Our timing is excellent for this market

January 18, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable energy, hydrogen continues to emerge as a pivotal part of the solution, driving innovations and reshaping industries globally. As Insplorion stands at the forefront of this transformation, Johan Rask (CEO at Insplorion), now shares his perspectives on the latest developments and news that are shaping the trajectory of the hydrogen sector. Join us in this article where Johan delves into the recent breakthroughs, challenges and opportunities in the sector, all through the lens of how these events may or may not impact Insplorion.


Maritime sector will take a serious part of the hydrogen economy

Key take-away: The maritime sector is facing an intense reduction in green-house emissions. Already by 2040 the industry must decrease the emissions by 86 %, to follow the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 2023 Strategy, adopted by 175 member states earlier this year. Hydrogen and hydrogen derived fuels such as ammonia and methanol are expected to play crucial roles. In 2050 the global demand for green hydrogen is projected to account for 15 percent of the total demand.

Insplorion perspective: The maritime sector is facing several challenges to fully adopt hydrogen derived fuels. Many of these challenges are related to cost and safety issues, and one of the advantages with our sensor, generating a lot of interest, is the capability to measure hydrogen in inert environments. We have confirmed through intense customer dialogues the importance of implementing the safety design, and specifically the detection capabilities already at an early stage of the ship design.  We consider Insplorion’s timing excellent for this market, as it invites for new actors in pilot testing.


IKEA uses hydrogen fueled trucks for longer transports in Austria

Key take-away: For two years, IKEA has used electric trucks for fossil-free transport within city areas. Now, on the quest to enable fossil-free transports also to customers in more rural areas, IKEA Austria introduces hydrogen trucks with the rationale that those provide longer range without compromising on the load the truck can carry.

Insplorion perspective: These kind of real-life examples of end-user applications are clear evidence for the progress of the hydrogen market. It is inspiring to see IKEA as a powerful and influential player taking part in pushing the development forward.


Hydrogen for energy storage

Key take-away: Hydrogen may play a pivotal role for energy storage to balance supply and demand when the world is shifting towards renewable energy sources. Batteries excel for short periods but are outperformed by hydrogen when dealing with longer periods and higher energy demands.

Insplorion perspective: Storage of hydrogen is one of the upstream applications where we see a very promising use case for Insplorion’s sensors. As can be seen in the graph in the article, the characteristics of hydrogen and battery energy storage are barely presenting an overlap and it is likely that batteries and hydrogen will cover the need for storage, but in different ways and with different characteristics. Thus, we want to stress the importance of that politicians and the public continues to push several technologies to fully enable the green transition.


The risk of accidents related to use of hydrogen

Key take-away: Being an explosive gas, hydrogen is naturally linked to the risk of accidents. A dull bang and a huge pressure wave felt several kilometers away was created when a hydrogen tank containing hundreds of liters of hydrogen exploded in Austria.

Insplorion perspective: Safety is critical. Luckily in this case no person suffered severe physical harm, but the damage to the property was significant. Let alone this, when accidents like this occur it also cause setbacks in public perception. In our daily discussions with potential customers, we see that they are diligent about safety, which is in many cases also why they discuss sensor solutions with us.


EU earmarks a total of €3 billion to hydrogen funding for 2024

Key take-away: The president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, recently announced that the EU will continue to invest heavily in the hydrogen industry. In two rounds of auctions, Euro 3 billion is earmarked for hydrogen investments. Meanwhile, Euro 17 billion in state aid has also been authorized for about 80 projects in the EU. The EU strategy for hydrogen involves strong public funding, international cooperation and partnerships with the private sector.

Insplorion perspective: Leakage detection is an important part of the overall safety design and the implementation of safety barriers and it is important that the EU invests in these kind of initiatives. This is one of many examples, another one is the Hydrogen U.S. Hubs where U.S. Department of Energy aims to speed up the development of infrastructure. The continued governmental support to the establishment of hydrogen infrastructure is vital to get the hydrogen market to the point of maturity where private actors consider it commercially attractive to cover the full investment. In general, we see positive momentum for the hydrogen adoption and perception, which makes us confident that the interplay between public and private actors will make the market reach this maturity.

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