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June 25th, 2012

Visit WHEC2012 Flickr Page


The world’s hydrogen and fuel cell community came together in Toronto, Canada from June 3-7, 2012 for our World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2012 (WHEC2012). The event had celebrated its 19th edition and took place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.

Canada is a pioneer in the research, development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and Toronto in particular is home to leading companies and research institutions. WHEC2012 hosted more than 1,200 attendees and included 450 presenters, 200 poster displays and delegates from 55 countries. WHEC2012 gave delegates and exhibitors opportunities to network and partner with global leaders in the business, government and scientific communities. The WHEC2012 exhibition featured a variety of hydrogen and fuel cell applications from companies and research institutions.

For WHEC2012 photos visit our Flickr Page here


June 12th, 2012

WHEC2012 June 4th – June 7th 2012

Canada is a pioneer in the research, development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Toronto, in particular, is home to leading companies and research institutions. WHEC 2012 hosted more than 1,000 attendees and included 450 presenters, 200 poster displays and delegates from more than 50 countries.

The countdown to the 19th WHEC 2012 is over as the conference officially got underway today at the Sheraton Centre, Toronto. We caught up with Eric Denhoff, President and CEO of CHFCA, who told us he was expecting over 1,100 delegates during the week and the exhibition area is sold out.

Monday June, 4th 2012

The welcome plenary began in front of a packed audience with a traditional cleansing ceremony to bless the conference and ensure successful outcomes for all delegates. With standing room only at the back and sides of the main conference hall, the Honorable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology,  then went on to highlight the continued attention of the Canadian government on job creation and growth, even during the difficult economic times of recent years.

Eric Denhoff (right in the above photo) from the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association then escorted Minister Goodyear (left) on a brief tour of the WHEC2012 exhibition hall stopping by the Canadian companies exhibiting here. Ballard, Greenlight Innovation, Hydrogenics and the CHFCA were all given the chance to give their elevator speeches, having only minutes before the minister was required to leave on official business.

Ballard mentioned its recent order of 50 backup power units destined for the Chinese telecoms industry – an order which it hopes will be the first of many. China has the world’s largest and fastest growing telecommunications networks in the world, and backup power will form a critical component of this growth.

Daryl Wilson from Hydrogenics discussed his company’s products and mentioned its tie-up with Enbridge which is developing gas to grid infrastructure where low cost off-peak electricity will be used to electrolyse water with the hydrogen being injected into the gas network offering long-term electricity storage in chemical form. More information was shared on this in the second media session of the day, described below.

Finally the minister met representatives from CHFCA, and spoke to Ross Bailey and Greig Walsh from Greenlight Innovation before briefly stopping by a few more stands before he left.

The second media session of the day focussed on hydrogen as an energy storage medium, specifically when injected into existing natural gas infrastructure. Daryl Wilson (left in picture below) from Hydrogenics and David Teichroeb (seated on right in picture below) from Enbridge were introducing their joint Canadian project which plans to validate and test the injection of hydrogen into the natural gas grid. Initially starting at a scale of less than a megawatt, with positive results future plants could be on the scale of 10-15 MW. These plants offer a host of benefits: they are flexible on location, not being subject to the geographical constraints of alternatives, such as compressed air energy storage or pumped hydro plants; the electrolysers can smooth out the intermittancy of renewables like wind and solar, this can maximise utilisation of renewable assets and negate the requirement for expensive fossil-fuelled spinning reserve plants; the electrolysers can also act as demand-side management, being easily controlled to maintain grid balance; these systems are also modular and can grow in line with electricity storage needs, an important consideration as this new application finds its feet.

The use of hydrogen in this context, to convert back to electricity, is just one of the options available and in fact the third representative on the panel, Oliver Weinmann (seated centre) from Vattenfall explained more about a project his company is involved with in Germany where the hydrogen is also sold as a transport fuel. In Europe, there is also the potential to sell the mixed natural gas and hydrogen directly to customers for use in home heating and cooking. This itself would also be nothing new, with the coal gas prevalent in the USA and Europe in the early 1900′s being a mixture of hydrogen (up ot 40%), methane and carbon monoxide.

Tuesday 5th June

Tuesday saw the opening of the WHEC2012 Ride & Drive which is taking place today and Wednesday between 10am and 4pm at Yonge-Dundas Square. Conference participants and the public can visit the square (or get a lift from the valet area of the Sheraton Centre), and if you present a valid driving licence can take one of five different fuel cell electric vehicles for a spin on the roads of Toronto!

