production, which will not only address global climate change, but also innovate the industrial and energy sectors.

Key players from Western Switzerland are coming together to strengthen the region’s commitment to renewable hydrogen production, which will not only address global climate change, but also innovate the industrial and energy sectors.

As nations worldwide grapple with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, Western Switzerland is taking a proactive approach by focusing on renewable hydrogen. This clean energy source holds the potential to significantly lower carbon emissions in various industries, from manufacturing to transportation, providing a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

Prominent stakeholders from the region are uniting to strengthen the region’s dedication to renewable hydrogen production. This effort is set to not only combat global climate change but also drive innovation in the industrial and energy sectors.

The PRHYSM project exemplifies this initiative. A collaborative effort among Romande Energie, SolydEra, and Zwahlen & Mayr, the project focuses on generating renewable hydrogen for local consumption at a newly established facility in Aigle, expected to be operational by 2025.

Romande Energie, a major player in Swiss energy, is leading the way with its support for hydrogen as a clean energy vector. The company’s new project, PRHYSM (Production of green HYdrogen for clean Steel and Metallurgy), is designed to decarbonize the region and foster technological innovation. By utilizing high-efficiency water electrolysis powered by onsite solar energy, the project will significantly cut the carbon footprint associated with hydrogen used by Zwahlen & Mayr, a Swiss company known for its stainless-steel products.

SolydEra, based in Yverdon-les-Bains, is contributing cutting-edge electrolyzer technology to ensure efficient on-site hydrogen production. This collaboration underscores the importance of innovative technologies in transitioning to a decarbonized economy.

The PRHYSM project not only highlights the technological strides being made but also the ecological and economic benefits of such initiatives. By producing 20 tons of hydrogen annually for 15 years through renewable sources, it embodies the principles of circular economy and industrial ecology cherished by all stakeholders involved.

A leader in hydrogen innovations

This initiative is part of a broader trend in Western Switzerland, where hydrogen innovation is gaining momentum. Companies like WattAnyWhere and NovaMea have also made significant advances in hydrogen technology, from creating mobile generators that convert ethanol into electricity to developing advanced water electrolyzers for green hydrogen production. Similarly, the electric-hydrogen powered vehicle developed by GreenGT and tested at high speeds exemplifies the potential of hydrogen in revolutionizing transportation.

Moreover, the establishment of a hydrogen research facility by Symbio in Corminboeuf, with a CHF 12 million investment, is set to further enhance the region’s capabilities in hydrogen technology by 2026. MobyFly’s recognition at the HackOsaka competition for its innovative hydrogen-powered transport boats demonstrates the global acknowledgment of Western Switzerland’s efforts in sustainable mobility solutions.

Through collaborative initiatives such as the PRHYSM project, Western Switzerland is advancing both its technological prowess and ecological commitments. These efforts are setting a global standard for sustainable practices and could potentially influence broader strategies for combating climate change.