Is the Hydrogen Economy actually an Astounding Investment Opportunity?

with 🎙️ Alena Fargere, Principal at SWEN Capital Partners and co-founder of the first European investment fund dedicated to renewable gases.

💧 SWEN Capital Partners, a benchmark player in sustainable investments in private equity, just announced the first closing of its second SWEN Impact Fund for Transition (SWIFT 2). It will be a direct contribution to decarbonizing the economy and creating jobs in France.

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This episode is part of a trilogy on the Hydrogen Economy (and its link with the Water Industry). Go check it out! 😀

What we covered:

👴 How Hydrogen is around for a while and how it already is quite a big market

🔥 How Hydrogen may still be perceived as quite risky by the traditional investment space, and how SWEN Capital intends to move the needle by being the first mover 

💰 How there is plenty of capital on the markets today, and how the challenge is to redirect it to its highest impact

🏦 How the first investment wave in the Hydrogen Economy will unleash further development of the Hydrogen market and players

📉 How exactly like for renewable energies, scale effects will make Green Hydrogen profitable in the long run

💪 How SWEN Capital’s SWIFT 1 and SWIFT 2 closed and delivered much faster than expected 

🪙 How impact investing is not a charity and how you can be doing good and moving the needle while seeking profitability

🏗️ How the challenge lies in building and developing suitable business models

🌬️ How government incentives shall bring a strong tailwind to kick off the Hydrogen Economy, and what may be the best approach 

🍏 How Hydrogen markets start from a carbon-intensive addiction to grey hydrogen and how this may change with blue hydrogen (carbon capture) and green hydrogen (electrolysis from renewables)

🧑‍🔬 How Hydrogen is fit for many purposes and how it could swiftly become a tool to decarbonize our economy 

🔋 How at the end of the day, Hydrogen is an energy carrier, and how we always strived in a world featuring multiple energies

🍃 Mixing batteries and fuel cells, reducing the stress on natural resources, building an energy portfolio… and much more!

🔥 … and of course, we concluded with the 𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙞𝙙 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 🔥 

Teaser: the Hydrogen Economy, an Investment Opportunity?


🔗 Have a look at SWEN Capital’s website

🔗 Come say hi to Alena on Linkedin

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is on Linkedin ➡️

Infographic: the Hydrogen Economy, an Investment Opportunity?


Quotes: the Hydrogen Economy, an Investment Opportunity


Full Transcript:

These are computer-generated, so expect some typos 🙂

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Antoine Walter: Hi, Alena, Welcome to the show.

Alena Fargere: Thank you for having me.

Antoine Walter:Well, I’m very happy to have you because we have an exciting topic for today and exciting topic for many reasons. Exciting, because I’m a muggle. So you’ll see, I have weird questions and I need your knowledge to bring me on track and exciting because we will be diving into this topic of hydrogen and all the implications.

It may have. I think this is a hot topic right now. What are some reasons for different stakeholders, but that little teasing aside, let’s start with the Google traditions, which starts with the postcard. And you’re sending me a postcard from Paris today. So what can you tell me about Paris, which I would ignore?

Alena Fargere: from various look, if we stick to our hydrogen agenda and please feel free to ask any questions that are not weird questions, I will be more than happy to discuss that with you. I’ve just been fighting a hydrogen taxi recently. So very nice experience. If you have a chance to come, please, I encourage you to have a ride across the hotel in these car.

So yeah.

Antoine Walter: Let’s jump a bit into you before going into the heart of our topic. I was wondering when I was looking at your description, what is a renewable gas investor? How would you define that? What’s your definition to that?

Alena Fargere: Uh, renewable gas investors invested in investing in renewable gas. You could prefer that to be more serious.

We investing in bio gas and hydrogen actually. All across Europe and the funds have been created two years and a half ago was the first one in Europe to be this specific niche, investment funds and myself and my team, while very convinced of crucial role of NorCal gases to support the electrification of the success of the younger condition.

Because while electrification only won’t be enough to dizzy the covenant Bateman. At scale and speed at the cost. So the niece, I see a very strong parity between renewable electrons, which are, I feel being more covered during past years and newer molecules, which we are focusing on with my investments.

Antoine Walter: So just to be clear, when you say you’re investing in the gas or not investing in the guest itself in the facility, which will be carrying the gas or producing that gas or, and so forth and so on, right. You mentioned spin capital partners, which you said is two and a half year old, that’s it?

Alena Fargere: So then it’s more than that.

And the front, which is when the professor position I’m looking for is exactly two years in.

Antoine Walter: Okay. So just before going into the investment part of it, you have a history with hydrogen. I could be listing all the prestigious skills you’ve been doing is quite impressive, is like, You name it, it’s like a who’s who, and you’ve done all of them.

And on top of that, you’ve done a PhD in hydrogen. Why hydrogen? What got you interested into that?

Alena Fargere: Well, I’m, I’m nervous. Um, and why hydrogen? Look, I’ve been studying engineering at first and then getting to see any mobile allergies at some point, because I really see. It is next big challenge for all of us.

And we have no right not to succeed in this talent. And by that time, It was an emerging space. And as if the case for now for some new clean tech, it’s more expensive and you need to have some adopted policy to support at the very beginning to launch the uptake, it was the phase for renewable energy sources also for hydrogen.

And then. So I’ve done some studies also in policy making at some point of time. And then I run this very interesting to technology hypertension, which for me, this holistic solution, a holistic approach to the energy transition challenge and looks and affects the energy system as a whole or what can be challenging.

A lot of people, including myself wide sector blockers, and we may be tempted to search for a local optimal solution, which is not necessarily for one. And as far as energy transition includes lots of different angles. She did the production on energy. Should it be distribution or should it be decriminalization of, and uses the hydrogen will have a role all of there.

