Shaping tomorrow's slopes: Hydrogen's promise for snow grooming

  19.01.2024 Local News, Bergbahn Destination Gstaad, Business

A glance into the crystal ball of eco-friendly snow grooming. This summary highlights the possibilities of Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG’s alpine journey towards a more sustainable future.

A Sustainable Ascent: BDG’s Quest for Greener Slopes
Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG (BDG) is on a mission to reimagine snow grooming with a touch of sustainability. In the pursuit of a gentler ecological footprint, the company pondered the feasibility of adopting hydrogen-powered snow groomers. The verdict? Technologically promising, but the journey to economic viability is still a snowy road ahead.

Prinoth’s Snowy Pioneering: Riding the Wave of Hydrogen Innovation
Teaming up with Prinoth, the pioneering snow groomer maestros, BDG witnessed a breakthrough – a hydrogen-powered snow groomer that dances on slopes emission-free. Jannik Sager, the Head of Projects and Infrastructure at BDG highlights the importance of maintaining the power needed for flawless piste preparation, a feature electric snow groomers are yet to master.

Embracing the Green Horizon: Hydrogen’s Path to a New Era
In the blueprint of possibilities, the feasibility study unveils a vision – a shift towards a hydrogen economy. Picture this: green hydrogen, birthed on-site through the magic of power-to-X tech, with the sun-powered assist from local photovoltaic systems. And the cherry on top? A year-round “green hub” beckoned hydrogen’s versatility beyond winter, catering to everything from farm vehicles to postbuses.

Puzzle Pieces: Untangling the Power Generation Challenge
Yet, amidst the snowflakes of progress, a hurdle emerges. The missing link lies in the power generation realm. BDG faces the conundrum of making renewable electricity from solar power financially sensible. Enter Matthias In-Albon, the director of BDG, advocating for a direct link between the electrolyser and the company’s ground-mounted systems, a necessary recipe for unlocking the profitability of a hydrogen economy.

The Sunny Side Up: Navigating the Alpine Journey Ahead
Amidst the whispers of challenges, Matthias In-Albon remains the mountain sage, drawing inspiration from a Namibian pioneering project of green hydrogen dreams. To him, it’s not just motivation for their alpine haven but a testament to the global significance of green hydrogen. In-Albon envisions a future where decreasing renewable electricity production costs and seamless connections to electrolysis pave the way for economically competitive green hydrogen.

While the journey towards hydrogen-powered snow groomers may have its fair share of bumps, twists, and turns, the appeal of a more eco-friendly, snow-kissed tomorrow is an adventure worth savouring. The slopes may be steep, but with every innovation and commitment to sustainability, the ascent becomes smoother, promising an approach for a greener horizon for snow-grooming aficionados.



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