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Hydrogen is Asian... Singapore's next S-curve? + Some hydrogen companies you should know
Last month we had the chance to organize the last Atlas Climate Tech Dinner in Singapore. During our several meetings with family offices and Temasek one thing came into the picture...
New projects announced in recent weeks could supercharge clean hydrogen growth in the US. Bolstered by IRA incentives, electrolyzer manufacturers are mapping out plans to rapidly expand production, with new facilities that would more than 4x global capacity.
So, what is the hype about?
Last year, the global installed electrolyzer capacity was ~2GW, up from less than 0.5 GW in 2021. These three projects alone could produce enough electrolyzers to more than 4x current capacity.
EH2 plans to build its first factory in Massachusetts with a goal of producing 1.2GW of electrolyzers each year.
At the end of April, Ohmium, an electrolyzer startup based in Silicon Valley, raised $250M to help expand its production facility in India. The company aims to make enough electrolyzers to supply 2GW-worth of hydrogen per year.
Nel, an Oslo-based maker of electrolyzers, plans to build a factory in Michigan and work with GM to bring down the cost of hydrogen. The company hopes to produce enough electrolyzers to supply up to 4GW-worth of hydrogen annually.
These announcements come as DOE determines how to deploy the $8B for clean hydrogen hubs included in the IRA (applications for the regional hubs closed last month) and President Biden commends manufacturers like Cummins that are ramping up production of electrolyzers.
The IRA also includes a clean hydrogen production tax credit (PTC) of up to $3/kg, which could help drive grow US production from < 1M metric tons annually to ~10M tons in 2030.
Why it matters
DOE estimates that hydrogen can play a role in decreasing as much as 25% of all energy-related CO2 emissions, but it needs to scale up fast. By 2030, the capacity of electrolyzers installed globally could increase by well over 100x as ~$130B is poured into production.
Right now, China produces most of the world’s electrolyzers and has a cost advantage—Chinese alkaline electrolysis systems cost ~$343 per kilowatt, compared with $1,200 per kilowatt in the US and Europe.
In an attempt to avoid the same pitfalls as the domestic solar industry, which lost market share and pricing power to China, the US is picking up the pace and building out more alkaline electrolyzer manufacturing.
The H2 rainbow—from black and gray to blue and green—is much less useful in determining which types of hydrogen are a net benefit than just calculating the GHG emissions generated from producing it. Qualifying as "clean" means considering lifecycle emissions, including factors like the source and location of the electricity being used. Then there are the transportation and leakage challenges.
But clean hydrogen will play an important role in reaching decarbonization goals, and the US is setting the stage for domestic production.
In Asia… Is Singapore leading the show?
On the other side of the planet, recently, the Singaporean government announced its National Hydrogen Strategy, aiming for hydrogen to supply 50% of its power by 2025. What? How?
Hydrogen is a clean and versatile energy carrier that can be produced from a variety of sources, including renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen does not produce harmful emissions when used as a fuel, making it an attractive alternative for the transportation sector. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) use hydrogen to produce electricity, which is used to power an electric motor. The only byproduct of this process is water, making it a zero-emissions solution for transportation. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) offer a zero-emissions solution for the transportation sector. According to a report by the Hydrogen Council, the deployment of 10 to 15 million FCVs by 2030 could reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by up to 1.5 gigatons per year.
According to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Southeast Asia's energy demand is expected to increase by 80% by 2040. This presents a significant challenge for the region's energy security and sustainability.
While hydrogen-powered transportation is still in its early stages of development in SEA, there have been promising developments in the region. Some cities in SEA, such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, have already deployed hydrogen-powered buses and trucks. According to the Bangkok Post, The hydrogen filling station is being built by the PTT Oil and Retail Business Company Limited, one of the largest energy companies in Thailand. It will be located at a PTT service station in Pattaya and will offer hydrogen refueling services for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The Pattaya hydrogen filling station is the first of several planned hydrogen filling stations in Thailand. PTT plans to build four more hydrogen filling stations in the country by 2022, with a goal of having 20 hydrogen filling stations by 2025. These stations will be strategically located along major highways and in urban areas to support the growing demand for FCEVs. These vehicles emit zero emissions, making them an attractive option for public transportation in the region.
However, several challenges need to be addressed for the widespread adoption of hydrogen in transportation in SEA. One of the main challenges is the high cost of producing and transporting hydrogen, which needs to be addressed to make it economically viable. The lack of infrastructure for refueling and storage is also a challenge that needs to be addressed to enable the widespread adoption of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Moreover, regulations and policies need to be implemented to promote the use of hydrogen in transportation. These policies can include incentives for vehicle manufacturers to produce hydrogen-powered vehicles, tax breaks for hydrogen fuel, and regulations to ensure the safety of hydrogen refueling and storage.
