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LONDON, Aug. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Already one of the world's top ten producers of hydrogen, Canada is at the forefront of the global effort to develop a sustainable hydrogen economy, and a recent breakthrough may just bring it closer to becoming one of the most important energy transition hubs on the planet. Companies mentioned in this release include: TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D).
Canadian company GH Power and its team of world-class engineers led by CEO Dave White are bringing the world green hydrogen, high-quality heat and green alumina that can be fed into the grid using proprietary reactor technology that relies on only two inputs, creating zero waste and zero carbon emissions.
The reactor is said to be the very first of its kind to operate continuously, extracting baseload energy and hydrogen from the rapid oxidation of metal in water.
For Canada's ambitions of becoming a major hydrogen superpower, the reactor, which began final Phase II testing on June 23rd, with commercial operations set to begin by Q4 2023, represents an impressive step forward in the high-stakes, low-carbon hydrogen game.
For GH Power, seven years of quiet and painstaking research and testing has turned the company into an award-winning innovator that hopes to reward future investors with four potential revenue streams.
PARTNERING FOR A CLEAN, SECURE FUTURE
In August 2022, just five months after Russia launched its war on Ukraine and the weaponization of energy rose to the forefront, Canada took decisive steps to accelerate the global clean energy transition, signing a Joint Declaration of Intent with Germany to collaborate on the export of clean Canadian hydrogen to Europe's economic powerhouse.
GH Power's unique hydrogen reactor has been a focal point of this alliance, and its technology has been awarded $ 2.2 million in federal funding from the National Research Council of Canada as part of the Transatlantic commitment with Germany. The award is intended to support further research of the optimum fuel mixture for its reactor and the ultimate refinement of its high-purity alumina.
"Unlocking the potential of hydrogen is an essential part of our government's plan for a sustainable economic future — not just for the domestic opportunities for emissions reductions but also for its potential as an export opportunity: to provide clean energy to countries around the globe," the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, said following the signing of the alliance deal with Germany.
"Green hydrogen is an important key for a climate-neutral economy. We must resolutely pursue climate change mitigation in order to secure our prosperity and freedom. This is more important and urgent than ever at this time," German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck said. "The Hydrogen Alliance between Canada and Germany is a significant milestone as we accelerate the international market rollout of green hydrogen and clear the way for new transatlantic cooperation. Specifically, we aim to build up a transatlantic supply chain for green hydrogen. The first shipments from Canada to Germany are to begin as early as 2025."
INSIDE THE FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND REACTOR
The hydrogen produced by the modular version of GH Power's 2MW reactor is pure and clean, with zero emissions, zero carbon and zero waste, using only 2 inputs (recycled aluminum and water). Only a small amount of energy is required to start the reactor, after which it is a self-sustaining operation that is a net generator of power to the grid.
GH Power's Zero-Carbon Hydrogen
Zero-carbon hydrogen is arguably what could make or break the world's net-zero emissions goals. It's the closest answer we have to combat the disastrous impacts of climate change. The Hydrogen Council estimates that hydrogen will represent 18% of all energy delivered to end users by 2050, avoiding 6 gigatonnes of carbon emissions annually and turning around $2.5 trillion in annual sales (not to mention creating 30 million jobs globally).
For now, the majority of hydrogen in North America is produced by natural gas reforming in large central plants—an important step in the energy transition. The end goal, however, is to produce hydrogen without creating carbon emissions. Now, scientists are attempting to advance a process called "electrolysis" to create pure, clean hydrogen by splitting water into pure hydrogen and oxygen using high-temperature electrolyzers.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable energy is around $5 per kilogram, or approximately 3X higher than producing hydrogen from natural gas. The DoE hopes the billions of dollars it's pouring into R&D now will reduce hydrogen production costs by 80% (to an ideal of $1 per kilogram) within a decade.
By the company's estimates, GH Power's reactor is already 60% cheaper than producing hydrogen than DoE estimates, and it is a net producer of electricity to the grid. Its green alumina by-product production costs are also 85% cheaper than the most commonly used processes such as hydrochloric acid leaching and hydrolysis for alumina production.
Zero-Carbon Alumina—A World First
GH Power's reactor produces green high-purity alumina (HPA)—a valuable specialty product used by several high-growth technology markets, including semiconductors, LED products, lithium-ion batteries, Smartphones, a multitude of other electronic devices, and industrial ceramics.
LED is a high-growth industry because it is critical to improving energy efficiency. Lithium-ion batteries are likewise experiencing soaring growth amid an energy transition driven heavily by the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles. Demand for Smartphones and other electric devices is also continuously rising. All of this suggests significant growth in demand for HPA.
Exothermic Heat & Carbon Credits
This is a new technology based on a circular economy. Not only does it use recyclable inputs, but the exothermic heat from the reaction can also be used to generate high quality steam and hot water for industrial applications.
And once scaled up, GH Power's 27-megawatt plant will run off the combustion of hydrogen gas and capturing the energy from the reaction's exothermic heat. This combined cycle (CHP) approach can be added to an existing power generation asset which could significantly reduce CO2 emissions or it can be utilized in a green field application thus significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional fossil fuel power generation.
First Revenue Generation**
First revenue generation is anticipated in the fourth quarter, and then the future plan is all about scaling up the modular technology to much larger Combined Cycle Power Plants.
WHAT NEXT? SCALING UP THE ENERGY TRANSITION
"The only practical solution for society to reduce carbon emissions is to transition from 100% fossil fuels to cleaner tech," and one of the steps in tackling this is to blend hydrogen with fossil fuels and ramp up the hydrogen content whenever possible," says Dave White, GH Power CEO and a veteran engineer in the power generation space.
GH Power's technology is modular and scalable which makes a plant's configuration very flexible with maximum efficiency while meeting a customer's energy requirements. GH Power has modeled a 27MW combined cycle plant and is in the early planning stages with customers.
TRADITIONAL ENERGY COMPANIES EYE HYDROGEN
TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) is not the sort of company that half-commits to anything, and its hydrogen plans are no different. We're talking about a traditional oil and gas titan that's increasingly putting its chips on green energy—hydrogen being a key player. This isn't just some pilot project or a sideline venture; they're in it to become leaders in the hydrogen value chain.
Now, when a company with TotalEnergies' clout gets serious about something, you've got to take notice. They're applying their years of experience in the energy sector to this nascent industry, and it's pretty exciting.
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) seems to have taken the old adage "Go big or go home" quite seriously when it comes to hydrogen. This is a company that's looking at the whole hydrogen landscape—from fuel cell vehicles to power plants—and thinking, "We can do something big here."
What's different about Chevron's hydrogen endeavors is that they're not abandoning their old roots; they're leveraging them. It's a multi-layered approach, with big plans to turn the Gulf Coast into a hydrogen hub. That's both smart and economical, an evolutionary rather than revolutionary approach.
ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) in hydrogen? Yep, you heard it right. They might be a latecomer, but they're no slouch. The plan here is meticulous, using their already sprawling infrastructure to tap into this growing market. It's a masterstroke that adds another layer to their energy portfolio without starting from scratch.
Sure, ExxonMobil isn't ditching oil and gas anytime soon. But here's the kicker: they don't have to. They're looking to be the smart integrators, the folks who can blend the old with the new seamlessly.
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE) is big on wind and solar, but let's not overlook their hydrogen agenda. They've recently initiated pilot projects to produce hydrogen from solar power, a method that's as green as it gets. This is the firm betting that hydrogen will be the perfect companion to renewable energy sources, providing storage and versatility.
It's like they've put their ear to the ground, heard the rumblings of the green hydrogen revolution, and decided they need a piece of that action. Their pilot projects may be small-scale now, but the implications could be massive.
Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE:D) is carving out a niche for itself in the hydrogen economy by focusing on clean hydrogen solutions. They're taking their utility expertise and applying it to the production, storage, and distribution of hydrogen—creating an integrated, end-to-end offering that's not easy to come by.
Here's the kicker: Dominion isn't just looking at hydrogen as an add-on; they're eyeing it as a critical piece in a broader clean energy strategy. They've got projects focused on using excess renewable energy to produce hydrogen, creating a synergistic relationship between two of the hottest sectors in clean energy.
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