Also, for the first time as far as we are aware, it is possible to drive a fuel cell materials handling vehicle. Plug Power have brought along a Class-3 material hanlding truck, the type which is used to pull trailers in warehouses, and it too is at the square. Jonny took the opportunity to diversify his skillset and see for himself how the unit handles and how responsive the fuel cell drivetrain is.

Tuesday also saw a lunchtime speech from Jeremy Rifkin, noted economist and author, who spoke about how hydrogen and fuel cells are pivotal to the success of our species as we enter a new industrial age. One he dubs the third industrial age and referred to in his book: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy and the World as an age where we must decarbonise our energy to prevent the catastrophic effects of increased carbon emissions. The principle is predicated on five pillars: the first is moving to renewables, second is to use the existing building stock as a source of energy, through the installation of wind and solar harvesting technologies, the third pillar (and one Rifkin thinks is most important) is storage of electricity; Rifkin sees hydrogen as the solution here. Fourth is the move to an energy internet, where distribution and cross-border sharing of electricity will be key and finally, the fifth pillar is transport and decarbonising the fuels we use. Rifkin also held a book signing and sat in on a panel discussion at the Ballard AGM which followed his lunchtime speech.

Tuesday ended with the WHEC2012 Gala Reception held at the Roy Thomson Hall, home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE) awards were presented. The award winners were:

Peter Hoffman was awarded the title of honorary fellow of the IAHE.

The IAHE Jules Verne award was presented to two winners, Alexander (Sandy) K. Stuart  and to Tom Sullivan for both their contributions to the electrolyser industry through their respective companies.

The IAHE Rudolf A.Erren award was presented to Ravinder Kumar Malhotra (from IOC).

The IAHE Sir William Grove award was presented to four recipients, Hydrogenics, FCCJ, Dieter Zetsche and SAIC (group).

Congratulations to all the winners!


June 7th, 2012

NEWS RELEASE June 6, 2012

Major Automakers Reconfirm Commercialization Targets For Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Toronto, Canada – Today at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Toronto, auto
representatives from Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota displayed some of their new fuel cell cars. Some have announced the delivery to showrooms as early as 2013, two years earlier than originally planned.
They also confirmed that they are moving ahead with plans to rollout hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2015. This timeline was first announced with the signing of a letter of understanding in 2009 by all the major manufacturers.
Some of the highlights of today’s industry briefing include:

  • Daimler already has 200 B-class vehicles in service with electric engines powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Three vehicles completed an around-the-world tour in 2011. Daimler will soon open a fuel cell manufacturing facility in Vancouver, British Columbia to produce fuel cell stacks for its new-generation B-Class fuel cell vehicles and the company will introduce fuel cell vehicles to the marketplace in 2014.
  • Honda has been leasing its FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California since 2008.
  • Hyundai announced that during 2012 to 2015, 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell Hyundai vehicles will be on the road in the United States, Europe, and Asia. By 2015, Hyundai hopes a roomy and fully-featured fuel cell powered Hyundai SUV to be provided at an affordable cost. Recently, Norwegian NGO called ZERO crossed Europe with two ix35 FCEV from Oslo to Monte Carlo using only existing hydrogen stations, showing that with additional supports on the hydrogen infrastructure will allow for fuel cell vehicles to reach every corner of Europe.
  • Toyota will bring a fuel-cell sedan to market by 2015 and currently has more than 100 FCHV-adv vehicles on U.S. roads.
  • Germany and Japan have committed to the construction of hundreds of hydrogen fueling stations over the next several years.

John Sheridan – board chair at the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association – said this “encouraging news from the car companies” was another example of fuel cell technology beginning to move out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace. “Hydrogen fuel cells are approaching a ‘tipping point’ in terms of commercial adoption,” he said. “And that’s especially good news for Canada because a lot of the basic technology was developed here, and companies here manufacture a great many high-tech fuel cell products for use in applications around the globe.”

Industry analysts at Pike Research – an American research firm specializing in clean energy – predict sales of fuel cell cars and trucks will reach a cumulative 1 million vehicles globally by 2020. Manufacturers say sales will accelerate as the refueling infrastructure expands and as fuel cell electric vehicles – known in the industry as FCEV’s – become increasingly price- competitive as a result of larger production runs.

Canada, a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technologies and a leading
exporter worldwide, stands to benefit from the commercialization of FCEVs and infrastructure.  However, commercial launch of FCEVs in Canada in the near future will be limited to provinces and municipalities actively supporting development of local refueling infrastructure and other incentives for consumers.  British Columbia has become a North American leader by offering a $5000 purchase incentive for a FCEV. Several “hydrogen highway” fueling stations were installed in the Lower Mainland and the Sea-to-Sky corridor several years ago with support from government. One of those stations is located in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, which is now converting its municipal fleet to low-emission vehicles, including several FCEV’s.

