Nel launches USD 1.5/kg target for green renewable hydrogen to outcompete fossil alternatives

Source: press release, 21 January 2021

H2Station™ – compression and fast fuelling of hydrogen
H2Station™ – compression and fast fuelling of hydrogen (illustration: Nel ASA)

Nel ASA has hosted the Nel Capital Markets Day 2021, outlining the target of producing green hydrogen at USD 1.5 per kilo* by 2025, to outcompete fossil alternatives. Cost reductions through scale-up of production to multi-GW scale, growing the organisation to add capacities and capabilities, and investing in technology for the near- and long-term are crucial components in ensuring that Nel continues to be the global leader in the hydrogen industry.

“Green renewable hydrogen is set to outcompete fossil alternatives, and Nel is placed in the centre of this transition. We’re today launching our target which should enable our customers in certain markets to produce green renewable hydrogen from a large-scale Nel facility at 1.5 USD/kg from low-cost renewable power, already within 2025. Achieving this would allow green hydrogen to start to reach fossil parity, representing one of the most significant achievement for zero-emission solutions and a carbon neutral planet,” says Jon André Løkke, Chief Executive Officer of Nel.

Nel’s Capital Markets Day 2021 (CMD) outlines the strategy and ambitions towards 2025, addressing the current hydrogen market of 70 million tons, which, by the Hydrogen Council, is expected to grow by 8-times by 2050, largely based on green hydrogen.

“The hydrogen market is already large, but with only a fraction served by electrolysis, there are significant opportunities to turn the existing market green. In addition, we see a regulatory landslide across the globe, with the EU and the US pledging hundreds of billions of dollars into their zero-emission programs where hydrogen serves a vital part as the energy carrier of choice. The growth will not only come from industrial applications, but also from transforming the current diesel-based heavy-duty transportation to run on zero-emission and cost-efficient green hydrogen. These developments require low-cost electrolysis and ultra-fast fueling, both areas where Nel is the global leader,” Løkke adds.

Taking electrolysis to GW-scale
Nel is expanding the electrolysis production to accommodate large-scale projects by constructing a fully automated manufacturing facility at Herøya, Norway. Test production of the first 500 MW production line will commence in the second quarter of 2021 with start of commercial ramp-up in the third quarter 2021. Based on the secured facility at Herøya, Nel outlines the potential to expand the production capacity at this facility beyond 2 GW annually.

“Herøya represents the first industrial-scale production of the most efficient electrolysers on the market, at a game-changing low cost. The Nel team is continuously working to drive down the cost of hydrogen, where scale-up is key, and will continue to assess the exact timing for the next expansion step. A 2 GW production capacity of electrolysers would represent a potential of four-to-five million tons of CO2 reductions for our customers, or 10% of the annual COemissions in Norway,” says Jon André Løkke.

“Nel uniquely covers both PEM and alkaline technologies, each with their respective advantages, and we will continue give them our full support and equal priority. The technology roadmap highlights our priority on large-scale products, continuous improvements, and lowest total cost of ownership for our customers. The hydrogen industry will become increasingly competitive and Nel therefore needs to continue to invest in organisation, technology, and equipment to remain in the forefront of the industry,” Løkke continues.

Price and ultra-fast fuelling are key to outcompete diesel
Nel has delivered more than 110 hydrogen fuelling stations (HRS), H2Stations™, in 13 different countries. The global HRS market is expected to grow by 30% annually towards 2030, with 11,000 installed fuelling stations, in addition to solutions for fuelling of private trailer parks, trains, ferries, etc.

“The only way to transform heavy-duty transportation is to beat diesel at the pump. In addition to green hydrogen reaching fossil parity at production, we have to enable fast fueling of hydrogen in a reliable and cost-efficient manner to be able to beat fossil alternatives. Nel has a technology roadmap enabling fueling in 10-15 minutes of a heavy duty truck to achieve a range of 1,000 km, and we are in a good position to continue to lead the hydrogen fueling industry,” Jon André Løkke says.

Reiterates strong market outlook
Nel reiterates the confidence in the long-term potential for the industry, supported by the “green recovery” outlined by various governmental initiatives. The company aims to capitalise on the opportunities by leveraging on the position as a technology front-runner, continued high focus on safety, global presence, scalability, cost leadership, strong financing, and preferred-partner status for industry participants.

“Large opportunities also represent major challenges for Nel going forward, as maintaining a leadership position requires large investments, rapid expansion of the organisation, and execution of large-scale projects across the globe in an increasingly competitive environment. In 2021 alone, we will add more than 100 new colleagues, deploy over 25% of the capital raised in 2020 in plant, equipment, and technology development projects, and add more capacity as required by the market. The Capital Markets Day will unveil how Nel will address these challenges, as an emission-free future depends on green hydrogen,” Løkke concludes.

* Nel analysis based on electricity of USD 20/MWh, >8% cost of capital, cost of land, civil works, installation, commissioning, building water etc., lifetime 20 years including O&M cost, at 30 bar.