The first global initiative of its kind that aims to position hydrogen (H2) among the key solutions of the energy transition – The Hydrogen Council - today holds its third annual CEO event in San Francisco.

53 energy, transport and industry companies will host the Global Hydrogen Leaders Forum, an official affiliate of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), in San Francisco. The forum will provide an opportunity for industry executives to engage with stakeholders to drive large-scale commercialisation of H2 worldwide.

“H2 will play a major role in the energy transition, but it is also key to power the digital revolution.”

Benoit Potier, CEO and Chairman of Air Liquide and Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council

Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company and Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council, stated, “The Hydrogen Council’s third CEO event is a testament to how far we have come since the launch of this initiative about 18 months ago.”

“More than fifty top industry leaders are here today to show H2 has a role to play and we need to act now to get it to scale and truly enable the energy transition. This transition needs to be sustainable environmentally, financially and socially, and H2 will help ensure it ticks all those boxes.”

Hydrogen Council quadruples size in 18 months

To mark its presence at the heart of tech innovation in California, the Hydrogen Council has also launched a new discussion paper – entitled ‘Hydrogen Meets Digital’ – to investigate four exemplary applications that can particularly benefit from H2. Developed with analytical support from McKinsey, it demonstrates how H2 and digital technologies can work hand-in-hand to drive our energy transition.

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The report highlights how H2’s unique benefits can address some of the most pressing energy challenges facing tech innovators today. In the coming years, while energy efficiency gains are reducing overall energy demand, energy demand for digital applications such as data centres is expected to double until 2050.

This implies the need for an energy carrier that can take renewable power, channel it, and then release energy when needed. H2 and batteries are both essential to achieving this. H2, with its 10x higher energy density and 20x faster refuelling than mainstream technologies, is well suited for such applications. It can be flexibly produced, smoothing out imbalances in electricity demand and its longer range can result in reduced wait times, increased utilisation, and reduced infrastructure requirements.

By 2030, H2 technologies could power up to 1.5 million autonomous taxis, 700,000 autonomous shuttles, 8,000 vertical take-off and landing taxis (VTOLs), 3.6 million delivery trucks and provide up to 1 TWh of backup power for data centres. As a result, this digital future could grow the world’s H2 market, in addition to the applications highlighted in the 2017 Hydrogen Council Report Scaling Up by another seven million tonnes of annual H2 demand and the use of 6.4 million fuel cells by 2030.

“H2 will play a major role in the energy transition, but it is also key to power the digital revolution. We invite tech leaders to consider H2 solutions for digital applications. Together, we can deliver concrete solutions while ensuring a sustainable future,” concluded Benoît Potier, CEO and Chairman of Air Liquide and Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council.

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Source: Dominique Lecocq