H2e’s ambitions are to:
Hydrogen is both produced and consumed almost exclusively by industry “in house” with the vast majority (>90%) being derived from natural gas (known as “Grey” hydrogen) through a process called steam methane reforming (“SMR”). The industrial sector utilizes Grey hydrogen mainly for the manufacture of nitrogen-based fertilizers, as an intermediate chemical feedstock for products including engineering plastics, foams and paints and for use as a reactant (hydrogenation) in oil refineries.
SMR unfortunately produces very high CO2 as a byproduct, although there are ongoing efforts to develop low CO2 hydrogen (known as "Blue" hydrogen) through the proposed use of carbon capture and underground storage (“CCUS”).
The multiple issues of combining SMR with CCUS are that the deployment of large scale CCUS is both technically and commercially unproven and the number of viable projects are heavily constrained to only a handful of suitable locations since CCUS must be integrated with disused offshore oil and gas fields (usually referred to as “Clusters”) along the north-east and north-west coastlines of the UK.
The complexity of such projects and in particular the need to construct large corridors for onshore and offshore CO2 pipelines means that these may be highly controversial from a planning perspective and will inevitably take far longer to develop, construct and achieve commercial operation. Preliminary assessments suggest that SMR + CCS will be highly cost-competitive, however there is inherent risk and uncertainty and hence the considerable potential for major capital and operating cost overruns.
Another issue facing SMR in the UK today is that it relies largely on the use of imported gas as a feedstock.
Hydrogen is not yet widely commoditized beyond the industrial sector and is not generally available on the forecourt with very few exceptions, therefore the deployment of FCEVs has been so far limited to niche applications and mainly ‘demonstrator’ projects realized through EU-funded initiatives.
Outside of SMR, only ‘demonstrator’ hydrogen production projects have been deployed in the UK using small scale electrolysis with limited production capacities. These have been chosen on the basis of short term trials by hydrogen offtakers usually to test the operation of only a few FCEVs for trial use and demonstration purposes in mobility.
Most importantly, such demonstrators have been developed on a ‘single source supply’ basis in terms of technology selection and have been developed by very few major companies. This approach unfortunately results in highly expensive hydrogen being produced at an uneconomically viable cost which is not sustainable in the long term.
H2e understands that electrolysis deployed at commercial scale can deliver Green hydrogen competitively today.
As an independent developer, H2e will develop only credible commercial scale projects based on a fully competitive tender approach with well-established technology suppliers. We want to deliver disruptively low hydrogen prices and thus realize the full market growth potential of hydrogen.
H2e is well positioned to deliver success by establishing strong relationships with its customers who will ultimately become long term end consumers of hydrogen. After all, hydrogen cannot reach maturity through supply alone, demand is equally critical.
Additionally H2e intends to purchase low cost wholesale electricity from renewable sources which is another key commercial driver for successful project realization.
We know that commercial scale electrolysis can deliver low cost hydrogen today, not in years to come.
H2e comprises a highly competent team with decades of experience in the Energy Sector with the development, construction and commercial operation of successful conventional power generation assets and renewable generation solutions.
Chairman of the Board
Stephen is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with over 35 years’ experience in the power generation business. He started in the manufacturing industry, focussing on the installation and commissioning of mid-sized thermal power plants and went on to build a career in consultancy supporting project developers, sponsors, financiers and operators of both thermal and renewable power projects. Taking a break from consultancy, Stephen spent several years employed by Rolls-Royce's project development arm Rolls-Royce Power Ventures. He then worked for an American power projects designer, and as a Senior Principal Engineer at Mott MacDonald where he regularly took on the role of Project Director, leading teams of engineers on a variety of assignments. Since leaving Mott MacDonald, Stephen has committed to pursuing the development of green hydrogen projects, which he sees as a key part of the path to a renewable energy future.
John is our Technical Director. A Chartered Engineer, he started his career working on research projects in digital automation at Bath University where he graduated, and then Bristol University, in each case working with an industrial partner taking new products to market. He then joined Electrocatalytic where he worked on electrolysis systems for power plant and marine applications, moving from design and project engineering into a senior project management role, successfully delivering plant to EPC contractors and shipping companies. In his thirties John moved into consultancy, joining Mott MacDonald's Energy team, where he worked for over 20 years in a variety of sectors including conventional thermal power, oil and gas, biomass, waste to energy, carbon capture and storage and desalination. As well as managing large teams to deliver significant, strategic projects, John has maintained an active involvement in technical practices, particularly control and safety systems.