Imagine a time before petroleum and electricity – horse-drawn carriages dominated the highways and byways and candles provided artificial lighting. The world was transformed by fossil solutions in just a few centuries.

But we are currently being faced with the side effects of utilising fossil energy – climate change and pollution. The obvious solution to these problems is exchanging fossil fuels with new renewable energies like solar, wind, and wave power.

According to one company in Norway, it’s time for another global transformation. This time, it will be transformed by hydrogen, the simplest and most abundant element in the universe.

Nel ASA has a vision of empowering generations with clean energy forever. To achieve this, CEO Jon André Løkke believes hydrogen, along with renewable energy, must play a main role in the biggest energy transition since the discovery of oil.

“Over the last few years, the development with hydrogen has been impressive. We believe the hydrogen industry is on the verge of experiencing the same development that we have seen for the wind and solar industries,” Løkke said an exclusive interview with gasworld, which will feature in our 5th issue of 2019 edition.

“As such, we believe the future is bright for the entire hydrogen industry.”

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Source: Nel ASA

Hydrogen technology has become more accessible recently with prices for the technology and gas continuing to fall, helped by renewable energy becoming increasingly competitive.

“These are the two main drivers,” Løkke explains. “The key target for us is to make renewable hydrogen cost competitive, head-to-head with fossil hydrogen. We want to compete head-to-head on industrial applications and on mobility transport applications.”

“We want to outcompete petrol and diesel completely and we also want to outcompete fossil hydrogen. With this, fossil parity has been achieved and that’s our key driver at the moment.”

With the recent drop in prices for wind and solar, as well as the cost reductions Nel can realise for electrolysers, Løkke says he can see renewable hydrogen gradually taking back the position it had at the inception of the company in 1927.

And Løkke wants to take the company full circle and expand once more into where it started out: as the preferred technology for ammonia and fertiliser manufacturing.

Transitioning from fossil fuels to a renewable-based economy is an enormous challenge. But Nel and Løkke remain confident in this transformation. Something affirmed by the company’s slogan, and also a bumper sticker on Løkke’s very own Hyundai NEXO hydrogen car, signalling the end of centuries of fossil dependence and the advent of the hydrogen era:

“Thanks for the ride, dinosaurs. We’ll take it from here!”

Read the full interview, published in gasworld Global’s 5th issue of 2019 edition, here. To read the rest of this article you need to be a subscriber.

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