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Clean Energy Perspectives

Van Hool and Ballard Presented with "Ecology Award" at Kortrijk Busworld Europe Event

October 28, 2013
Van Hool and Ballard Presented with

KORTRIJK, BELGIUM – Ballard Power Systems and our partner Van Hool were presented with the “Ecology Award”, coincident with the Busworld Europe industry event held in Kortrijk, Belgium (http://kortrijk.busworld.org/), for successfully combining: (i) a new vehicle concept, with (ii) a high efficiency fuel cell hybrid driveline, and (iii) a high level of passenger comfort in a bus deployed in San Remo, Italy.

The competition was held on the eve of the Busworld Europe exhibition, involving six buses and twelve coaches. All participants were subjected to a number of tests and observations by teams of experienced field jury members.

Van Hool is a Belgian-based independent bus, coach and industrial vehicle OEM with a long history of innovation in fuel cell bus manufacturing. By 2014 the Company plans to have 27 buses – powered by Ballard fuel cell modules – operating in these European cities: Oslo, Norway (5 buses); Cologne, Germany (2); San Remo, Italy (5); Flanders, Belgium (5); and Aberdeen, Scotland (10).

Ballard anticipates powering 40 of the 50 zero emission fuel cell buses used in transit service on European roads in 2014, including the 27 Van Hool buses.

Increased volumes of fuel cell-powered buses are supporting cost reductions through scale economies in sourcing and manufacturing, enabling fuel cell solutions to compete more effectively with incumbent transit technologies.

Ballard’s FCvelocity®-HD7 will be the next-generation of fuel cell power module, designed specifically for integration into buses and reflecting improved durability, reliability along with significant cost reduction.

 

If you would like to arrange an interview or for more information, please contact Guy McAree at media@ballard.com.

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Harper Government Announces Next Steps on Energy Innovation

October 28, 2013
Harper Government Announces Next Steps on Energy Innovation

OTTAWA - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that Natural Resources Canada will be holding Energy Innovation Roundtables across Canada over the coming months. The roundtables will identify opportunities to strengthen collaboration among key players to solicit views on how best to align efforts to support Canada's energy innovation and competitiveness domestically and globally.

"Increasing energy innovation will help maintain Canada's competitiveness and reduce energy costs for Canadians while helping protect the environment," said the Honourable Joe Oliver. "These roundtables will engage key leaders across many sectors of the economy to find new ways to use existing resources to maximize energy innovation in Canada."

Participants will be invited to five thematic roundtables being held across Canada. The meetings will conclude in early 2014 with a national roundtable held in Waterloo, Ontario, that will bring key issues to the forefront for a discussion on energy innovation in Canada. Five roundtables will focus on enhancing energy innovation and maximizing energy opportunities in the following areas:

distributed power generation (Halifax);
energy efficiency (Montreal);
next-generation transportation (Toronto);
long-term research and development opportunities (Vancouver); and
unconventional oil and gas, including carbon capture and storage (Calgary).

Locations were chosen where there is a relative concentration of expertise on the subject matter to ensure a balanced discussion across the country.

Concurrently, Natural Resources Canada is releasing a report entitled Opportunities for Canadian Energy Technologies in Global Markets. The department commissioned the report to help identify global opportunities for Canadian energy technologies by 2020. The report was produced by a major global consulting firm. It does not represent the views of the Government of Canada but will serve as background for the discussion. The report, including other material to support the roundtable discussions, can be found online at http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/1167.

Media may contact:

David Provencher
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of
Natural Resources
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447
The general public may contact:

Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

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US Army aims to replace old generators with hydrogen fuel cells

October 23, 2013
US Army aims to replace old generators with hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel continues to gain support from the military

Army scientists have been working to cut down on the fuel consumption of forward operating bases in order to lower the costs associated with such bases. Lowering fuel expenditure is not the only focus of the Army, of course, as it also intends to increase its use of renewable energy as directed by the U.S. Department of Defense. The federal agency considers energy to be a matter of national security and has been pushing the country’s military to embrace renewable energy more aggressively. For the Army, hydrogen fuel.

