Decarbonization of our planet earth is now a shared goal to be achieved very quickly considering the intensification of extreme weather events that put at risk the living conditions of the biosphere. Hydrogen is being incrasingly considered as the global energy solution provided that technology allows to produce it clean. The Second Edition of Monaco Hydrogen Forum, held at the Hôtel Hermitage from the 27th until the 28th November 2023, under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, offered the opportunity to know new applications of clean technology with particular reference to the marine transports and motor racing. Some leading international companies and experts in the field actively participated in various round tables where to tackle key issues. "Driving the Green H2 Revolution: Innovation, Investment and Infrastructure" was the fil rouge proposed by the Monaco Hydrogen Alliance, not-for-profit Association under Monegasque law to promote the use of green hydrogen in land, air, and maritime transportation.
This year, the forum focused on several topics pointing out the pivotal role played by green hydrogen in encouraging totally sustainable new means of transport. Notably, the decarbonization of terrestrial mobility was debated, showcasing a comparative overview between battery electric vehicles and business-as-usual combustion vehicles. How to get forward decarbonised mobility by sea was also investigated, boosting novel devices to carry hydrogen on board vessels or produce it without harmful emissions and safely.
As reaffirmed at COP28 in Dubai, the use of alternative fuels in shipping and yachting with low environmental impacts depends on a combination of changes incolving the regulatory framework, governance and finance. To boost the hydrogen revolution, large-scale financing of the hydrogen revolution, incentives and integrated policies as well as start-ups are prior to promote hydrogen in aviation and sporting practice, a sector particularly open to innovation and able to influence a larger number of people. There are still some problems to solve such as the storage and distribution of hydrogen.
However, hydrogen remain at the center of attention. John Rossant, President of the Monaco Hydrogen Alliance highlited: «The Age of Hydrogen is upon us. The most abundant element in the universe now holds out the tantalizing promise of being one of the most important keys to a cleaner and more sustainable planet ».
Many were the the novelties presented including the latest innovation by HevenDrones, the H2D200 Series, an hight-tech hydrogen fuelled flying drone capable to carry payloads up to 10 kg with a higher flight hours performance and a greater management accuracy. Bentzion Levinson, CEO of HevenDrones, underlined: «With these hydrogen-powered drones, we are redefining the possibilities of what drones can achieve, while leveraging a clean and readily available fuel source ».
The high level panel set in the iconic Monte Carlo city centre, pushed forward clean mobility transition, demonstrating that the road to a transport to low environmental impact is already traced and realizable in not so long times if the mission will be shared and supported by major social, economic and governance partners. A growing number of companies are joining the hydrogen stream. This years' edition welcomed in the "team" Extreme E, an iconic off-road racing series set in the most remote corners of the planet dirctlyimpacted by climate change. Extreme H has been recently announced in partnership with the Fédération International de l'Automobile (FIA), as the first innovation green hydrogen hub applied to a racing world championship. Ali Russell, Managing Director of Extreme E, underlined: « We are delighted to become an Official Member of the Monaco Hydrogen Aliance. (...) It is crucial to collaborate with undustry leaders and pioneers to deliver sustainable solutions which can have an enourmous impact. (...) Transportation alone can account for nearly 25 per cent of all global emissions (...) we have an important role to play in combatting this ».
The summit was also the stage for some prestigious international aknowledgments to push technological innovation in the field of renewable hydrogen and mobility. H2FLY, Germany-based developer of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, was given the Monaco Prize for Innovation in Renewable Hydrogen and Transportation. The Best Emerging Technology Solution went to SoHHytec, Swiss provider of renewable system for onsite production of solar Fuel (Hydrogen, Oxygen) and Power (Electricity, Heat). HSL Technologies (HySiLabs), French High-TechLab, was awarded as theMost-Disruptive Potential solution, notably an innovative hydrogen liquid carrier. H3 Dynamics, French hydrogen electric flight manufacturer was prized the Best Cross-Sector Applicability Solution as for the development of hydrogen electric propulsion pods.
To know more about Monaco Hydrogen Forum please visit: Monaco Hydrogen Alliance.
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing