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13 global companies launch Hydrogen Council in Davos; promoting hydrogen to help meet climate goals

Thirteen leading energy, transport and industry companies have launched a global initiative in Davos to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.

Meeting in Davos for the first time on Tuesday, the Hydrogen Council currently comprises 13 CEOs and Chairpersons from various industries and energy companies committed to help achieve the ambitious goal of reaching the 2 ˚C target as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The international companies currently involved are: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, BMW GROUP, Daimler, ENGIE, Honda, Hyundai, Kawasaki, Royal Dutch Shell, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota. The Council is led by two Co-Chairs from different geographies and sectors, currently represented by Air Liquide and Toyota. The members of the Hydrogen Council collectively represent total revenues of €1.07 trillion and 1.72 million employees around the world.

The Hydrogen Council is determined to position hydrogen among the key solutions of the energy transition. Hydrogen technologies and products have significantly progressed over past years and are now being introduced to the market. The Council will work with, and provide recommendations to, a number of key stakeholders such as policy makers, business and hydrogen players, international agencies and civil society to achieve these goals.

During the launch, members of the Hydrogen Council confirmed their ambition to accelerate their significant investment in the development and commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors. These investments currently amount to an estimated total value of €1.4 billion/year. This acceleration will be possible if the key stakeholders increase their backing of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix with appropriate policies and supporting schemes.

The 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change is a significant step in the right direction but requires business action to be taken to make such a pledge a reality. The Hydrogen Council brings together some of the world’s leading industrial, automotive and energy companies with a clear ambition to explain why hydrogen emerges among the key solutions for the energy transition, in the mobility as well as in the power, industrial and residential sectors, and therefore requires the development of new strategies at a scale to support this. But we cannot do it alone. We need governments to back hydrogen with actions of their own—for example through large-scale infrastructure investment schemes. Our call today to world leaders is to commit to hydrogen so that together we can meet our shared climate ambitions and give further traction to the emerging Hydrogen ecosystem.

—Benoît Potier, CEO, Air Liquide

The Hydrogen Council will exhibit responsible leadership in showcasing hydrogen technology and its benefits to the world. It will seek collaboration, cooperation and understanding from governments, industry and most importantly, the public. At Toyota, we have always tried to play a leading role in environmental and technological advances in the automotive industry, including through the introduction of fuel cell vehicles. Moreover, we know that in addition to transportation, hydrogen has the potential to support our transition to a low carbon society across multiple industries and the entire value chain. The Hydrogen Council aims to actively encourage this transition.

—Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman, Toyota

A report entitled How Hydrogen empowers the energy transition—commissioned by the Hydrogen Council—further details this future potential that hydrogen is ready to provide, and sets out the vision of the Council and the key actions it considers fundamental for policy makers to implement, to fully unlock and empower the contribution of hydrogen to the energy transition.

The report argues that hydrogen has seven major roles to play in decarbonizing major sectors of the economy. Click to enlarge.

The report makes three major recommendations to policymakers:

  1. Provide long-term and stable policy frameworks to guide the energy transition in all sectors (energy, transport, industry, and residential). We will bring in our expertise on the feasibility of decarbonization solutions in each sector.

  2. Develop coordination and incentive policies to encourage early deployment of hydrogen solutions and sufficient private-sector investments. These policies should complement sector policies and provide tools to capture the benefits of hydrogen.

    • In the transport sector, ensure strong coordination among governments (to give direction), car manufacturers (to produce and commercialize FCEVs), infrastructure providers (to invest in supply and distribution infrastructure), and consumers (to purchase FCEVs).

    • Ensure the energy market reforms effectively in terms of feed-in tariffs, curtailment management, seasonal balancing capacity remuneration and taxation, while taking into account the benefits hydrogen can deliver to the energy system.

    • Provide financial instruments to leverage private investment with the support ofpublic guarantees, to mitigate risk for early movers.

  3. Facilitate harmonization of industry standards across regions and sectors to enable hydrogen technologies and take advantage of scale effects and decrease costs.



This is just a bunch of communists putting trillions of tax money in their pockets. Exxon mobil is more honest than them.


This is an excellent top constructive news for lower cost near future 24/7 REs (with H2 storage), wide spread H2 production and FCEVs of all sizes, from small utility vehicles, to cars, trucks, buses, trains, aircraft and ships.

Those people have the $$$$ plus the relations with governing powers, to enrich the world energy mix with H2 and cleans lower cost REs.

Many anti-H2 posters may have to change their point of view.


If you create the H2 without polluting the earth in the process, that's fine. For example; if you use electrolysis and not gas reforming.

Burning H2 in airplanes and sea-going ships makes sense.


I wonder if they can scrape together the finance for a roll out of hydrogen infrastructure?

Those who have claimed it impossible have really done their homework, a trillion does not go far these days.


Natural gas has a percentage of hydrogen gas already. The pipelines we have can be used in H2 distribution. Some are suggesting to just add H2 to our NG supply. It would require no change and much like adding 10% ethanol to gasoline just make the fuel better. In the long run we can make equipment to separate or utilize the higher mix of H2 in efficient ways, such as fuel cell and fuel cell CHP equipment.

