If you are someone who has been in the midst of the popular energy debate for at least a few decades, the so-called hydrogen revolution is by no means a new concept for you. Is it not merely a more flashy cousin of solar energy that has boomed since the 2000s? Let us explain why we think that the green hydrogen is finally up next.
We are very excited to present another edition of the Contrarian Ventures series of technology companies maps — this time we embarked on the hydrogen adventure across the globe.
We wanted to showcase the 75 brightest technology companies to watch in the very diverse and multi-faceted hydrogen space. We aim to be consistent and logical with our approach — the startup map begins by covering the production/generation side of the hydrogen industry and continues to delve deeper into the complex applications of fuel cell and combustion technologies.
While solar energy has been the focal point of seemingly every conversation concerning the renewable energy future, we have to accept that some things with solar are fundamentally not perfect. No matter the abundant investment or support from the governmental institutions, the seasonality, inconsistent availability and high costs have prevailed. Some even believe such inflows of capital into solar energy technologies formed The Green Bubble by the late 2000s.
Do not be mistaken — if we were to become carbon neutral by 2050, solar energy will inevitably be crucial to ensure we meet The Green Deal’s targets. However, such a heavy focus on solar made the world realize that we will achieve the carbon-neutral future with solar working together alongside other innovations.
One of these technologies are in the midst of a similar boom to solar. As a natural extension to own energy generation and fueled by the growth of electric vehicle adoption, governments from California to China drive demand for batteries. Costs have come down faster than any forecast predicted, and they are beginning to permeate our lives at a new scale. While the effects of more cost-effective batteries span wide, transforming entire industries and challenging others, as well as propel technologies required to accelerate the sustainable energy transition. While this technology is an amazing enabler of the transition, it is simply not effective or in some cases feasible to apply it everywhere, be it due to weight, safety, longevity or cost.
So how can we fix the issues of the carbon-free energy supply to make it clean, consistent, and affordable? Here is why we think hydrogen is in the perfect position to steal the show next:
Consensus at the political level
The European Commission’s new hydrogen strategy from the European Green Deal anticipates that the European hydrogen market will be 70 times bigger in 2030 compared to what it is today.
EU understands the need to be first-to-market internationally — they want to be the technology leaders in hydrogen to establish the benchmark for the euro-dominated hydrogen transactions.
Corporate companies are embracing the revolution
The likes of Shell and Chevron are vocal about their support and belief in the hydrogen technologies as they allocate more and more capital for supporting innovators in hydrogen, and we expect to see a full shift to green hydrogen soon.
Innovation at every stage of the hydrogen life cycle
Innovation is key at the production, transportation, utilization and industrial application levels.
We believe that the future of renewable energy technologies is bright — and they are united in the goal for a carbon-neutral tomorrow. While solar energy is important, analysts estimate that clean hydrogen could meet 24% of the global energy demand by 2050, with annual sales in the range of €630 billion. These are not just empty words — the EU has prepared a comprehensive plan on how the hydrogen-powered future will be achieved, and the international partners will follow.
Be prepared for the green hydrogen boom — a brand new commodity is being created as you are reading this!
P.S. Do you think the list lacks some rough diamonds that remain to be discovered? Let us know which companies we should add and track!