Army scientists work to move away from JP-8 generators

The Army has been working to replace generators that use JP-8 fuel with hydrogen fuel cells. JP-8 generators have been widely used by the military for several years, but scientists from the Army Research Lab believe that fuel consumption could be cut in half if these generators were replaced with fuel cells. The organization notes that hydrogen fuel can be produced on-site, removing the need to deliver fuel to operating bases in hostile territories. The delivery of fuel has lead to many casualties over the years, especially in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army - Hydrogen FuelFuel cells could be a better option

JP-8 fuel typically costs $15 per gallon. This is not the only cost associated with the fuel, of course. The cost of this fuel is inflated by the monetary aspects of the supply chain, as well as the human cost associated with protecting the fuel as it is being transported. A hydrogen fuel cell has little need to rely on fuel transports as hydrogen can be generated at operating bases using a variety of methods. Moreover, fuel cells can produce large of electrical power quietly, which could be a quality of life improvement for those serving at operating bases.

Army develops fuel cells that are 17% more efficient than conventional generators

The Army Research lab has developed hydrogen fuel cells that are approximately 17% more efficient than JP-8-burning generators. These fuel cells are equipped with palladium membranes that can enhance the purity of the hydrogen used to generate electricity. The next step for these fuel cells is to test their durability and determine whether they can meet the needs of operating bases in hostile areas of the world.

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Emera and Nalcor CEOs named energy persons of the year by Energy Council of Canada

October 23, 2013
Emera and Nalcor CEOs named energy persons of the year by Energy Council of Canada

 

OTTAWAOct. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Energy Council of Canada is proud to announce that Emera Inc. and Nalcor Energy's, Presidents and CEOS, Chris Huskilson and Ed Martin, are joint recipients of the 2013 Canadian Energy Person of the Year Award.

"The Canadian Energy Person of the Year Award recognizes Chris Huskilson and Ed Martin as ambassadors ofCanada's energy sector, demonstrating clear vision and commitment to vibrant and creative energy delivery." saidGreg Schmidt, President of the Energy Council of Canada.

Chris Huskilson became President and CEO of Emera in 2004 overseeing its growth in Atlantic Canada, the Eastern United States and the BahamasEd Martin joined Nalcor in 2005 and has guided Nalcor's large-scale energy developments and operations in both the hydro and oil and gas sectors.

"Among their many achievements, both Chris and Ed have exhibited their strong sense of social responsibility and belief in giving back to the community. They have focussed upon environmental and social issues and economic development in both their corporate affairs as well as their community works." added Schmidt.

Mr. Huskilson and Mr. Martin will be honoured at the 2013 Canadian Energy Person of the Year dinner taking place onOctober 23rd, 2013 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

About The Canadian Energy Person of the Year Award

The Canadian Energy Person of the Year is nominated for this prestigious annual award based on their remarkable accomplishments in the energy and business or government sectors, as well as the community at large. One of their foremost characteristics is their strong sense of social responsibility and belief in giving back to the community by focusing on environmental and social issues, and economic development. Through their forward thinking and innovative spirit, these leaders promote the Canadian energy sector and Canada's role as a major player in the world energy market.

About the Energy Council of Canada

The Energy Council of Canada is the Canadian Member Committee of the World Energy Council. With over 75 members from Canada's energy sector, they are a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of our national energy strategy. www.energy.ca

SOURCE Energy Council of Canada

Image with caption: "Energy Council of Canada Logo (CNW Group/Energy Council of Canada)". Image available at:http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131021_C5325_PHOTO_EN_32245.jpg

For further information:

Ivan Petrov
Energy Council of Canada
T:613-232-6440
C:613-979-4826
ivan.petrov@energy.ca

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Canada launches grid-scale energy storage program

October 21, 2013
Canada launches grid-scale energy storage program

Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) has launched a research programme aimed at accelerating the deployment of energy storage systems, seen as crucial to the further uptake of renewable energy in Canada.

