Solid hydrogen for storing solar energy

We have published several opinion pieces on about hydrogen as an energy source. We keep track of the innovations and the progress that keep developing year after year. Here we discuss developments in technologies in both stages of this process for using hydrogen: energy storage and energy production from the electrolysis of water.

First, advances in energy storage through solid hydrogen.

A battery unlike any other

A young Scandinavian company has invented a system that promises to solve one of the problems associated with residential solar energy storage. The revolutionary invention of a solid hydrogen battery.

source and extracts from the document: of 19 April 2024 article by Marc Odilon

Photoncycle, a Scandinavian start-up, wants to make a difference in residential storage with its disruptive storage solution thanks to solid hydrogen.

Simply put, the Norwegian startup has invented a battery that conserves excess energy from the solar modules during the summer for use in the winter. This revolutionary technology relies on a battery unlike any other. Cylindrical in shape, it was designed to contain solid hydrogen. The idea is to produce green hydrogen from the extra electricity generated by solar panels when sunshine is favorable for energy production.

batterie à hydrogène solide, société Photoncycle avril 2024
A solid hydrogen energy storage system is currently being planned. Photo credit: Photoncycle

Electrolysis of water as a basic concept

The process is known as water electrolysis. Since it generates heat, it can be used to heat the house. The hydrogen is then stored in solid form in the storage system developed by Photoncycle. The company also developed an approach to integrate storage infrastructure near homes. The aim is to make it easier to connect to solar panels and thus reduce installation costs. The energy can then be released gradually as needed.

A technology for storing hydrogen in the form of disks. Photo credit: EPO

Relatively high energy density

One of the main advantages of this device invented by Photoncycle is that it has a much higher energy density than a lithium battery, i.e. around 3.5 kW/kg compared to only 0.3 kWh/kg for this last. The cost of energy storage therefore promises to be particularly low. According to the company, a 3 m³ system can store up to 10,000 kWh of energy. Please note that this technology is patent pending. The start-up plans to test a full-scale prototype of its solid hydrogen battery this year. Regarding market deployment, it should take place by 2025. More information:

one video to explain this new storage of energy as solid hydrogen. july 2022.

Hydrogen is known mainly in gaseous and liquid forms. But this energy vector can also be stored in a “solid” form. Emmanuel Bouteleux, CEO of Mincatec Energy, introduces this emerging solution.

How small disks can store hydrogen in solid form

A French research group has developed an effective solution for stable and secure hydrogen storage, which could be decisive in the fight against global warming.
Damien Renoulet Published on 24/05/2023 at 10:38 – Updated on 24/05/2023

The issue of solid hydrogen

The French team has developed an atomic structure based on magnesium hydride and a process for storing hydrogen in the form of a disk. According to the researchers, this system is more secure, more stable and does not ignite under the effect of heat. “It’s very secure because of the low pressure,” says Daniel Fruchart, one of the team’s specialists, quoted by Ouest France. I can put the disk directly on the table and there is no reaction with the air.”

This method also requires less energy than storing hydrogen in liquid form or in the form of gas at very high pressure, and is therefore more durable. This allows the disk to be stored for years without degrading.

This invention is already on the market in Italy, Japan…“In Norway, the team is in advanced discussions to adapt the system to ferries, mass and safe maritime transport, and large chemical industries”, says an article from Sciences et Avenir.

other document:

Magnesium, indeed, was the key. ‘It is the most efficient material for hydrogen absorption,’ continues the scientist. More specifically, magnesium hydride (MgH2) is used to store the hydrogen, expanded graphite being added to the mixture to control the emission of heat when the hydrogen is released. This reversible device continued to be developed by Daniel Fruchart and Michel Jehan when McPhy was founded in 2008.

Energy production and storage in the building from hydrogen

In recent years, progress has accelerated in the construction industry to install small independent energy production and storage systems.

Green hydrogen to power homes? This Breton builder believes in it.

Provide more than 80 per cent of the electricity needs of a family of four year-round. This is the objective of the hydrogen generator, installed in September 2023 in Brest, and developed by H2Gremm, a company based in Edern (Finistère).