Storage of this mix fuel is a piece of cake per our underground mass storage of natural gas. Nuclear and coal is expected to have high ability for H2 production. First by high temperature hydrolysis and with coal the added advantage of a gasification process that naturally has a percentage of H2. It would be better to feed wind and solar power to these high temperature power plants for more efficient H2 production. I think, basically, that would be accomplished as, for example, if the wind started to blow hard the extra power generation would be throttled at the nuclear plant by switching power generation to H2 production.


The Chinese pebble bed reactors being high temperature are ideally suited to the production of hydrogen.

They are designed as factory built, modular, drop in replacements for coal burning, using the rest of the equipment.

However, it is perfectly true that if you have the electricity available when it is actually needed, it is more efficient to charge a battery than to go through hydrogen.

Hydrogen really comes into its own by enabling the storage of production from renewables for use in all seasons.

A substantial amount of biogas etc is at the moment simply thrown away, and conversion to and use of hydrogen would massively reduce that waste.

As Aha

no, The Chinese pebble bed reactors are ideally suited for overnight BEVs charging...


As Aha:

I think I covered that direct charging is preferable when possible.

Whenever there is surplus though, HT reactors can efficiently produce hydrogen, although surplus wind and solar being more variable are more likely.

Brent Jatko

I guess we'll find out how viable H2 is after these guys spend a crap-ton of money on it.

Provided it's done in a carbon-neutral way, I'm good with it.

Brent Jatko

And gor should give it a rest.

The Red Scare is (deservedly) dead since the 1950s.


SOFCs like Bloom and others can take natural gas to produce electricity, H2O and CO2. They are reversible to take H2O, CO2 with electricity to make H2 and CO, the molecules needed for hydrocarbon fuels.

Trucks and buses can run DME in SOFCs or in engines with hybrid configurations. Jet airliners can run on methanol or synthetic kerosene. Ships can use synthetic diesel with SOFCs. There are lots of ways to use wind, solar, geothermal, biomethane and other renewable resources to get transportation.


Hi Bret.

Electricity is not mainly produced in a carbon neutral way at the moment either, and of course nor is petrol.

Providing there is progress, it is unreasonable to set the bar at perfection straight away.


I know that I just keep on repeating myself when I state that, with very few exceptions, the complete Hydrogen philosophy is simply a waste of time, effort, money and overall efficiency.



I may be mistaken, but weren't you one of those who was assuring us that hydrogen infrastructure was not financeable, and would never be built?

Don't you ever get sick of being right?


I heard references to 'gas' infrastructure in some part(s?) city in US being so old is wood wrapped in cloth.

That may or not be real but would'nt be too surprising.
Regardless aging infrastructure (Flint water anyone?)
and maintenance costs are a common problem globally and even some new constructions by cost cutting installations of sub standard components prove unfit for purpose.
We know that H2 causes serious extra problems with steel pipe embrittlement.
Embrittled pipes are susceptible to breakage and leakage.
New alloys are available but that is only one side of safety concerns high pressures and the smaller molecule are also require better sealing.

To say that underground storage is easy or reliable is to ignore recent 2015-16 experience.

"Aging infrastructure, industry negligence and scant state regulations are all factors that led to the enormous Aliso Canyon methane leak now plaguing the affluent Porter Ranch community, and they are common problems across California and the nation, according to environmental experts."

"the leak has serious health implications that are leading to 1000s being moved from their homes and looks likely to have, at the end, the equivalent climate impact equivalent of over 10 years of an average coal-fired plant."

"Southern California Gas, a division Sempra Energy (SRE.N), said it has inspected wells more rigorously since 2014, even though state utility officials have not approved a rate hike to cover the cost, said company spokeswoman Kristine Lloyd. The inspections, she said, “exceed traditional industry practices and regulatory requirements"




That 60 year old pipe in San Bruno, California should have been replaced on a regular scheduled basis. Instead PG&E ignored it, the pipe blew up and killed people. So much for corporate "self regulation". Hydrogen can be produced at the point of dispensing, it does not need pipelines nor tankers.


Hydrogen may have some uses if and when it is produced from excess energy and water. Thinking it can be piped like other gases is a dream at the moment.
On site production and dispensing is one sensible method as mentioned.
Another is to use the excess energy to go further and produce methanol from the H2. That can be piped, stored and transported as we do now with fossil fuels.


The world will have to get use to more REs, H2 extraction, storage and usage for heavy machines such as trucks, buses, trains, ships and eventually FCEVs of all sizes.

H2/Kg price will go down to current world average gasoline price by 2025/2030 or so, specially where carbon and fossil fuel taxes are adjusted.


Looks like Big Oil companies like Shell, Total and others looking for positive publicity and kind of creating alternative to growing EV. Toyota management irrationaly obsessed with hydrogen. Rational way would be vice versa - transform existing hydrogen into methane and use existing infrustructure. Methane for transportation more logic solution as well.


Burning fossil and/or bio fuels for transportation is what should be phased out.

Electricity is OK but restricted to affordable short range BEVs.

Batteries are not yet adequate for large vehicles; trucks, buses, passenger trains, ships and aircraft.

FC/PEM can easily be developed for use is large vehicles with a few batteries as buffer.

Clean H2 can be produced in very large quantity with Hydro and other REs. Recent lower cost transportable H2 production units @ 15 Kg/h can be mass produced in factories and transported by trucks (8 to 10 units per load) and installed at final destination in hours.

The price of clean H2 will soon match gasoline in many places.

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