Green hydrogen: Plug Power cooperates with Walmart: the CEO details the agreement – Strong growth expected for the hydrogen market | news

• Plug Power and Walmart announce their collaboration
• Also cooperation with Amazon, Renault & Co.
• Many fields of activity

Plug Power announces agreement with Walmart

Especially in times of climate change and the need for independence from Russian oil and gas, renewable energies are increasingly in focus. Plug Power can also benefit from this trend. The American manufacturer of green hydrogen only announced in mid-April a cooperation with the American distribution chain Walmart, in the framework of which it wants to deliver up to 20 tons of green liquid hydrogen per day. This will be used to operate forklifts at Walmart’s U.S. distribution and fulfillment centers, Plug Power said in a statement. “Walmart has been an early adopter of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technology for more than a decade, and our hydrogen solutions provide a tool to increase the productivity of Walmart’s operations,” commented Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “Our green hydrogen solutions will now enable Walmart to significantly reduce carbon emissions. We are honored to expand our relationship with Walmart and realize our shared vision of a green hydrogen future.

The cooperation amounts to a pilot project – further extension is possible

The CEO recently clarified exactly what the deal means for Yahoo Finance Live moderator Akiko Fujita. The two companies have been working together since a pilot project in 2012, for which the distributor operated 50 Plug Powers hydrogen forklifts for the first time. During the collaboration, the amount was later increased to 9,500. Marsh therefore assumes that the amount of 20 tons of hydrogen per day agreed with Walmart will also be increased in the long term. Walmart has set a goal of increasing delivery volume to one gigatonne per day. Plug Power can also benefit. According to the CEO, the company is working to build the first green hydrogen network in the United States, which will have a capacity of 500 tons per day.

Various projects with global application scenarios

Besides Walmart, Plug Power Marsh also counts online giant Amazon among its customers. Although the business with hydrogen forklifts is a source of sales for the group, in the long term they also want to develop in other areas. A joint venture has been created with the French car manufacturer Renault, under which they want to take 30% of the commercial vehicle market by 2030 – this corresponds to around 100,000 vehicles per year. Additionally, the company’s electrolyzers, which are used to generate green hydrogen from renewable electricity, are also in high demand. In addition to fertilizer maker Orascom, for which Plug Power is currently building a 100 megawatt plant in Cairo, the company also produces “large-scale stationary products” for the South Korean conglomerate SK Group. Although the projects were created for a specific purpose, the overall application is still within the realm of possibility. “So Plug is growing not only in the fuel cell market, but also in the electrolyser market and in the hydrogen generation market,” Marsh told Fujita.

The war in Ukraine as a driver of demand

The group also notes a growing demand, particularly from Europe, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. According to Marsh, Plug Power has in recent days reserved electrolysers worth more than US$45 million, which are to be built primarily in Europe. “Thus, green hydrogen has three valuable benefits for Europe. First, it helps reduce the carbon footprint. Second, it creates jobs. And third, it has now become a national security issue,” summarized the CEO on the show. In order to be able to completely break away from Russian supplies of raw materials, many more factories would have to be built. According to the company’s calculations, 130 gigawatts of electrolyzers should be built in Europe and North Africa by 2030 to meet demand. While Marsh now believes that a combination of green energy and fossil fuel sources is both likely and necessary, in the long run green energy will have to be committed to climate change.

Optimistic future forecasts

Nevertheless, the high costs of switching to green hydrogen are often seen as a barrier, as Fujita also points out. In order to make the change more attractive, the price of the ecological alternative must be lowered. “We think the price of renewable energy generation needs to be around $0.03 per kilowatt-hour to make hydrogen competitive,” Marsh said. “We’re already seeing those kinds of prices in New York with the 45-tonne-per-day green hydrogen facility we’re building using hydropower.” Additionally, he expects strong growth in the hydrogen market simply because the change could help big companies meet their CO2 targets.

As a result, Plug Power sees itself in a strong position. “We have first-game advantage,” Marsh said confidently. The CEO assumes that a total of three companies in the industry will benefit. “And I think Plug Power will be one of three, and I expect us to capture a big share of that market because not only do we produce green hydrogen, but we also have the ability to offer all apps.”

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Image source: Plug Power Inc.

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