Trecobat, the Breton leader in the construction of detached houses, aims to “reduce the carbon footprint and significantly lower the energy bill” of the flags it brings up.

Hydrogen, the energy produced by electrolyzing water, is making a lot of noise, especially in transportation and heavy industry. “But a hydrogen-producing machine installed in a detached house is a first in Europe,” says Régis Croguennoc, technical director at Trecobat, referring to a project funded by the Brittany Region and the ERDF, the European Regional Development Fund.

A fridge-sized generator

The generator installed in the garage of this new house is the size of a fridge and is supposed to cover “up to 88% of the household’s needs, based on an estimate of their past consumption and observed sunshine” (heating and hot water are supplied by a heat pump).

This is “green hydrogen,” because it is not made with fossil fuels (like 95% of the hydrogen produced in France), but with electricity generated by solar panels on the roof.

The gas is then sent to high-pressure bottles in the garden and connected to the generator by a pipe, allowing it to be returned on demand. The conversion of gas into electricity is carried out via a fuel cell.

With this solution, Trecobat Green and H2Gremm claim “the optimization of energy storage over time, so that the house has it all year round, especially in winter when photovoltaic production is insufficient to cover the needs”.

Sweden’s first autonomous hydrogen and solar home

Hans Olof Nilsson, a former engineer, designed the first 100% self-contained house in Gothenburg, Sweden. Guided tour of his home powered by the sun and hydrogen as part of the “They move the lines” column, in partnership with Energy Observer Solutions. Acting for sustainable development is not a question of age! In the suburbs of Gothenburg, Hans Olof Nilsson, a 60-year-old Swede, built the world’s first fully energy-autonomous home, powered by the sun and hydrogen.

The house has 160 m2 of solar panels. They provide electricity directly to the community throughout the year. When energy needs decrease, the surplus electricity is used to power a hydrogen fuel cell. Hans Olof Nilsson has an electrolyzer to create and store its own hydrogen. In addition to being self-sufficient in energy, the house is equipped with a unique technology allowing it to better regulate the indoor temperature and thus achieve great energy savings.

His house has been off-grid since March 2015. The Swedish authorities were seduced by the ingenuity of this move. In 2017, the Municipality of Vågårda decided to request the expertise of Hans Olof Nilsson to renovate 172 social housing units. She wants these homes to use the same technologies as the Nilsson house.

Hydrogen patties based on green electricity to power hydrogen cars

Hydrogen: McPhy’s giant Belfort plant at the forefront of industry decarbonization

We are here in the field of hydrogen production to replace carbon-based energy in the industry.

The electrolyzer factory, the first of its size in France, is expected to develop green energy production for industry in France.

The Belfort site will house the manufacturing processes of both parts of a hydrogen production plant: the reactor core, where the electrolysis occurs (the stack) and the surrounding electrolyzer (EPU), which separates hydrogen from oxygen for storage. Once assembled, these elements will allow McPhy customers to produce their own green energy.

Develop green energy production for industry in France.

This is a major project that is taking shape and that raises many expectations in the perspective of “reindustrializing” France without increasing carbon emissions, as provided for in the last bill on green industry unveiled by the governmentⓘ

Supporting the decarbonization of industry

McPhy’s giant electrolyzer plant has been built at the Fontaine Airport Park near Belfort, where it is scheduled to be operational in early 2024.

On a total site of 80,000 m2, the wood and concrete framework, which covers 22,000 m2, must embody a new model of French industry, at the cutting edge of technology and compatible with the low-carbon emissions stakes of the energy transition.

The Belfort site will house the manufacturing processes of both parts of a hydrogen production plant: the reactor core, where the electrolysis occurs (the stack) and the surrounding electrolyzer (EPU), which separates hydrogen from oxygen for storage. Once assembled, these elements will allow McPhy customers to produce their own green energy.


Crystal converts light into hydrogen with record efficiency

This technological innovation is presented in 2020. It allows direct use of sunlight without going through photovoltaic panels. This hydrogen production is locally adapted for homes or small energy-consuming units.

document, excerpts:

Japanese work takes Japan one step closer to a virtuous, clean-energy system that aims to make hydrogen simply from water and light

This scenario is puzzling. Capture sunlight and use it to break up water molecules (H2O) through the so-called electrolysis reaction, resulting in dihydrogen (H2) stored in pressurized bottles. That is how clean, renewable, and transportable energy can be produced without fossil fuels or greenhouse gases. Just with sun and cool water! Who says better?