The World Hydrogen Energy Conference has attracted more than 1,000 global leaders from
industry, universities, science and government to discuss developments in hydrogen systems, fuel cells and related technologies. The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association – a conference partner – is the voice of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell sector.


June 5th, 2012

University of Maryland wins 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest

University of Maryland Wins 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest

Winning design uses waste to provide campus electricity, heating and fuel for 20 buses

WASHINGTON, DC – June 3, 2012 – The team of the University of Maryland is the winner of the 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest, announced today by the U.S. Department of Energy at the Young Scientist Symposium of the World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2012 in Toronto, Canada.

“A record number of 20 universities from all around the world submitted entries for the 2012 Contest,” said Jeff Serfass, President of the Hydrogen Education Foundation. “I am pleased that DOE is presenting the award and recognition to these bright young men and women, who are helping to shape the future of clean energy.”

For the 2012 Contest, students were challenged to plan and design a tri-generation system that produces electricity, heat, and hydrogen for their university campus. A panel of 16 judges from industry, government and national laboratories awarded the team of the University of Maryland 91% of available points, declaring it the Grand Prize winner. Their design would reduce the equivalent of taking 2300 cars off the road, and utilizes organic and municipal solid waste via gasification and anaerobic digestion technology. This Grand Prize marks the first award for the University of Maryland in the seven-year history of the Contest.

Second placed Washington State University, proposing a pyrolysis reactor for straw waste from agriculture in their community that would produce enough hydrogen to fuel 4000 fuel cell passenger vehicles. The University of California – Davis won third place for a design which included a hydrogen power and heating system for a residential building complex next to their new solar village.

At the awards ceremony, the theme for the next Contest was announced as well. The 2012-2013 Contest will ask students for their plans for the Development of Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure in the Northeast. “Major car companies will introduce commercial fuel cell vehicles by 2015, requiring a functional fueling infrastructure which doesn’t exist in the Northeastern U.S., home of more than 50 million people,” said Jeff Serfass. “We’re very glad to already have sponsorship from Toyota and Mercedes Benz.”

The 2012 Contest was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Combined Heat and Power Partnership, the World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2012, and the International Association for Hydrogen Energy.


June 3rd, 2012


Toronto Conference Heralds “Breakout Decade” For Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Toronto, Canada—Some of the world’s newest zero emission fuel cell cars and more than 1,000 scientists and business leaders from more than 55 countries are heading to the World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC2012) in Toronto June 3-7, 2012.

WHEC2012 is one of the world’s most significant clean energy conferences, hosted every two years in a different international venue.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars from Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota will be on display and available to the public for ride-and-drive tours at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto and – on June 5th and 6th – at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Canada has quietly emerged as a world leader in hydrogen and fuel cell technology and implementation. With the 2015 launch of commercially available fuel cell cars by major automakers like Hyundai, and by Daimler in the next two to three years, Canada’s fuel cell expertise will have an even larger global showcase. Daimler’s cars will be powered with fuel cells built in Canada.

Only weeks after the Toronto WHEC2012 conference, Daimler will open its new Vancouver fuel cell pilot manufacturing facility. These Canadian-made fuel cells will be shipped to Germany to power the next generation of Mercedes-Benz electric cars with fuel cell.

Building Canadian fuel cells for Mercedes-Benz cars is not the only current success story in Canada’s export-oriented hydrogen fuel cell sector:

  • Large Canadian distributors and transporters of energy are investing in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.  As an example, Enbridge established Canada’s largest stationary fuel cell in Toronto, Ontario, producing enough clean power for 1,700 homes. Enbridge has also made recent investments in Hydrogenics to advance electricity energy storage using hydrogen technologies. 

  • A Toronto-area company – Hydrogenics – is the world leader in producing the technology that converts surplus renewable electricity to hydrogen. Their high-capacity electrolysers are used in fueling stations around the world and enable wind and solar companies to convert excess off-peak power to hydrogen, store the hydrogen and then feed it back into the power grid during times of peak demand. Hydrogenics’ fuel cell power modules are also being used globallyin buses, boats, planes, backup and stationary power applications.
  • Ontario companies like Dana Holding are producing world-leading products in the fuel cell category.
  • Canada has the world’s largest fleet of in-service zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses operating in Whistler, British Columbia, powered by Ballard Power System fuel cells of Vancouver. These buses carry passengers on the resort’s public transit system winter and summer and have travelled well in excess of one million kilometres.
  • Vancouver’s Greenlight Innovations is one of the world’s biggest fuel cell testing company.
  • Canada’s National Fuel Cell Research Institute in Vancouver is considered one of the world’s top fuel cell research institutes.
  • Ballard Power Systems of Vancouver has backup power systems installed at almost 1,000 sites in mobile telecom networks in Europe, North America, Asia and elsewhere around the world.
  • Ballard is also the world’s leading supplier of fuel cells for fleets of forklifts using Plug Power GenDrive systems. Plug Power systems, with more than 5.5 million hours of run time, are in use by customers that include Walmart in Canada, Coca Cola, BMW, FedEx, Sysco, United Natural Foods and Whole Foods.

