HYDGROGEN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

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1 JULY 2014 HYDGROGEN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT ALTERNATIVE FUELS & ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGIES introduction The advanced transportation sector plays a vital role in California s economy and in the day-to-day lives of its residents. This evolving industry sector comprises establishments that focus on vehicles, technologies and fuels that help reduce petroleum dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) reports that cars and trucks account for almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions statewide. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fuel infrastructure development is one part of an advanced transportation strategy intended to reduce the nation s dependence on petroleum. Vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells only emit water and warm air. A key benefit to hydrogen as a fuel is that it can be made from a variety of domestic resources, including natural gas, coal, solar energy, wind, and biomass. As alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, gain momentum in the transportation sector, there are not only positive outcomes for the environment and the health of the population, but also potential for employment opportunities. Businesses embracing hydrogen technologies require a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Both incumbent workers and those just starting their careers need to have appropriate training and education to secure employment in this emerging industry. To address this need, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) commissioned a series of studies from the California Community College Chancellor s Office Centers of Excellence (COE). This industry profile is part of the series, available at 1

2 what drives growth Environmental mandates are creating incentives for consumers to move away from the use of gasoline-powered cars and adopt alternative fuel technologies. California has set a goal to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to 1.5 million by In 2012, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to advance this effort in four key ways: (1) complete infrastructure and planning (2) expand consumer awareness and demand (3) transform fleets and (4) grow jobs and investment in the private sector. An estimated 50,000 electric and hydrogen cars are expected to be operating statewide by California Air Resources Board This Executive Order tasks the California ARB, Energy Commission, Public Utilities Commission and other agencies to team up with the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative and the California Fuel Cell Partnership to accomplish the following milestones: GET COMMUNITIES READY FOR PLUG-IN AND HYDROGEN VEHICLES AND INFRASTRUCTURE BY ESTABLISH INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT ONE MILLION ZEVS BY ENABLE MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION ZEVS TO BE ON THE ROAD AND HELP EXPAND THE MARKET BY

3 CAR MANUFACTURERS ARE INVESTING IN HYDROGEN-FUELED CARS ON THE ROAD. An estimated 50,000 electric and hydrogen cars are expected to be operating statewide by 2018, according to the Air Resources Board. Hyundai was reported to have plans to put 1,000 hydrogen cars on the market in California in 2014, according to Fuel Cell Today. Toyota also plans to put a model on the road in Other automakers such as Ford, Daimler, Nissan, General Motors, and Honda are also reportedly investing in hydrogen fuel cell technologies. CALIFORNIA CONTINUES TO IMPROVE THE HYDROGEN FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE. In 2013, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 8 (AB8). This bill allocates funding for at least 100 hydrogen stations. The legislation includes a commitment for up to $20 million per year from the Energy Commission s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). This continued investment into development of public hydrogen refueling stations is intended to add new stations and help fund those under development all to assist California reach its 100-station goal. According to California Fuel Cell Partnership, California has 10 public hydrogen fueling stations, with another 49 expected to open in the next few years. 3

4 challenges ahead Fuel cell technology has advanced considerably during the past fifteen years. The industry still faces significant challenges technical, commercial and structural which must be overcome before fuel cells realize their full potential, according to Fuel Cell Today. Industry leaders see growth in the field accelerating as more hydrogen stations are planned. One of the key challenges to the industry is that hydrogen fuel is currently offered for free, which is not sustainable. Unpredictability of state and federal policies on alternative fuels, including hydrogen, could be adding to the perception of instability in this industry. Other major barriers include: LACK OF ACCESS TO HYDROGEN FUELING STATIONS. Although more stations are on the way, one of the key challenges at this time is the limited availability of those that the public can access. The U.S. Department of Energy is working on this issue and has launched H2USA, a public-private partnership with fuel cell electric vehicle equipment manufacturers to increase hydrogen infrastructure development. More infrastructure development is needed if the market is to expand. PRODUCTION COSTS. The price of hydrogen fuel cells would have to be lowered significantly without giving up vehicle performance in order for them to be competitive in the market. FUEL STORAGE TECHNOLOGY. While hydrogen s energy content by volume is low, it has the highest energy content by weight of any fuel. That makes hydrogen fuel harder to store because it requires high pressures, low temperatures, or chemical processes in order to store it in small spaces. The storage challenge is a significant barrier because light-duty vehicles often have a limited size and weight capacity in which to store fuel. Vehicles need to be able to drive more than 300 miles to meet consumer needs. THE INDUSTRY STILL FACES SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES TECHNICAL, COMMERCIAL AND STRUCTURAL WHICH MUST BE OVERCOME BEFORE FUEL CELLS REALIZE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL. FUEL CELL TODAY