This so-called power-to-gas process, which converts surplus renewable energy into gas that can be stored for long, is already at work in a handful of demonstration plants around the world. One of them, in Arzberg, Germany, is making hydrogen by electrolyzing water from nearby solar panels.

A team of Japanese chemists, however, has just published a major breakthrough in this area. She says she has developed an almost perfect photocatalyst that converts almost all of the light she receives into H2. The results were published on May 27 (2020) in the journal Nature.


The material presented in Nature by Kazunari Domen, from the University of Tokyo, is not really new: it is strontium titanate, a crystal historically used as a substitute for diamond known as fabulite. Its photocatalytic properties were discovered in 1977, recalls Nature in a related article, and have since been studied under all threads. The researchers’ idea was to improve each operating step of the photocatalyst to increase its efficiency.

The strontium titanate used was in monocrystalline form (consisting of a single crystal) in order to reduce the imperfections in its structure, which are sources of recombination between holes and electrons. The researchers also ‘doped’ their material with aluminum, a practice whereby aluminum atoms are finely inserted into the crystal lattice, which also limits recombinations.

fabulite cristaux production hydrogène

One of the prowess of the study was to deposit “co-catalyst” materials on the facets of the crystal. On the side receiving the electrons, rhodium was injected to promote the reaction of reduction of the hydrogen ions of the water into molecules of dihydrogen. To limit simultaneous oxygen depletion, an undesirable effect, rhodium was encapsulated in a chromium shell, physically blocking oxygen atoms. All these small improvements taken together, the strontium titanate crystal achieved an experimental efficiency of 96%. This is a considerable figure: the best trials have so far reached 50-60%.

The light used in the experiment was ultraviolet (UV) light with a wavelength of 350-360 nanometers. So it was not natural sunlight, but a thin portion of its light spectrum. Most UV radiation is filtered through the atmosphere and accounts for only about 4% of the solar spectrum. The authors acknowledge this unequivocally and estimate that the effectiveness of their sunlit material would be in the range of… 0.65%. Recent policy briefings estimate that 10% of the efficiency required to achieve economic viability of power-to-gas plants is efficient. For this reason, Kazunari Domen’s paper is more of a proof of concept than a plug-and-play application.

The road to hydrogen produced by photocatalysis is therefore likely to be a long one. Future developments will certainly aim to widen the spectrum of light absorption. “Things can go faster than you think,” says Girault. In the next ten years or so, photocatalysts with sufficient performance to compete with electrolysis-coupled solar panels may be developed.’

The struggle between green capitalism and local communal ecology

We have presented this opposition between green capitalism and local communal ecology within the framework of our Networks of Life. This development complements the chapter on Ecological environment for a Full Currency.

Hydrogen storage is making decisive progress, especially in solid form and for long periods of time. This avoids wasted electricity from renewables, and the extra energy in the summer is now used in the winter. This is a way to democratize the use of hydrogen.

Without the change and abandonment of power systems, technological advances are threatened and confiscated by the private interests of the leaders of power systems.

These leaders have retained their sources of enrichment from fossil fuels. They subject us to their oil, gas and pipeline wars. Nothing has yet changed in those empires, where tyrants and their clans have been fighting to expand their dominance over the world’s oil and gas reserves and rare-ore reserves. They continue to want to control everything from their centralized, autocratic government over the people.

After all, it was advances in transportation and communication that enabled the monarchies finally to control vast areas and impose their royal absolutism by destroying the medieval period and its communal assemblies, free cities, political unions, and two centuries of flourishing economies – the latter in Europe to the present. This improvement in transportation and communication has already underpinned the development of the Roman Empire, with its system of military power centralized from Rome.

For the moment, it is green capitalism that is developing.

often behind closed doors, to mount mega-projects aimed specifically at producing green hydrogen from renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.

The Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley

It is just one of a huge number of other Spanish projects supported by international financial investments.

