Global Energy Ventures (ASX: GEV) is poised to take advantage of the sudden surge in hydrogen demand as the world rapidly veers towards a zero carbon future.
Speaking with Small Caps, Global Energy Ventures managing director and chief executive officer Martin Carolan said the global outlook for hydrogen continues to grow in scale.
This expected growth comes at the same time countries around the world have shortened timelines to achieve net-zero carbon emissions or substantial reductions.
European Union leads the world
The European Union is leading the world in clean energy policy and is home to a “fast developing” hydrogen economy.
In its 2020 hydrogen strategy, the European Commission plans to drive the EU into a burgeoning hydrogen hub.
“Hydrogen can be used as a feedstock, a fuel or an energy carrier and storage, and has many possible applications across industry, transport, power and buildings sectors,” the commission stated in the 2020 report.
The European Commission noted that hydrogen’s most important advantage is does not emit carbon dioxide and has almost no air pollution when used.
As a result, hydrogen offers sectors a solution where carbon dioxide emissions are urgently required to be reduced or eliminated altogether.
“All this makes hydrogen essential to support the EU’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and for the global effort to implement the Paris Agreement while working towards zero pollution.”
Benefits of hydrogen
While renewable electricity is anticipated to play a key role in decarbonising the world, there is a gap.
The European Commission believes hydrogen can bridge some of this gap with its potential to be used as a back up for renewable energy storage.
Hydrogen can also replace fossil fuels in some carbon intensive industrial processes including steel and chemical sectors.
It also has potential for use in heavy haulage and other large transport solutions.
However, much of the hydrogen produced now is largely generated from fossil fuels.
The European Commission advocates the generation of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources.
The commission predictions hydrogen’s portion of the EU’s energy mix will grow from less than 2% to 13-14% by 2050.
By 2030, the EU’s target is to have 40GW of its own green hydrogen production capacity and the potential for the import of another 40GW to meet the 2050 net zero deadline.
Globally, analysists predict hydrogen could meet almost a quarter of the world’s energy needs by 2050 with annual sales valued around €630 billion.
With such a large increase in anticipated hydrogen demand, this poses a new challenge with huge market potential – hydrogen transport and storage solutions.
Need for shipping solutions
The European Commission released a report this year that recognises the important role hydrogen transport solutions will play in facilitating the penetration of renewable hydrogen throughout Europe.
The report evaluates transporting hydrogen in three main forms – compressed, liquefied, chemical (ammonia and liquid organic).
In the actual transport the report compares ships and pipelines (for compressed hydrogen), as well as trains and trucks.
After investigating the various options, the report found transporting compressed hydrogen gas via ship or pipeline the most competitive solution.
Global Energy Ventures’ compressed hydrogen shipping solution
Mr Carolan pointed out the rapidly growing global hydrogen market will require competitive transport solutions that are available as demand increases.
This is a gap Global Energy Ventures is hoping to fill with its proprietary compressed hydrogen shipping and storage technology.
Global Energy Ventures has filed a US patent for its “world first” ship design that is capable of transporting 2,000 tonnes of compressed hydrogen (C-H2).
The company has also come up with the requisite infrastructure for its entire C-H2 export supply chain to be emission free.
Additionally, Global Energy Ventures revealed a scoping study in March that demonstrated its C-H2 supply chain was economically competitive compared to shipping liquefied hydrogen or ammonia.
“Compression is proven, safe and a low-cost method to get export markets started, while the large-scale solutions are developed over time,” Mr Carolan told Small Caps.
“Global Energy Ventures’ compressed shipping solution was specifically designed to minimise the impact of high energy costs and losses each time you handle the product, otherwise you need to build incredible scale in your solution just to reduce the unit transport costs,” he explained.
He noted the recent European Commission paper result emulated the company’s scoping study outcome.
“Global Energy Ventures continues to screen inbound enquiries from regional developers either targeting supply into Asia from Australia or within a regional distance of European markets with ports positioning to be the supply hubs. We are very encouraged at the quality of our engagement within an emerging industry and recognition that compression is a competitive carrier for hydrogen,” Mr Carolan added.