At WHEC2012, business leaders and leading scientists from dozens of countries will explore technical advances and the implementation of hydrogen systems.

Featured conference speakers include:

  • Canada’s Federal Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear addressing the opening session of the conference on Monday, June 4;
  • International renewable energy authority Jeremy Rifkin, who has advised European governments including German President Angela Merkel on energy policy, will speak at noon on Tuesday, June 5.

Conference organizers have opened the doors to the public. Individuals can purchase day passes or full-conference registration packages at the conference website:


June 1st, 2012

What Can The Challenge Do For You?


World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2012 International Conference and Exhibition June 3 – 7, 2012, Toronto Centre Sheraton, Toronto, ON

The USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative wants to know: What can the Fuel Cell Challenge do for you?

The Collaborative launches its signature Fuel Cell Challenge this year at WHEC 2012 in Booth 512, and we want to hear from you. Tell us what is holding your firm back from being a cutting-edge hydrogen or fuel cell technology leader, regardless of whether it’s technical or business-related. We’ll offer up interdisciplinary teams of University of South Carolina students, with access to some of the world’s best hydrogen and fuel cell labs, as well as business, arts & sciences, and engineering students and faculties, to take a holistic look at solving your firm’s challenges.

Share your Challenge with us now and see if we can help, or read on to learn more about this opportunity.

The Challenge is for students and industry professionals alike to submit problems and create solutions to accelerate innovation and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. To date, the program has invested nearly $5 million in funding to support the discovery, development, and deployment of more than 20 projects. Learn more about the Fuel Cell Challenge and previous winners at


May 31st, 2012

WHEC2012 Partner Highlight: Air Liquide

World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2012 International Conference and Exhibition
June 3 – 7, 2012, Toronto Centre Sheraton, Toronto, ON


Hydrogen: A new energy for new markets

Air Liquide continues to demonstrate leadership through leading-edge commercial applications which set us apart from the competition. To date, Air Liquide has installed over 55 hydrogen energy filling stations around the world. In the context of the Group’s Blue Hydrogen approach, this hydrogen will be gradually produced without discharge of CO2. The hydrogen supplied by Canadian stations use 98% renewable sources, in particular hydroelectric power.

In North America, Air Liquide is supplying BC Transit’s fleet of “green” buses, Walmart Canada’s and a major beverage company’s green lift trucks. The vehicles running on hydrogen emit almost no greenhouse gases, offer productivity gains and are highly flexible. Hydrogen offers users a source of power that is reliable, profitable and environmentally friendly. And that’s just the beginning. Wordwide, Air Liquide hydrogen energy projects are coming online every quarter.

Last year, Air Liquide and Plug Power joined forces to develop the market for hydrogen-powered forklift trucks in Europe. The joint venture between Plug Power and Axane (subsidiary of the Air Liquide group) relies on the advanced technology of the GenDrive® fuel cell solution from Plug Power, world leader in fuel cells for forklift trucks, for developing, manufacturing and marketing a range of fuel cells for forklift trucks in Europe.

Finding solutions is in Air Liquide’s nature

Since its inception, Air Liquide has played a key role in Canada’s economic growth, revolutionizing not just the gas delivery and distribution processes but also the applied technologies themselves – welding and metal cutting, for example, and the development of specialized gases for ultra-sophisticated medical applications.

The growth and strength of our performance, combined with our continually evolving skills and know-how, make Air Liquide a company that has always been able to recognize, challenge, develop and improve the skills of our employees in order to respond to and provide made-to-measure solutions for our customers.