We are once again at the fundamentals of capitalism and the specialization of markets and labor defined by Adam Smith and David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, among others. We refuted these theories using Erik Reinert’s book How Rich Countries Became Rich Why Poor Countries Remain Poor.

We do not repeat these arguments here, you can read this chapter by following this link.

document: april 25, 2023

Spain ramps up green hydrogen megaprojects despite doubts

In Andalusia (South), three billion euros will be invested in the “Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley”, an industrial complex comprising two giant factories capable of producing, by 2027, 300,000 tons of this gas which only releases water vapor while burning and on which many bet to decarbonize transport and industry.

Oil and gas group Cepsa announced on Thursday three billion euros of investment in a large project to produce green hydrogen in Andalusia, in southern Spain, which is billed as the largest of its kind in Europe.

The project, called the ‘Andalusian Valley of Green Hydrogen’, will enable the production of 300,000 tons of this gas, considered crucial for the decarbonization of the economy, over a vast area between Cádiz and Huelva, the Spanish company said in a statement. It will be accompanied by an additional investment of two billion euros for the development of wind and solar farms and should generate “10,000 jobs”, according to the group.

In the Basque Country (North), EUR 1.4 billion is to be spent on a project involving some sixty companies. And in Asturias (North), 15 photovoltaic parks will be built by 2030, with a production capacity of 330,000 tons of hydrogen.

“There is currently a flurry of activity,” which puts Spain “in a leading position” in the sector, says Rafael Cossent, a researcher at the Pontificia Comillas University in Madrid. A position linked, according to him, to his enormous resources in solar and wind energy.

Spain has the potential to ‘produce renewable hydrogen in large quantities, not only for its own needs, but also to export it to northern Europe,’ says the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2), which refers to nearly ’50 projects’ underway.

To secure markets for its production, Madrid is relying on the future submarine pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille (H2Med), which is expected to transport two million tons of hydrogen per year by 2030.

But this project faces a series of obstacles related in particular to the nature of hydrogen, consisting of small aggressive molecules that are difficult to transport, which cast doubt on the deadlines set for its realization.

Other document: Hydrogen: Spain wants to play big league

A green hydrogen sea corridor between Spain and Rotterdam

In the Spanish countryside, protests are growing against plans for solar or wind farms

Rural Spain is not prepared to pay the price for solar and wind.

In Spain, these projects need huge plots of land for their photovoltaic panels or wind farms. Agricultural regions are being transformed, land is being leveled, trees are being uprooted, and peasants expropriated. Protests are taking owners to court and the courts have intervened to demand the dismantling of some of the facilities. In Méntrida, near Toledo, farmers are trying to resist energy projects that threaten their business and livelihoods.

The Middle East as a Hydrogen El Dorado?

The technology is promising. It enables hydrogen to be produced by electrolyzing water from renewable energy sources in low-cost regions and exported to consumption regions in either liquid or ammonia form. Many hydrogen-intensive manufacturers, such as steel, steel, and glass, could decarbonize their operations – today, 99% of the hydrogen they consume is produced from fossil fuels.

But the market did not take off, because green hydrogen remains more expensive than fossil-based hydrogen. Manufacturers are hesitant and investments are therefore slow to materialize. But the beauty of Engie’s plan is that it already has buyers. Its first customer will be Posco, which wants to decarbonize its activities. The green ammonia produced will be exported to South Korea.

The Sultanate of Oman also relies heavily on so-called “renewable” hydrogen,

i.e. produced by electrolysis using electricity generated by renewable energy sources. To meet this challenge of “renewable” hydrogen, Oman has both a significant potential in renewable resources (led by solar photovoltaics and wind power) and a privileged geographical location “to access the main importing markets such as Europe and Japan.”

The report says future exports of renewable hydrogen from Oman could be shipped in the form of ammonia, which “appears to be the preferred means of transporting hydrogen by sea ”. To this end, ammonia infrastructure should be significantly increased: Oman currently exports nearly 200 000 tons of ammonia per year and the sultanate could “need 20 to 30 times more export capacity” by 2030 if the choice to export hydrogen as ammonia is confirmed.

