Defining the Hydrogen Economy

March 24, 2022

Defining the Hydrogen Economy from A-Z: I is for Innovation

Continuing in our Defining the Hydrogen Economy from A-Z series, today we will be revisiting the letter I, and discussing the word Innovation.  Innovation is crucial to continuing success of any organization and is a key pillar of GenH2’s mission.

The classical definition of Innovation is the introduction of something new. Generally, there are four types of innovation: disruptive innovation, probably the most well-known type; incremental innovation, where gradual, continuous improvement take place; sustaining innovation, a significant improvement that aims sustainability of a product; and radical innovation, which results in technological breakthroughs for a new market. All these types of Innovation are expected to play important roles in the establishment of a full hydrogen economy as it comes to fruition. However, there are always barriers to every innovation revolution, and the barriers must be faced head-on creatively and collaboratively to meet technology challenges and the lack of accessible infrastructure.

Understanding what true Innovation means, how to create an innovative culture, and the commitment and investment it takes is part of the success to having an innovation trajectory. Lack of long-term thinking, resources, and collaboration along with not thinking inside and outside the “box” are some of the barriers facing innovation advancements in general. All barriers should be considered, including our individual barriers and the ones in our organizations.  Innovation is a way of visionary thinking and should be embraced as we work towards making hydrogen economy a reality.  GenH2 is one of the companies addressing the barriers and challenges with a company innovation culture and processes to bring disruptive, incremental, and technological breakthroughs that can be sustainable in the liquid hydrogen markets for the coming decades.

Financial and resource barriers to Innovation are also being addressed nationally and globally. Innovation approaches in novel hydrogen production and hydrogen infrastructure development are set to transform the industry as we know it. Disruptive innovations in the scalability and affordability of hydrogen are being encouraged globally, and there are now more initiatives than ever, including mass production approaches for small scale liquid hydrogen solutions for infrastructure at GenH2. The DOE announced Hydrogen Energy Earthshot, an ambitious initiative to slash the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% – to USD 1.00/kg H2 – by 2030. By doing this, the US government expects to unlock a fivefold increase in demand for clean hydrogen. Also, worldwide financial commitments to support innovation and decarbonization, along with developments/advancements in existing technologies provides a pathway for the hydrogen economy.

Countries are addressing financial resource barriers to innovation by adopting hydrogen strategies, committing at least $37 billion and the private sector has announced an additional investment of $300 billion. Even with these resources, putting the hydrogen sector on track for net zero emissions by 2050 requires $1.2 billion of investment in low-carbon hydrogen supply, breakthrough innovations, and use through to 2030. International innovation and collaboration are critical to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen. Continuous innovation is essential to drive down costs and increase the competitiveness of hydrogen technologies for the marketplace. Unlocking the full potential demand for hydrogen will require strong innovation approaches and demonstration efforts over the next decades.

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