Science & Technology

5 Things You Should Know About Green Hydrogen

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When most of us think of decarbonized transport, we first think of electric vehicles. And, of course, American carmakers are lined up with a positive new promise to electrify their fleet over the next decade.

But Plug Power has a message for companies building clean fleet strategies. Do not ignore green hydrogen. Does not emit carbon dioxide When used to power a fuel cell. Based in northern New York, the manufacturer positions hydrogen as a fuel that can set foot in places where batteries are scarce. Consider long distances, heavy payloads, and extreme temperatures.

Plug power has grown rapidly in the last few years Impressive list of global companies — Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot — We use hydrogen-powered forklifts and delivery vehicles. We are beginning to build plants throughout the United States to produce green hydrogen and expand its impact.

“Green hydrogen unleashes the future potential of clean energy,” said Preeti Pande, Chief Marketing Officer of PlugPower, at a virtual symposium held by the company in early October.

So what exactly is “green hydrogen”? The term refers to hydrogen fuel produced in a plant using a fully renewable energy source. Currently, only 1% of the hydrogen fuel is produced by this method. Other 99% As “gray” or “brown” hydrogen produced using fossil fuels.

According to the green hydrogen market Report by PwC, Could be worth $ 300 billion by 2050. Plugpower is expected to grow into a $ 3 billion company by 2025.

Here are five things you need to know about the future of green hydrogen in transport.

1. The future of green hydrogen depends on the future of renewable energy

The future vision of plug-powered green hydrogen relies heavily on the amount of renewable energy the United States builds.

The company is already working on three green hydrogen plants, the first of which will be completed in Rochester, NY.About Half of the electricity generated in New York Already from renewable energies — mainly hydro and nuclear. However, the company said it is also considering building a dedicated solar array or wind farm to power the plant and achieve 100% green hydrogen.

2. Green hydrogen can fill the unique gap in transportation

Plugpower does not want to compete with General Motors in passenger cars. Instead, the company sees green hydrogen as a difficult-to-decarbonize type of land transportation solution, such as long-haul trucks and delivery vans.

At the PlugPower symposium, Keith Schmidt, general manager of the company’s new market and president of new product development, said:

One of the first moves in this area of ​​plug power is the partnership with the Renault Group. Both companies are developing hydrogen-powered delivery vans. H2-Tech, With the new Hyvia brand.

Plug power says vans have several advantages Battery electric modelThe main reason is that hydrogen fuel does not occupy as much space and weight as a battery. This means you can increase the range and load capacity of your truck.

3. Existing fossil fuel infrastructure can play a role in the transition to hydrogen

One major barrier to adopting green hydrogen as a fuel source comes down to supply. Plug Power is rapidly expanding the amount of hydrogen it produces to meet this demand, but it also needs to find a way to transport and store all its fuel.

There is a possibility that natural gas pipelines will play an active role. Plug Power and its partners say it could become part of the solution rather than abandoning its vast infrastructure network.

“We believe that there are models that have been proven to be effective in the movement of natural gas, and that they are also effective in the movement of hydrogen,” said Chad Xamarin, who also spoke at the Plugpower Symposium. Zamarin is Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy Development. Williams, A company whose pipeline moves 30% of the country’s natural gas.

4. Policy and financing will be of great help

Hydrogen companies like Plugpower have raised a lot of money on their own — companies About $ 5 billion With cash on hand — but public funds can also accelerate the industry.

President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package could include as much as $ 8 billion to set up a “hydrogen hub” nationwide. Not all of that hydrogen production is driven by renewable energy..

Nevertheless, it can send a strong signal to investors. David Andrews, Senior Managing Director and COO of Energy Group, investment banking firm Evercore, spoke at the Plugpower Symposium:

Tax credits on the production of green hydrogen can also help make fuels more cost-competitive. for example, One suggestion Upon passing Congress, the hydrogen facility will be provided with a credit of $ 3 per kilogram, with the goal of ultimately costing green hydrogen to be $ 1 per kilogram.

5. Green hydrogen has the potential to go beyond transportation

Many of Plug Power’s existing and potential customers, whether forklifts or delivery vans, see hydrogen as a solution for fueling their vehicles.

But Plugpower’s ambitions for green hydrogen go far beyond that. The company is also developing fixed fuel cells that can power data centers and even microgrids. At the Plugpower symposium, Microsoft representatives said hydrogen fuel cells could one day replace backup diesel generators in data centers around the world.

Plug power is also targeted at aviation, and Through partnership with Airbus We are working on the development of zero emission aircraft by 2025.

In other words, plug power sees green hydrogen opportunities almost everywhere we currently use fossil fuels.

“The future of green energy is in us and ready to happen,” said Plugpower CMO Pande.

[Continue the dialogue at VERGE 21: the climate tech event. Register here to join more than 10,000 leaders, Oct. 25-28.]

5 Things You Should Know About Green Hydrogen 5 Things You Should Know About Green Hydrogen

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