Public transport in Trapani (Italy) could soon use hydrogen production from sea waves for alternative energy, new studies have proposed.

Energy extraction from sea waves could have many advantages. It has high energy potential, its exploitation does not require land consumption; and very limited visual and environmental impact. Additionally, in small islands, the cost of electrical energy production and fuel for public transportation are higher than in other regions, therefore wave energy may be a more economical alternative.

The study, conducted by MDPI, focuses on the possibility of tapping the renewable energy potential (wind and sea wave) for the hydrogen production by electrolysis. MDPI presents two different feasibility studies; the first proposes two plants based on wind and sea wave resource for the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen for public transportation facilities in the West Sicily and the second applies the same approach to Pantelleria (a smaller island), including also some indications about solar resource. In both cases, all buses were equipped with fuel-cells.

The study found that the use of wind and sea wave energy availability in the Province of Trapani and smaller Sicilian islands (like Pantelleria) for electrolytic hydrogen production would allow replacing the entire fleet of urban buses powered by diesel with an equal number of hydrogen vehicles.

The coupling of renewable energy and hydrogen technologies represents, in the mid-term, a very interesting way to match the tasks of increasing the reliable exploitation of wind and sea wave energy and introducing clean technologies in the transportation sector.