MONTRÉAL AND PONTYPRIDD, Wales–– New hydrogen storage technology is a step-closer thanks to a new research and innovation agreement between Hydro-Québec’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage (CETEES) and the University of South Wales (USW).
The two organisations have signed commercial agreements to transfer the patented hydrogen storage technology arising from USW research to Hydro-Québec, to enable its commercialisation as part of ongoing efforts to decarbonise industry and provide alternative, cleaner sources of energy. This technology allows for the hydrogen to be absorbed into the material at higher concentrations and densities thus increasing its capacity for hydrogen storage.
This technology, for which the results were published in 2019, has several key advantages over existing hydrogen storage options, namely:
- Greater storage capacity
- Less weight for the same storage capacity
- Increased safety linked to a lower tank pressure
- Lower manufacturing costs
- Simplified infrastructure need
- No need for liquefaction step, generating savings in large-scale transport
The applications for this novel energy storage technology are numerous and include transporting large quantities of hydrogen safely, or being able to have reservoirs of hydrogen-powered vehicles that can hold larger quantities of hydrogen in a smaller space, making hydrogen more viable for a variety of vehicle types while bringing the cost down significantly.
Hydro-Québec will work with the patents developed by USW over the next two years to bring them to the commercialization stage.
- “Hydrogen is considered an important key to allow the decarbonization of several sectors of the economy which cannot easily be electrified. However, several challenges need to be overcome in order to bring it to mass market, with a major one being its storage. We are thus very excited to work with The University of South Wales to tackle one of these major challenges.” —Jean Matte, Senior Director of Hydro-Québec’s research center (CRHQ).
- “The Sustainable Environment Research Centre at USW and colleagues working in Chemistry, have been working to develop hydrogen-based technology for many years. They have built-up considerable expertise in this area by working with our international partners, including Hydro-Québec. Supporting a sustainable environment is something that we are continually working towards as part of wider efforts to decarbonise sectors such as industry and transport, to improve air quality and limit long-term health impacts.
“This agreement with Hydro-Québec to commercialise our research into hydrogen storage is a fantastic step forward and one which we hope will have a real impact on enabling greater use of green energy and tackling climate change.” –Professor Paul Harrison, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation and Engagement at the University of South Wales
- “I am very pleased to see continued collaboration between the University of South Wales and Hydro-Québec; particularly given Welsh Government support helped to seed the project.”
“Hydrogen energy is one of the key ways we can shift our reliance away from fossil fuels, and work towards becoming a greener nation, in line with our goal of becoming a carbon net zero nation by 2050. Our recent Hydrogen in Wales report outlines our vision of how we intend to create more opportunities in Wales for a hydrogen-enabled economy, in line with our Low Carbon Delivery Plan.
“As well as paving the way towards newer, greener technologies, collaborations such as these accord exactly with our International Strategy, which was published last year.
“I wish the collaboration between USW and Hydro-Québec every success, and look forward to hearing more on its work in future. “ –Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Welsh Government
- “The partnership announced today between Hydro-Québec and the University of South Wales is in line with government guidelines to position hydrogen at the heart of the energy transition. This collaboration will allow the commercialization of innovative energy storage technologies that aim to reduce GHGs in several sectors, including transportation, which is responsible for more than 40% of GHG emissions. Our government wants Quebec to be recognized as a world leader in the production of green hydrogen on a global scale, just as we are recognized for our electricity. We salute this collaboration, which highlights our expertise and contributes to Quebec’s influence around the world.” –Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Government of Québec
- “As Minister for International Relations and La Francophonie, I am delighted with the announcement of this promising partnership in innovation and hydrogen storage between Québec and Wales. This collaboration is a perfect illustration of the importance of bilateral cooperation in fostering economic recovery, increased trade, access to markets and supply chains, as well as initiatives aimed at developing business and investment opportunities in both Québec and Wales.” –Québec Minister for International Relations and La Francophonie and minister for Immigration, Francisation and Integration
In 2020, the Welsh Government and Quebec Government signed a declaration of intent which, among other things, is aimed at intensifying Wales and Quebec’s relationship through their joint participation in activities related to the economy, innovation, culture and education sectors. Read more: https://media.service.gov.wales/news/international-ministers-announce-the-signing-of-a-declaration-of-intent-aimed-at-strengthening-quebecs-relations-with-wales
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. It is Canada’s largest electricity producer and ranks among the world’s largest hydropower producers. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. The company uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular large hydro. Its research facilities, collectively called Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ), conduct R&D in energy-related fields, including energy efficiency and storage.
To find out more: http://www.hydroquebec.com
About the University of South Wales (USW)
With students from more than 100 countries, the University of South Wales (USW) Group has campuses in three of the region’s major population centres, Cardiff, Pontypridd and Newport. It also has two subsidiaries, Wales’ national conservatoire, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and The College Merthyr Tydfil.
As a leading university for careers, USW works together with employers to achieve its key aims – to make higher education more accessible, build challenge-based learning that equips graduates with transferable skills, to offer flexible learning opportunities, and to strengthen the communities it serves.
These objectives are enhanced by USW’s partnerships with a number of leading international and local employers, and various public sector bodies, including police forces and the National Health Service.
The industrial connections that shape USW’s research culture make it genuinely international, multilingual and outward-looking. Our research is directly affecting people and cultures in all parts of the world.
Find out more: https://www.southwales.ac.uk/
About USW’s Hydrogen Centre
USW’s Hydrogen Centre is a focal point for new Research, Development and Demonstration of hydrogen energy technology in Wales that provides a platform for the experimental development of renewable hydrogen production and novel hydrogen energy storage. The Centre enables further research and development of hydrogen vehicles, fuel cell applications and overall hydrogen energy systems. The Centre is the focal point for a series of collaborative projects between the University of South Wales and other academic and industrial partners.