For more information, see Air Liquide online at /

Visit Air Liquide hydrogen energy specialists at WHEC2012, Booth #209


May 29th, 2012

The German Pavillion Welcomes you to Join them for Happy Hour

The German Pavillion, Booth #600 on the exhibit floor, would like to extend and invitiation to join them at their Happy Hour Beer & Pretzel event on the following dates and times;

•  Monday, June 4 – 15:30 – 16:30

• Tuesday June 5 – 15:30 – 16:30

• Wednesday June 6 – 13:30 – 14:30


The German Pavilion presents German companies under the slogan “hydrogen, fuel cells and electric mobility made in Germany”. The target of the common trade fair participation is to present Germany as one of the most important and innovative nations in hydrogen, fuel cells and electric mobility systems and components. We invite you to get into contact and have interesting talks. Come along and enjoy a German beer with us: Happy Hour each day one hour before trade fair closing.



May 23rd, 2012

Partner Profile – Hydrogenics Corporation

Shifting power is a subject well understood at Hydrogenics. For decades our company has provided electrolyzers to industrial customers in the most remote corners of the world, shifting electrical power to hydrogen gas for the manufacture of glass, oil and fats, and metallurgical processes.  Today we are scaling this technology to convert and deliver renewable energy through natural gas pipelines. Power to Gas.

We’ve successfully shifted renewable generated power to hydrogen fuel – supplying equipment and services for over 45 fueling stations around the globe feeding a growing fleet of zero-emission road transportation.  Power to Fuel.

We’ve served customers shifting clean hydrogen power to make things move – using our power modules to power buses, trucks, trains, planes, naval vessels and even lunar rovers.  And we’ve provided systems which shift hydrogen power for back up equipment to protect data centers and telecom towers when grid power fails.  Power to Move. Power to Protect.

Hydrogenics is renowned for its platform of patented technologies and in recent years we started scaling these to meet the growing energy needs of our world including the growing desire for the adoption of renewable energy at utility scale.    

Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy there is a demand to store excess energy at a utility-scale but so far it has been a demand that has been largely unanswered.  While energy storage is the ultimate key to providing clean and economical energy, the only conventional technologies that offer mass energy storage face serious challenges when scaled to utility size proportions.

In Ontario, Canada, Hydrogenics and Enbridge Inc. are pioneering “Power-to-Gas” as an innovative way to store and transport large quantities of energy. Power-to-Gas uses surplus power to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water. The hydrogen gas is injected into an existing natural gas pipeline network meaning that this surplus power in the form of hydrogen gas is not restricted to the site of generation. It flows to where it is needed, when it is needed. This separation of generation and utilization offers power grid operators flexibility and overall grid efficiency.

The scale of the hydrogen solution offers local and regional power grid operators a significantly larger grid management tool compared to conventional solutions. The convergence of the electrical power grid with the natural gas distribution network will allow grid operators to manage energy flow from electrical power to gas, and then from gas back to electrical power, when and where these energy conversions are most beneficial to the power grids.

For the first time, WHEC2012 will be hosting Power-to-Gas scientific sessions on Wednesday, June 6th starting at 11:00 am (as well as at the 8:30am Plenary Session “End User”).  Daryl Wilson, CEO of Hydrogenics Corporation along with David Teichroeb, Business Development Emerging Markets at Enbridge, Inc. and Vattenfall Europe’s Dr. Oliver Weinmann, Head of Innovation Management and many others will talk about this exciting opportunity.

Come join us.

Shift Power | Energize Your World


May 23rd, 2012

Partner Highlight – USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative

Columbia, South Carolina means business. Especially when it comes to hydrogen and fuel cell research and job growth.

Led by the award-winning USC-City of Columbia Fuel Collaborative, innovators, researchers, and startups in the hydrogen and fuel cell world coalesced in Columbia to turn the power of their ideas into the future of power.

Columbia and the Collaborative secured $3.6 million in research from DARPA to power Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), welcomed LOGANEnergy Carolina into its fuel cell community, and launched fuel cell-specific training programs at Midlands Technical College in conjunction with local fuel cell firms. The Collaborative was recognized by the International Economic Development Council for Excellence in Technology-Based Development and helped successfully launch 2010 Fuel Cell Challenge winners WeylChem Sustainable Materials’ innovative advancement on ammonia borane into the market.

And that was just 2011.

Looking to the future, the University of South Carolina’s brand new Horizon I facility (photo), located in the heart of historic, downtown Columbia, South Carolina, now hosts some of the nation’s finest laboratories designed to uncover the next generation of energy technologies. This includes four Centers for Economic Excellence in hydrogen and fuel cell research and millions of dollars in private investment and endowments from South Carolina’s SmartState initiative.

Join us anytime at Booth #512 or on Tuesday, June 5th at the 10:00am Networking Break as we officially launch the next iteration of the Fuel Cell Challenge, the Collaborative’s signature innovation, industry-driven hydrogen and fuel cell competition, as we continue our tradition of success in the discovery, development, and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Have questions or want to meet in person? Email us at or visit