These examples of industrial projects to produce green hydrogen are in the global green hydrogen market, where regulation is likely to follow the same rules or deregulation as for oil or gas to maximize investor profits and those of the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy as usual.

We are far from leaving the liberal capitalist system of power and its world government of Anglo-Saxon high finance. When will the green hydrogen market crises with its speculative bubbles, black Fridays, hyper-inflation, and all the usual scams arrive? When will the new hydrogen war, the sabotage of the pipeline from Barcelona to Marseille, come? We do not want any more of this liberal capitalist system and above all not to develop the ecological transition to carbon-free renewable energies capable of being produced locally in Total Quality and without debts, in full solidarity. The technologies remain the same but their use is radically different between green capitalism and the local communal economy of our participatory direct democracies in our Networks of Life.

Energy managed by the common ownership of the members of our Life Networks

However, it remains to use the principles of the alliance of opposites to define the objectives in this energy transition, and then the approach of subsidiarity to obtain the optimal solution which necessarily is an energy mix adapted to local particularities. The project teams work in Total Quality approach and then seek to obtain the best possible solidarity costs. These projects are part of national and global plans, and they use full, debt-free currencies.

The production of energy in the activity of the Networks of Life is carried out according to the same political, economic, social, cultural institutions as the other production of wealth carried out by the work of all. It is not just the domain of leaders of systems of power to maximize profits with investments that destroy people’s nature and environment. Energy production is also managed under common ownership at the level of free cities and under collective ownership at the level of the Confederation for energy supply or export treaties.

Research for free energy.

Tesla demonstrated the possibility of plentiful, almost free electricity. In 1892, at the age of 36, Nikola Tesla first introduced the concept of free energy in London, explaining that what the world needs is clean, healthy, cheap, and clean energy that is available in large quantities. The researcher believes that this form of energy exists in the space between the atoms of matter. Nikola Tesla’s sole purpose was to use his findings for the benefit of humanity, by wishing that the world would have free and unhindered access to various forms of energy, such as electricity. It was because he sought not personal glory or wealth, but the well-being of each person, that many tried to make him forget.

Who will deny that among the atoms of matter, there is not hydrogen?

To be sure, finding ways to use the free energy of the electromagnetic environment in which we live with our electro-magnetic and electric fleshy bodies remains the ultimate search for energy beyond the control of those in charge of systems of power. This research, in our Networks of Life, continues at the level of the realization of works, the second level of human activity. The production of zero-carbon renewable energy is tied to the first level of human activity: the work that is vital to life and survival.

To be sure, hydrogen usage no longer requires centralized control by power systems; but we are nowhere near Tesla-style free energy. But the technologies are working and once again they are revolutionizing our political, economic, social, cultural organizations to develop once again our participatory direct local democracies and their powerful federations across our planet, without autocrats, tyrants, rentiers, plutocrats and world government of the sect of puritans who claim to be predestined to govern the world.

We must break these systems of power at the hands of ruling minorities who have confiscated the advances in transport and communications through monopolies and destroyed the last blossoming medieval period in Europe. Since then, their systems of power have harnessed all new technologies to defend their quest for political and economic power to subjugate people to their private interests.

The essential energy transition also becomes an opportunity for the US to develop green capitalism in order to find new sources of unlimited profit. The strategic recipe is always the same: use the South’s low-cost resources to provide energy to the North at the price of their new green hydrogen market. In this case, there is no need for citizens to develop communal economies to produce green hydrogen and electricity with the same technologies, especially if this local production is autonomous and is no longer linked to a distribution system managed by global companies or states controlled by the liberal capitalist system of power with its high finance. The ghost of Nikola Tesla cannot be found here!

Thanks to this septuagenarian engineer from Gothenburg in Sweden, we can use our autonomous hydrogen and solar house, without connection to an electricity distribution network (and without a Linky or old meter). On the other hand, our enemies of high finance are investing massively in the industrial production of green hydrogen and they are trying to save their system of global liberal capitalist power.

For our part, in our choice of a new civilization without power systems, the progress of new technologies will develop at the local level for all citizens and thus set once again a new flourishing period in humanity in accordance with our environment and the preserved riches of Nature present on Earth, our planet. Yes, We can!

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