Largest solar energy company in the world moves into hydrogen fuelApril 12, 2021 1 By Erin Kilgore
Longi Green Energy has registered in China to become an H2 company as the country decarbonizes.
Longi Green Energy Technology Co., the largest solar energy company in the world, has taken its first steps to enter into the hydrogen fuel market, according to recent Bloomberg reports.
The Chinese giant registered to take part in hydrogen on March 31 in China, said the report.
The solar energy company registered for the hydrogen market as Xi’an Longi Hydrogen Technology Co. Li Zhenguo, the billionaire president and founder of Longi, will serve as the new H2 firm’s chair. Its shareholders are Shanghai Zhuqueying Private Equity Investment Fund Partnership and Xi’an Longi Green Energy Venture Capital Management Co.
In the solar market, Longi manufactures panels, cells and wavers. Measured by market capitalization – approximately $52 billion as of the writing of this article – it is the largest solar power firm on the planet. Upon the initial announcement of its step into hydrogen, its shares rose by as much as 4.9 percent in Asia.
The solar energy company is far from alone in looking to hydrogen fuel, particularly in the Asian market.
Energy companies worldwide have been turning their attention to H2 as a potential greenhouse gas emission-free fuel. It is being considered as a fuel source for everything from heavy-duty transport trucks to industry machinery and vehicles, shipping and even aviation, among many other purposes. Electrical generators and steel mills have also been viewed as prime areas of potential for the renewable energy.
Currently, the majority of H2 used in industry is produced through the use of fossil fuels. The reason is that it is less expensive than the electrolysis powered by renewable energy that would produce green hydrogen fuel. That said, companies and governments worldwide are seeking to develop green H2 technologies to reduce its cost and boost its efficiency so that it can be scaled up and used much more widely. This has been a considerable focus of China’s ambitious decarbonization strategies.
Li has been indicating that the solar energy company would be making moves into other areas of low- or zero-emission power for some time. Last year in an interview, he stated that by the end of the decade combining solar and storage would be the least expensive power source for most countries around the world.
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The main problem with producing hydrogen from solar and wind farms is how do you get it to the “end user” of hydrogen. Storage at the farm and then transport in pipelines is a problem. Hydrogen is very hard to transport in pipelines because it is hard on the metal of the pipe and has increased risk of pipe rupture compared to natural gas. You would be talking about potentially hundreds of miles of transport requiring a completely new pipeline system than can tolerate hydrogen. As a “renewable fuel” similar to wind and solar electricity, Renewable Natural Gas produced from animal waste, municipal waste, landfill gas, and food waste. Infinite supply of “feed stock” just as there is an infinite supply of wind and solar. RNG, however, does not have to rely on the wind blowing or the sun shining. It is the ultimate 24/7 renewable fuel source because organic waste is produced 24/7. When used to produce hydrogen, RNG produces “Green Hydrogen.” It is the identical process to fossil natural gas to produce “Green and Blue Hydrogen,” but it is “Green Hydrogen” because RNG is a Renewable Fuel. HyGEAR equipment is able to produce “Green Hydrogen” from RNG “on site” of the hydrogen end user. No massive storage of hydrogen, and no long distance pipeline transport of hydrogen. RNG is the most economical and environmentally friendly alternate fuel today. It is the only “Carbon Negative, Near Zero Emission” fuel. It can be used for transportation in existing internal combustion engines. And it can be used to produce Green Hydrogen using HyGEAR equipment “on site” for the “end user” of hydrogen.