Jul 22, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- A multi-trillion-dollar hydrogen boom is underway, fueling substantial upside for related companies such as Jericho Energy Ventures (TSX:CA:JEV) (OTC:JROOF) , Plug Power (NAS:PLUG) , Ballard Power (NAS:BLDP) , Bloom Energy (NYS:BE) , and FuelCell Energy (NAS:FCEL) . For one, Raymond James’ analyst Michael Glen, for example, just said 2021 could be a “ watershed moment ” for hydrogen. In fact, he expects to see far more hydrogen-related announcements going countries all around the world. Two, by 2027, the market could be worth up to $300 billion, says Global Market Insights. In addition, over the last year, “both the Biden Administration and Congress have proposed new and expanded tax credits and other incentives to stimulate hydrogen investment,” according to Lexology.com.
“In May 2021, the Treasury Department released the "Green Book," which further discussed hydrogen tax incentives. The Green Book proposes a new six-year production tax credit (PTC) for the production of low-carbon hydrogen in qualified facilities for which construction begins before 2026, where the end use of the hydrogen is for energy, industrial, chemical, or transportation purposes,” added Lexology.com.
Look at Jericho Energy Ventures (TSX:CA:JEV) (OTC:JROOF)
Jericho Energy Ventures just announced it has led a Series A financing for H2U Technologies, Inc. , a Company focused on developing its proprietary ultrahigh throughput, AI-driven, electrocatalyst discovery process for electrolyser and fuel cell applications.
Jericho’s USD$1.5 million Co-Lead investment is joined by Dolby Family Ventures, Hess Corporation (NYS:HES) and Motus Ventures – with a total Series A raise of approximately USD$7 million. Each of the Co-Leads, including Jericho, will have board representation. The Board of H2U will also be joined by independent director, Tom Werner, former CEO (2003-2021) and current Chairman of SunPower (NAS:SPWR) .
H2U intends to use this funding to support the start-up and development of its proprietary electrocatalyst discovery process and machinery. H2U will also develop its own PEM electrolyser technology utilizing its proprietary catalysts, breakthrough sub-component innovations and manufacturing processes.
H2U’s low-cost electrolyser is being developed in partnership with Southern California Gas Co. (“SoCalGas”) – the cost target of which is half that of current PEM electrolysers. SoCalGas, who recently announced its commitment to reach Net Zero carbon emissions in its operations and delivery by 2045, will conduct demonstration testing of the new low-cost electrolyser, as well as validation testing on the performance of new non-precious metal catalysts, materials used in small quantities to initiate and accelerate the chemical process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Disruptive Solution and Background
H2U is a commercialization of technology, exclusively licensed to H2U by Caltech, developed under a $122 million Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (“JCAP”) program established by the Department of Energy and a group of universities including the California Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkley, Stanford University, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego. The mission of JCAP was to find cost-effective methods to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and CO2. This program produced over 30 patents to which H2U has the exclusive worldwide IP-rights.
H2U’s disruptive solution to replace precious metal catalysts with cheap, stable, and effective electrocatalysts will be a required step in the adoption of green hydrogen, globally. The resulting electrocatalyst discovery pipeline is an unprecedented, proprietary, end-to-end, ultra-high throughput data-driven process focused on the discovery of new catalysts for hydrogen electrolysis, fuel cells and batteries. The process is capable of preparing, characterizing, and quantifying the catalytic activity of over 1 millioncompositions per day, which is orders of magnitude beyond the current state-of-the-art.
This process provides H2U with an advantage many orders of magnitude higher than competitors in catalyst discovery. Critically, the Company has already developed, lab tested and has patents pending on two potential catalysts that will be the focal point of commercialization efforts in the near-term.
H2U will initially be led by some of the leading scientists in the field of photo-and-electrocatalysis, many of whom led and directed the JCAP program at the California Institute of Technology including H2U’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. Nathan Lewis (Scientific Director, Principal Investigator for JCAP and Professor of Chemistry at Caltech).
