Korean oil giant, GS Caltex, shifting focus away from fossil-fuel to hydrogen fuel cells

Korean oil giant, GS Caltex, shifting focus away from fossil-fuel to hydrogen fuel cells

July 7, 2011 0 By Alicia Moore

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There is a stigma surrounding oil companies.

The general consensus is that such companies are shadowy organizations driven by greed and malcontent. Despite the efforts of some big-name companies, such as Shell’s initiative to promote alternative fuels, these stigmas have proven difficult to disperse. However, the need for sustainable energy has never been more apparent, and oil companies are quite aware of this. Undaunted by negative stigmas, GS Caltex, South Korea’s second largest oil refiner, has taken up the task of championing alternative fuels.

GS Caltex was founded in 1967 and was the first private oil company in Korea. Since its founding, the company has experience impressive levels of success and growth in the industry. Last year alone, the company pulled in more than $30 billion in sales. While GS Caltex is in the business of oil, one of its primary focuses for the past 20 years has been the development of hydrogen fuel cells.

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Clean Energy Quotes To Remember - “For example, a breakthrough in better batteries could supplant hydrogen. Better solar cells could replace or win out in this race to the fuel of the future. Those, I see, as the three big competitors: hydrogen, solar cells and then better batteries.”

- Bob Inglis, Politician

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GS FuelCell is a subsidiary of the oil refiner.

Researchers with this company have developed fuel cell systems for homes that are able to generate more than 1-kilowatt of electricity. These pale in comparison to the industrial fuel cells that their parent company will be using in the coming years. Those fuel cells generate more than 5-kilowatts of electricity per hour.

The oil company has said that fuel cells are the only efficient power system available today to meet the needs of their operations, noting specifically that the performance of traditional fossil-fuels is falling short.