The NRC’s programme is seeking to improve the reliability and drive down the costs of grid-scale energy storage, which the NRC said would be needed to allow greater amounts of variable solar and wind energy to be integrated into Canada’s grid.

Among its goals, the ‘energy storage for grid security and modernisation programme’ is seeking to slash the cost of grid-scale storage from C$1,000 to C$500/kWh and to double the operating lifetime of storage systems from seven to 15 years.

“This large-scale, multi-year, collaborative approach will deploy a critical mass of expertise in targeted areas to help resolve the reliability and affordability challenges of integrating new technologies into a modernised electricity grid,” said Andy Reynolds, general manager of the energy, mining and environment portfolio at the National Research Council of Canada.

“This will help grow Canada’s renewable energy sector and create new markets for enabling technology and material suppliers, including the mining industry.”

NRC said energy costs for Canadian consumers will rise over the next 20 years as the country’s grid undergoes maintenance and upgrades.

But it said the incorporation of grid-scale storage facilities in any upgrades would eventually reduce costs for end users.

The programme will involve 35 full-time researchers in Ottawa and Vancouver, as well as utility companies and equipment suppliers.

 

For the original article, please click here.

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New hydrogen fuel cell system launched by Ballard Power Systems

October 16, 2013
New hydrogen fuel cell system launched by Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced the launch of a new fuel cell system that is designed specifically for the telecommunications sector. Fuel cells have been growing more common in the telecommunications industry because of their ability to produce reliable electrical power independent of an existing energy grid. The growing demand for mobile technology and its associated services has led many companies to erect new communications towers in remote locations. Without a reliable energy source, these towers would not be able to function properly.

System to provide backup power to telecommunications companies

The new fuel cell systems from Ballard Power are part of the company’s ElectraGen line of products. The new fuel cells are designed to operate as a backup power source, providing electrical power to network towers in the event of natural disasters or when primary energy systems fail to operate as intended. The system includes an outdoor enclosure, which can be customized to suit the needs of any particular application. The system is also designed to be assembled on-site, removing the need for any extensive technical understanding of hydrogen fuel cells.

Hydrogen fuel continues to grow in popularity

Hydrogen fuel cells are not only popular in the telecommunications industry for their uses as backup power systems. Some companies are using fuel cells as primary power sources for their network towers. Some of these companies have taken a liking to fuel cells because of the fact that they do not produce any harmful emissions. More companies within the telecommunications industry are working to distance themselves from fossil-fuels in order to comply with the emissions regulations that are becoming increasingly common throughout the world.

System can be customized for various applications

The new hydrogen fuel system from Ballard Power comes in two versions: Standard and compact. The standard version boasts of an energy capacity of 10 kilowatts, while the compact version can produce up to 5 kilowatts of electrical power. Both versions of the fuel cell system feature integrated power management technology, allowing them to be customized to the needs of their users.

For the original article, please click here.

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Sun turns dirty water into clean hydrogen fuel

October 16, 2013
Sun turns dirty water into clean hydrogen fuel

SANTA CRUZ -- Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have designed a device that takes in sunlight and sewage, and spits out clean fuel.

Yat Li, associate professor of chemistry at the UCSC, and his team are making hydrogen, a simple and endlessly renewable fuel that doesn't produce greenhouse gas. Hydrogen powered the Space Shuttle, and is widely used to produce fertilizer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Consumer possibilities are growing. Automakers Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota have confirmed plans to sell hydrogen-powered cars by 2015. The UCSC team collaborated with scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to test a small prototype at the Livermore Water Reclaimation Plant. Their results were published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.

There is a major hurdle to using hydrogen fuel, according to LiveScience. Because it doesn't occur naturally, production requires a kick of energy greater than the hydrogen gives back. The trick is to find green and naturally occurring ways to get this energy in the first place.

One commonly studied way of making hydrogen fuel is by harnessing bacteria. Some species naturally spit out electrons, energetic particles that can slice water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gases. This is called a microbial fuel cell, because it produces fuel using microscopic organisms. Solar panels also can harvest electrons. However, as stated in the ACS Nano article, designers need to jump-start electrons into action mode before they can break water down to fuel. The cells alone don't bring in enough electrons to get over the first hump.