Ryan Breen, Head of Corporate Strategy at JEV, states, “Critical to any pathway towards Net Zero targets will be the low-cost, efficient and stable electrocatalysts developed by H2U for the rapidly growing Hydrogen Economy. H2U’s catalyst discovery process is a distinct advantage over traditional catalyst companies looking to serve the hydrogen market. Driving down the cost of green hydrogen is of vital importance to its adoption and JEV seeks to play a market-leading role in that pursuit. Moreover, we are thrilled to be joined by like-minded investors in recognizing the value of H2U’s proprietary technology and world-class Cal-Tech team.”
Hydrogen Generation and Utilization: Electrolysers, Fuel Cells and Catalysts
The market to produce and utilize green hydrogen as a fuel, feedstock and means of energy storage is slated to reach a total addressable market size of $2.5 trillion per annum by 2050. Today, electrolysers and fuel cells rely on expensive and supply-constrained precious metals for electrocatalysts, particularly, platinum and iridium whose prices have risen 25% and 240%, respectively over the last twelve months.
According to the Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), required electrolyser capacity needs to reach 270GW and 1700GW by 2030 and 2050 respectively to meet global decarbonization targets. The current global pipeline is 3GW. The growth prospects of green hydrogen and its electrolysis production process will produce an inevitable supply pull on currently utilized precious metal catalysts. In fact, the Henry Royce Institute (UK) identified the reduction of precious metals in PEM electrolyser and fuel cells as one of its top five priorities for materials research enabling the hydrogen economy.
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Plug Power and Apex Clean Energy , one of the nation’s largest independent clean energy companies, announced a 345 MW wind power purchase agreement (PPA) and a development services agreement for a green hydrogen production facility. The power purchased through the PPA will directly supply a new hydrogen production plant with 100% renewable power. The hydrogen plant, which is being co-developed by Apex and Plug Power, will be the first and largest wind-supplied hydrogen project in the United States and the largest onshore wind-powered project across the globe. Once operational, the plant is anticipated to produce over 30 metric tons per day of clean liquid hydrogen, enough to fuel the equivalent of over 2,000 light commercial vehicles or over 1,000 heavy duty class 8 trucks.
Ballard Power announced that it has received a purchase order for two of its 200-kilowatt (kW) fuel cell modules from Siemens Mobility GmbH to power a 2-car Mireo Plus H passenger train through a trial operation in Bavaria, Germany. As per Ballard’s announcement in November 2017, the 200kW fuel cell module has been developed and tested under a multi-year Development Agreement with Siemens, in order to provide primary propulsion power for the Mireo Plus H light rail train. Ballard plans to deliver the modules ordered by Siemens for the trial operation in Bavaria in 2022.
Bloom Energyunveiled the Bloom Electrolyzer ; the most energy-efficient electrolyzer to produce clean hydrogen to date and 15 to 45 percent more efficient than any other product on the market today. The Bloom Electrolyzer relies on the same, commercially proven and proprietary solid oxide technology platform used by Bloom Energy Servers to provide on-site electricity at high fuel efficiency. Highly flexible, it offers unique advantages for deployment across a broad variety of hydrogen applications, using multiple energy sources including intermittent renewable energy and excess heat.
FuelCell Energy, a global leader in fuel cell technology with a purpose of utilizing its proprietary, state-of-the-art fuel cell platforms to enable a world empowered by clean energy — applauds Governor Ned Lamont on the signing of Connecticut House Bill 6524 , An Act Concerning the Solicitation of New Fuel Cell Electricity Generation Projects. The bill requires the Connecticut utilities to solicit proposals to acquire new fuel cell electricity generation projects that begin on or after July 1, 2021. Projects submitted under this mandate will be approved by January 1, 2022. The evaluation used in the proposal selection process will be based on both enhancing distribution energy system reliability and security, as well as support of microgrids to ensure critical resources continue to operate during power disruptions. House Bill 6524 provides preference for projects that are sited on brownfields as Connecticut demonstrates its commitment to energy equity and for fuel cells that are manufactured in Connecticut. The energy transition, and the forecasted importance of distributed hydrogen, positions Connecticut to continue as a global leader in clean technology essential in achieving global sustainability objectives through fuel cell deployment.
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