Johnson Matthey joined the Hydrogen Council in 2018. Here, Liam Condon, CEO, answers our questions.
April 6, 2023
Johnson Matthey (JM) has been a steering member of the Hydrogen Council since 2018. How does being a member support JM’s goals? What are the benefits?
In the time JM has been a steering and board member of the Hydrogen Council, our strategy has become more focused on hydrogen being a key market area. We are really excited about the potential for our hydrogen technologies and being part of the Hydrogen Council has been instrumental in providing insight and proof points. There are few comparable organisations that bring together CEOs and provide a safe environment for the discussion of what is needed to kick start an industry that will be key to our critical journey to decarbonisation.
In 2021, JM combined its green hydrogen and fuel cells entities under a new Hydrogen Technologies business in a bid to accelerate growth and scale-up in both markets. Two years on, how’s that going?
It’s going well – Hydrogen Technologies has already seen significant growth and we expect this trajectory to continue. Key to this decision were the synergies in the fundamental electrochemistry and manufacturing technologies between renewable hydrogen electrolyser and fuel cell CCMs, as well as the opportunities for building capacity.
We are also forming strategic partnerships and working much closer with our key customers – that is helping us understand the challenges and unlock barriers to accelerate growth and the hydrogen economy.
In February, Johnson Matthey and Plug Power announced a strategic partnership described by you as a “real demonstration of the global green hydrogen economy accelerating”. Why is this partnership so important and exciting not just for JM and Plug Power, but also for the wider industry?
This is a truly exciting and transformational moment. Plug is the leading provider of hydrogen solutions in the US and they have chosen us to be their main external supplier of CCM and MEAs. We will be providing a substantial portion of Plug’s demand for these components going into both electrolysers and fuel cells. This is an incredibly important validation of our technology and our ability to deliver for our customers.
But broader than JM, it’s an important step for the market as it enables us to drive industrialisation and lower costs – that is good news as it will have a domino effect.
What needs to happen next to support the hydrogen sector?
With the US Inflation Reduction Act, companies are acting fast to secure investment and get spades in the ground. This has created lots of talk about what governments around the world need to do to compete. Whilst I believe there is plenty of capital available, companies investing in hydrogen and its supply chain need crystal clear guidance, certainty and confidence. Governments need to move fast with this and be ambitious – that’s the key to unlocking significant investment.
About The Hydrogen Council
The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative that brings together leading companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition. The Council believes that hydrogen has a key role to play in reaching our global decarbonization goals by helping to diversify energy sources worldwide, foster business and technological innovation as drivers for long-term economic growth, and decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors.
Using its global reach to promote collaboration between governments, industry and investors, the Council provides guidance on accelerating the deployment of hydrogen solutions around the world. It also acts as a business marketplace, bringing together a diverse group of 140+ companies based in 20+ countries across the entire hydrogen value chain, including large multinationals, innovative SMEs, and investors.
The Hydrogen Council also serves as a resource for safety standards and an interlocutor for the investment community, while identifying opportunities for regulatory advocacy in key geographies.
The Hydrogen Council s delighted to announce Topsoe as its newest Board Member. At the same time, the Council is pleased to share that Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., has extended his Co-Chair term.
The global hydrogen economy is growing despite global headwinds resulting from rising interest rates and constrained supply chains, according to an analysis of over 1,400 large hydrogen projects published today by the Hydrogen Council.
Alongside the vital climate benefits and cost-efficiency gains, a truly global hydrogen economy can provide meaningful contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both in emerging markets and in developed countries, fostering just transition, boosting sustainable growth, and providing clean jobs.