Research highlights – hydrogen production
AP Ventures has an extensive research activity to stay ahead of market trends and deploy effectively its capital. Lately, we have focused on hydrogen production as an area of interest. We see the ability to produce competitively priced low-carbon hydrogen as critical – in terms of decarbonising current hydrogen production, making existing end-use applications more competitive and enabling hydrogen to be more competitive in new technologies such as synthetic fuels, ammonia and heavy-duty trucks.
Here are a few thoughts we would like to share on the different modes of producing hydrogen
o Helping achieving electrolyser scale (the EU recently released a strategy calling for 40GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030, as well as the formation of a supply chain of 40GW of electrolyser capacity for the import of hydrogen from outside of Europe. To put the magnitude of this scale-up in context, the EU currently has an installed water electrolysis capacity of ~100MW)
o Stack and system architecture that reduces OPEX requirements (this is particularly important as renewable energy costs currently account for >75% of the cost of green hydrogen)
o Stack and system architecture that can leverage the fuel cell supply chain (there are certain components and design synergies that can be utilised across the two technologies),
o Reducing the capital cost of key components, and
o Technologies (e.g., synthetic fuels) that can utilise green hydrogen to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors such as air travel.
If solid carbon is produced via methane pyrolysis, then the price of natural gas becomes more important as double the quantity is required (as a hydrogen source in lieu of water). However, solid carbon can be more easily captured, transported, sequestered or used, if applicable.