The energy sector needs Tesla-minded firms to move forward: a CEO | Whuff News

CEO on what is needed in the green hydrogen sector

The energy sector is looking for innovative companies with the mindset of Tesla or Amazon to continue in the coming years, according to the former CEO of the energy infrastructure Snam.

“It took Tesla to disrupt … the car manufacturing sector, it took Amazon to disrupt the retail market, and I think it will take new companies to disrupt the energy sector,” Marco Alvera, now CEO Tree Energy Solutions, a firm looking to develop projects that use green hydrogen, he said.

Alvera, who spoke with CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick in a recent interview, emphasized the importance of companies taking an energy-focused approach.

“I think there’s always going to be fast companies that can really do … kind of zero-base design and build the whole organization around purpose, around speed of execution, around depth,” he said.

“The amount of time it takes Amazon to build one of their warehouses — there’s no way a normal company could do that,” he continued.

“This is about taking some of the West Coast mentality, some of the Tesla mentality, some of the, you know, ‘we can do it and we can do it faster’ and delivering it faster than the conventional way can deliver,” he said.

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Electric car company Tesla and tech giant Amazon are two of the world’s most visible companies. Alongside their core businesses, both have made plays in the energy sector over the past few years.

For example, Tesla has gone into battery storage, while Amazon is involved in large wind and solar investments.

Alvera’s comments come at a time of great change in the energy industry, with major economies around the world looking to transition away from fossil fuels in the long term while simultaneously grappling with volatile market conditions and uncertainty.

The European Union, for example, is looking to increase renewable energy installations over the next few years as it pursues its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050.

The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, sees hydrogen as an important tool in this transition, with its president, Ursula von der Leyen, voicing her support during her State of the Union address in September.

Described by the International Energy Agency as an “energy carrier,” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in a wide range of industries.

It can be produced in many ways. Another method involves electrolysis, with electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used in this process comes from a renewable source such as wind or solar then some call it “green” or “renewable” hydrogen.

Most hydrogen production is currently based on fossil fuels, but the commission said it wants 40 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers to be installed in the EU by 2030.

Marco Alvera on the link between hydrogen and renewables such as wind and solar

It is in this context that companies like Tree Energy Solutions are looking to find a growing place in the green hydrogen sector.

In early October, it was announced that TES and Australia’s Fortescue Future Industries will work together on a major green hydrogen project.

According to a report dated Oct. 5, FFI will invest 30 million euros (about $29.76 million) in TES.

“The first stage of the partnership is to jointly develop and invest in the supply of 300,000 tons of green hydrogen with the final destinations currently agreed,” the statement added.

During his interview with CNBC, Alvera was asked if we have the technology to get big green hydrogen without the masses, and who was leading the technology race in this field.

“We have the full expertise,” he replied. “China [is leading]I would say, by a large margin in solar panels and electrolyzers,” he added. “There is European technology, there is US technology.”

“So we have the technology, what we don’t have is the ability to develop those technologies in time.”

“And that’s where I’d like to see more policy focus and more entrepreneurs investing [in] … factories.”

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