5 seeding innovation In 2007, California passed the Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act (AB 118). Created under AB 118, the Alternative Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) provides funds to develop and deploy innovative technologies that transform California s fuel and vehicle types to help attain the state s climate change policies. This program appropriates approximately $100 million a year in grants, loans or loan guarantees for the development of alternative fuels and new vehicle technologies. These investments are leading to technological advancements in areas such as wireless charging, faster charging, battery storage, increased range, and networking. Assembly Bill 8 (AB8) in 2013 committed up to $20 million a year from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. This bill set aside funding for at least 100 hydrogen stations in California. 5

6 impact on the workforce Hydrogen fuel cells technology is highly specialized and can be dangerous to work with. Hydrogen is a flammable gas and if improperly handled can cause fires or explosions. Another risk to workers is freeze burns. Hydrogen becomes a liquid when it reaches extremely low temperatures. If the liquid hydrogen comes into direct contact with the skin, it can cause skin burning. Hydrogen containers should be double-walled and vacuum-jacketed to prevent leakage and subsequent exposure. The containers should be designed to vent to the atmosphere if the storage device leaks. A third risk is potential electrical hazards in the workplace, which can cause electrocution and arc flash explosions. Because of all these risks, the handling of the hydrogen gas and/or liquid should be conducted by skilled professionals. According to interviews conducted with industry experts, most of the work done in this field requires specialized training in compressed gases to install and operate hydrogen stations. Because this field is developing, it can be hard to find workers who have experience working with compressed gases, such as hydrogen. Prior work experience with substances, such as compressed natural gas, is transferrable to working with hydrogen. Finding workers with skills in high-pressure pipe fitting is difficult. On-the-job training is a common way to prepare the workforce. Job opportunities in the industry are available for construction technicians and hydrogen fuel station operations technicians. The following is a list of some of the skills, knowledge and experience valued by employers: Ability to be precise and methodical with an attention to detail. Understanding and experience in basic electrical wiring and installations, electrical codes, etc. Knowledge of and experience with high-pressure piping/tube fitting. Understanding of and experience with a compressed gas (natural gas, hydrogen, etc.), including properties of compressed gases, safety procedures, and pressure regulators. Understanding of the hydrogen fuel cell process. Computer skills and problem solving skills. 6

7 employers on education Because hydrogen fuel cell technology is a growing field, finding employees with prior experience is difficult. Training for jobs in hydrogen infrastructure development is typically done on-the-job due to the specialized equipment required. Plant safety is key. In interviews, alternative fuel employers identified skills and training which community colleges could offer that would be valuable for those working with hydrogen infrastructure: Compressed gases: an overview of different gasses (including hydrogen), their properties and safety procedures. Chemical engineering and lab training: collecting samples of hydrogen and analyzing them will become more important in the future. High pressure pipe fitting and construction techniques. Hydrogen fuel cells: how fuel cells work. 7

8 DATA AND INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THE INDUSTRY PROFILE WERE COMPILED FROM THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC AND PROPRIETARY SOURCES: Assembly Bill 118: California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007; U.S. Department of Energy; California Air Resources Board; California Energy Commission; California Fuel Cell Partnership ; Centers of Excellence, Industry Interviews; Fuel Cell Today; New York Times; U.S. Department of Labor afdc.energy.gov/fuels/hydrogen_benefits.html energy.ca.gov/2013_energypolicy/ documents/ _workshop/ presentations/06_gerhard_achtelik_ Californias_Zero_Emission_Vehicle_ Regulation_rev.pdf This industry profile is one in a series of workforce reports on alternative fuels and advanced transportation in California; funding for the series was provided by the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program of the California Energy Commission. The series was produced by the California Community Colleges Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research. Read more at energy.ca.gov/releases/2014_ releases/ _hydrogen_refueling_ stations_funding_awards_nr.html cafcp.org/sites/files/a%20california%20 Road%20Map%20June%202012%20(CaFCP%20 technical%20version)_1.pdf fuelcelltoday.com nytimes.com/2013/07/03/business/for-gm-andhonda-a-fuel-cell-partnership.html?_r=2& osha.gov/dep/greenjobs/hydrogen.html 8

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