The genius of UCSC's new hybrid device is this kick comes from a partnership between the ultimate renewable resources -- sun and biological waste.

"This device is really a way to demonstrate self-sustaining production of hydrogen. As long as we have wastewater and sunlight, we'll be able to do it continuously -- and hopefully very cost effectively," Li said.

According to Li, the new device solar cells grab electrons and hand them off to a microbial fuel cell, which is stocked with wastewater from a local sewage treatment plant. The water already contains bacteria that break down organic waste. Some of these bacteria produce electrons as they eat. Electrons from the solar cells help the microbial cell grab electrons from the bacteria. Wires between the cells pass electrons back to the solar one. This provides enough energy to hack water molecules into their component parts -- hydrogen and oxygen.

The best part about this energy merry-go-round is that one-half relies on cleaning up wastewater. According to Li, in just two days, bacteria in the microbial cell had reduced organic material in the water by two-thirds, turning thick black muck into something resembling water. A secondary cleaning process would be required to make the water drinkable. But if this hybrid technology is successfully expanded to work at the scale of an entire water treatment facility, it will effectively use one of the cleaning steps to create fuel.

"The MFC [microbial fuel cell] will be integrated with the existing pipelines of the plant for continuous wastewater feeding, and the PEC [photoelectric cell] will be set up outdoors to receive natural solar illumination," said Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher and co-author Fang Qian. So far, the team has only used a few milliliters of water, but they are currently testing devices that can process 40 liters of water at once. Qian and Hanyu Wang, a graduate student in Li's lab at UCSC, are co-first authors of the ACS Nano paper. UCSC graduate student Gongming Wang, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher Yongqin Jiao, and Zhen He of Virginia Tech are all co-authors.

"Fortunately, the Golden State is blessed with abundant sunlight that can be used for the field test," Li said.

For the original article, please click here.

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Air Products Wins Bharat Petroleum Supply Contract for Hydrogen and Other Gases

October 07, 2013
Air Products Wins Bharat Petroleum Supply Contract for Hydrogen and Other Gases

Two Reformer Trains Highlight Air Products' First India Hydrogen Facilities for Expanding Refinery in Kochi

Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, today announced it has signed a long-term agreement with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and will build, own, and operate several new industrial gas production facilities in Kochi, Kerala, India. The new industrial gas complex will provide hydrogen, syngas, nitrogen and oxygen for BPCL's Kochi Refinery and its proposed petrochemicals complex. The facilities will support India's largest-ever outsourced hydrogen requirement and will result in Air Products' first hydrogen production facilities in India. A phased onstream for the products supplied to BPCL's Kochi Refinery targets late 2015 for the initial supply of gases.

The new facilities will supply industrial gases to BPCL's Kochi Refinery, which is currently undergoing a $2.6 billion integrated expansion project that will increase its crude refining capacity to 15.5 million metric tons per annum (approximately 310,000 barrels per day). Under the agreement, Air Products will provide an innovative combination of the following plant technologies:

-- two steam methane reformer (SMR) trains combining to produce approximately 16.4 tonnes per hour (approximately 165 million standard cubic feet per day) of hydrogen to be used in the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels and petrochemicals;

-- a cryogenic syngas purification system to produce syngas, a mixture of purified hydrogen and carbon monoxide;

-- steam generated from Air Products' units for BPCL's manufacturing process;

-- an air separation unit to produce nitrogen and oxygen for the refinery and petrochemical complex; and

-- a gas turbine to produce power for the Air Products facilities.

"This important investment supports Air Products' commitment to the Indian market and will help to make BPCL's Kochi Refinery the largest and most viable public sector refinery in the country," said Howard Castle-Smith, regional vice president, Tonnage Gases Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. "The agreement also supports Air Products' strategy of supplying refineries with industrial gases as they continue to expand, and also as new grassroots refineries are built to meet growing energy demand. Once onstream, this location will become a benchmark reference facility in the region and demonstrate our technological and operational excellence." Castle-Smith added that this follows Air Products' well-established on-site business model of winning profitable projects by signing long-term agreements with reputable customers.

These efforts and other productivity improvements will help to improve the BPCL Kochi Refinery's conversion of heavy crude, allowing for the production of clean fuels to meet Euro IV/V specifications. It will also position BPCL and the petrochemicals facility for diversification into higher value-added petrochemicals. The plant configuration and deployed technologies support Air Products' overall sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions. The new hydrogen facilities will be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction. The plant will feature the latest technology advancements to maximize energy efficiency and emissions reduction, and will include optimal heat integration, which in turn lowers feedstock consumption during production.

For 20 years the Air Products and Technip global alliance has provided the worldwide refining industry with competitive technology and world-class safety. The alliance is responsible for over 35 SMR hydrogen plants located in 11 countries around the world and produces well over two billion standard cubic feet of hydrogen per day for clean fuels production. Technip provides the design and construction expertise for steam reformers while Air Products provides the gas separation technology. Air Products, through its extensive operating network, and Technip, from its large reference base, also bring effective operational and engineering knowledge to "design-in" high reliability and efficiency. The plants are operated and maintained by Air Products under long-term agreements with customers.

Notes to editors:

Hydrogen's use in petroleum refining

Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulphur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuels specifications. Removing these components allows gasoline and diesel to burn cleaner and thus makes hydrogen a critical component in the production of cleaner fuels needed by modern, efficient internal combustion engines.

About the companies:

Air Products provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2012, Air Products had sales approaching $10 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.

BPCL is India's second largest public sector oil company and a Global Fortune 500 company with four domestic refineries, two of which, Kochi and Mumbai, are wholly owned. The company reported $41 billion in annual sales and total assets of $7.4 billion on their 2012 financial statements. It is listed on the Indian Stock exchange and is 54.9% owned by the Indian government. For more information, visit www.bharatpetroleum.in

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry. From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, our 38,000 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world's energy challenges. Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction. Technip shares are listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris exchange and traded in the USA on the OTCQX marketplace (otcqx:TKPPY).

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2012.

For the original article, please click here.

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Linde announces major milestone for hydrogen fuel stations in the US

October 07, 2013
Linde announces major milestone for hydrogen fuel stations in the US

The Linde Group, a leading producer of natural gases, has announced that its hydrogen fuel stations in the U.S. have reached a major milestone. The company has been building hydrogen fuel stations throughout the world in the hopes of bolstering the fuel infrastructure needed to support hydrogen-powered vehicles. These vehicles are expected to hit roads en masse beginning in 2015. Without the support of a comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure, these vehicles are not likely to find any success.

Stations reach 500,000 fills

According to Linde, its hydrogen fuel stations in the U.S. have hit the 500,000 fill milestone. These stations have provided fuel to a variety of vehicles that are equipped with fuel cells. These fuel cells use hydrogen to generate electrical power. These vehicles have become quite common in the materials handling space, where fuel cell-equipped forklift trucks and other such vehicles are beginning to replace those powered by traditional batteries. Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles are also becoming somewhat common throughout the U.S.Linde - Hydrogen Fuel Stations

BMW helps Linde reach milestone

BMW Manufacturing is one of the major contributors to Linde’s recent milestone. The company makes use of hydrogen fuel stations developed by Linde in order to power its materials handling vehicles. Many of the company’s forklift trucks make use of fuel cells developed by Plug Power. BMW is one of the automakers that has also been showing strong interest in developing hydrogen-powered vehicles for consumers. As such, the company has been supporting the establishment of a comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure in prominent markets around the world.

Infrastructure needed to ensure success of hydrogen-powered vehicles

Infrastructure is considered one of the most significant challenges facing the adoption of hydrogen fuel in the transportation sector. Without an expansive infrastructure, those with hydrogen-powered vehicles will have trouble keeping their vehicles fueled. This problem is similar to the one conventional vehicles experienced in the early days of their introduction.

 

For the original article, please click here.

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