Despite these challenges, the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy option for transportation in SEA cannot be ignored. Governments, private companies, and other stakeholders need to work together to overcome these challenges and promote the adoption of hydrogen as a clean energy option for transportation in the region. With the right policies and infrastructure in place, hydrogen can play a vital role in creating a cleaner and more sustainable future for the region.
Some Hydrogen startups to check out:
Focused Market: Green hydrogen production
Company valuation: $15M+
Job creation: 20+
SunGreenH2 is transforming green hydrogen production by building the world's highest-performance electrolyzers. SunGreenH2 manufactures core components for electrolysis cells, stacks, and systems, enabling our customers to produce affordable green hydrogen. Electrolyzers made with our materials increase production and decrease energy consumption without using expensive platinum group metals.
Focused Market: HydrogenEnergy Storage
Company valuation: $80M+
Job creation: 50+
Supercritical Solutions is a clean-tech start-up developing the world’s first high-pressure, ultra-efficient electrolyzer, producing hydrogen and oxygen from water emitting zero emissions. A major challenge for the transition to a hydrogen economy is that the majority of the 70 million tons of hydrogen produced today is still produced from fossil fuels. This production process emits as much CO2 as the aviation industry. Supercritical’s unique green electrolyzer utilizes heat and pressure to maximize efficiency and dramatically minimize the cost of production. Supercritical produces hydrogen at the lowest cost with zero emissions.
Focused Market: Hydrogen Aviation
Founded: United States
Company valuation: $40M+
Job creation: 11 - 50
Hypoint is a clean-tech start-up developing a unique hydrogen fuel cell system for the air transportation market. In 2018 aviation produced 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions with this figure expected to reach a critical 25% by 2050. Therefore decarbonizing aviation is vital to solving the climate crisis. Hypoint is making zero-emission air transport possible. The arrival of zero-emission aviation vehicles has been limited by the energy capacity of Li-ion batteries and traditional hydrogen fuel cells. Hy-Point has built the next generation of hydrogen fuel cells consisting of both high specific power and high energy density with an extended life span perfectly suited for aviation.
Focused Market: Green hydrogen
Company valuation: Public
Job creation: 500+
Enapter is a clean energy company that specializes in the production of hydrogen electrolysers. Electrolysers are devices that use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called electrolysis. Enapter's electrolysers are compact, efficient, and modular, making them suitable for various applications, including renewable energy storage, power-to-gas projects, and hydrogen production for industrial use. Enapter is a clean energy company that specializes in the production of hydrogen electrolysers. Electrolysers are devices that use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called electrolysis. Enapter's electrolysers are compact, efficient, and modular, making them suitable for various applications, including renewable energy storage, power-to-gas projects, and hydrogen production for industrial use. Enapter's flagship product is called the "Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) Electrolyser." This innovative electrolyser utilizes advanced AEM technology, which enables it to operate at low temperatures and pressures, resulting in high energy efficiency and improved safety.
Focused Market: hydrogen-powered transport
Company valuation: $20M+
Job creation: 20+
SeaBubbles designs and builds the latest generation craft with the motto “Zero Wave, Zero Noise, Zero Emission” thanks to the combination of a hybrid hydrogen-electric propulsion system and retractable foils. The SeaBubble H2 offers a sustainable mobility alternative in waterways as well as marine zones and protected areas.
Join the rebellion… the South East Asia Pacific Climate Tech Coalition
Southeast Asia is globally considered one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change. We could lose $28 trillion if it fails to act fast on climate change and will face increasingly intense and unpredictable weather events. Despite this, the investment to improve the resilience of infrastructure remain low with 75% of all climate investment concentrated in North America, Western Europe, East Asia (India) & Pacific (China).
We believe this energy & Net Zero transition is the biggest business opportunity of our lifetime, and there is business for 100 x 100 entrepreneurs to work on this today!
We believe tomorrow’s heroes will be founders with companies that will demonstrate economic growth that benefits both societies as a whole and save our planet.
The Southeast Asia Pacific Climate Tech Coalition is a global movement gathering founders, innovators, family offices, angel investors, corporate innovators, policymakers, and artists that seek to answer and embody the question “What do a sustainable civilization and net-zero economy look like, and how can we get there by 2050?”
Our vision is to build a movement to help SEA attract solutions and capital to combat climate emergencies. We believe the time is now to push climate innovation and growth forward in the region.
Through connecting climate technologies from all around the world to catalyze South East Asia to adopt & decarbonize faster, we believe we can influence $1 billion in climate innovations investment, market expansion, and commercialization towards this region by 2050. Today, 400 members including 70% of investors & conglomerates venture arms have joined. You can apply here:
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