Today I’ll be taking part in the second day of the Hydrogen Council’s (virtual) fourth Annual Conference. The Council is a first-of-its-kind global CEO initiative to foster the role of Hydrogen technologies in the global energy transition to a sustainable, cleaner future.
We’ve been members since 2018, with the consortium now including 109 companies from 20+ countries around the world as members. The entire Hydrogen value chain is represented, with companies as diverse as Air Liquide, Airbus, Toyota, Microsoft, Mitsubishi and Thyssenkrupp being part of its membership. Recent new members have included CF Industries, who like us, believe that green ammonia is a critical enabler for the storage and transport of green Hydrogen to meet the world’s energy needs.
The event involves taking stock of global hydrogen progress, reviewing the group’s achievements to date and deciding on the Council’s 2021 priorities, whilst linking together its members to drive new opportunities. The timing of the meeting is particularly critical this year; with more countries expected to announce new investments in Hydrogen as they look to implement their national Hydrogen strategies in the wake of COVID lockdowns worldwide.
The Conference’s first day discussions emphasised both the increasing importance of our role within the Council and its value to AFC Energy, given the strides we’ve made in developing our H-Power technology and where we plan to deploy it. Our fuel cell for Extreme E, for example, will showcase a viable alternative to offgrid diesel generator sets – a US$20 billion industry - across a range of harsh and extreme climatic conditions. This completely fits with the Council’s vision of hydrogen’s unique properties making it ‘a powerful enabler for the energy transition… with benefits for both the energy system and end-use applications like transport’.
The effective deployment of our technology in 2021, including its use on one of Acciona’s live construction sites in Spain and as part of Forschungszentrum Jülich’s deployment at its Living Lab Energy Campus showcase in Germany also fully aligns with the Councils view that ‘Hydrogen solutions are here: mature, safe and ready to be deployed at scale……the time for industry, governments and investors to tap into the potential of hydrogen is now.’ We look forward to further making the case as part of 1:1 conversations with other Chief Executives during the remainder of the Conference.
One other issue I’d like to bring you up to speed with is how we’re managing our operations during national lockdown. It goes without saying that working safely and securely during the pandemic is a key priority for me, with safeguards in place to protect staff involved in engineering, manufacturing and assembling fuel cell systems at the office with working from home where possible. Whilst it remains a difficult time for all of us, I continue to be impressed by the resolve and commitment of our staff and these qualities underpin what we’ll be able to deliver in 2021.