So. And very interested to discover more. And if that point of time, then I started my PhD on this topic. It was quite. I mean, hydrogen is not new that hydrogen for the energy solution at that point of time was quite a fresh topic. And so, yeah, I worked on first applying hydrogen for legalization of the transportation sector, including some work on dynamic carbon pricing and also financial means for hydrogen infrastructure finance.

After that I pull my interested in hydrogen and porous confirmed. So I stayed in hydrogen energy industry for six years. And after that I left to join the founding team of 20 foot profit transition. That was the first European funds dedicated to this renewable gas, hydrogen and bio gas.

Antoine Walter: And when does the change to know beyond that side of the table, because you you’ve mentioned you’ve been in the policy part of it in the industry, part of it, and now you’re in the finance part of it.

Was it because that’s where your thoughts there was a missing link or what’s the reason there?

Alena Fargere: My vision of the development does that work for me? It’s important to understand the technical side for the question and hydrogen technologies are not very new, to be honest with you, it’s been around for more.

Indicates and hydrogen market is already quite a big market, mainly used for a foundation. I didn’t dive in that if you went up to us. So I don’t see there, of course, always advice for innovation and new technologies and fishes increasing, decreasing. I don’t deny that it’s moving good if it happens.

However, for me, the main difficulty picks up. For the policy side, maybe you saw some recent announcements. I was very encouraged by them, 2020 and 2021 was if you hear of announcement of a national brief recovery plans in Germany, France, and Spain in the United Kingdom, and those compliments, I betting on hydrogen and putting an appropriate support for the announced.

It’s multi-billion paths around within or country European commission has announced the footage policies plan by 2030, and it’s enormous and get to scale rapidly. So I saw that technologically, I would say it’s quite well mustard. Take some momentum. It takes time. Of course it will be better if it’s more rapid, same how ready, you know, in policy and social conscious to post, to Cleantech and including.

And what I saw at the moment and not the industry. The main challenge is further ones. We talked about your blog as well. Technology policy and financial. I saw that the hydrogen, I still perceived as quite risky by the investment space. And it’s very difficult to be the first one in investment. So I’ve been concurrent there to understand that some, you know, existing investment funds will pick up the hydrogen team because.

It’s better to act now, waiting is not an option, I would say. And as far as Sepi, none, I came across amazing people and chance to be a prime spot and McNeil who was also working on this project of renewable molecules. And so the Hispanic transition was launched summer 2018.

Antoine Walter: You mentioned the investments and the big plans, which are right now existing from the countries, which are planning to invest money into that sector.

Why does it need also private capital to support that constant public capital be sufficient to push the revolution? I also

Alena Fargere: know, and it’s not intended to me. There is no lack of capital in the markets today. I would say the main challenge is to redirect the existing capital into moody. Clean technologies, new energy transition, business models, et cetera.

And the idea here is to mobilize privately. Industry money and policy money, policy money. I’m not there to say for me, their main role is to address a green finger, the greenest analogy, which is not populated for us by the market. Of course, there’s a tutor price. And we can also talk about that, but it’s not enough.

So this policy, a policy support is there to initially reduce the green. The green premium of hydrogen. And, uh, after there will be some economic effects, like learning by doing like scale effects, which will take it and drive costs down to the competitiveness with existing, um, say possible they are these technologies we’ve been seeing that maybe you remember.

When BB started, it was more than three times the price of electricity grid, electricity. And now we are hitting the price parity in more and more countries across the globe, and it will be continued and it’s very, very good. So the same thing will happen to hydrogen. They’re very tiny, little bit different than learning by doing basically is that then.

Production capacity price shop space or the percentage winded soul. It was up 30% and four hydrogen and his different breaks. It’s supposed to be between 10 and 17. So the idea here and what we are aiming to achieve with my team is to launch this first project to bring private finance. Of course, out of the public projects are also obligated in some cases, and create a proper risk sharing mechanism between project owners, between industry of takers, between support and between private investors and depth investors.

Antoine Walter: Talking of your investment funds. You just announced the closing of your second fund when it comes to those renewable gases, which means that you will be having at least 150 million euros to invest in these renewable gases and your first fan, if I’m right was off 75 millions. So now in total you have 225 million euros, which are at work to push a bit.

Those topics. I have a very blunt and direct question. Do you think that this beautiful project of decarbonizing our economies can be profitable? And if yes, of a which time when.

Alena Fargere: Just a side effect. We have more than double with emotion. The first fund was 175 million and we were intended to deploy it over.

Yes. And we’ve done it in two and a half years. So we are currently raising the successes exactly your toes, the second magazine. And we did our first closing in 150. And the target size for the fund is about 300, 400 million. So it will be two times. And then the previous one. So it’s indeed quite a number of million to universities in this space.

Um, was the first fund with, we see a very good traction. Because in my team, including myself, I have one industrial background and I have another colleagues of mine gain also from industry others have coming from financial. So we have south. And like I say, Terry on be take things in more rapid understanding of operational and industry challenges.

So we’ve been, uh, following a very good production and could address more than 100 installations. We try to find until we’ll be financed by us was the first fund.

Antoine Walter: When you say 100 installations, what are we talking about?

Alena Fargere: For both bio gas and hydrogen for the hydrogen was in the first Workfront. Uh, we’ve done one investment in the franchise and then hopefully we’ll be creating projects and projects to decolonize from industry.

You can also, if you want to discuss how it can be done in general terms and, uh, for the second fund we say on the same premises, uh, quite similar investment, this is a supporting renewable gas, having five gas and hydrogen production and distribution projects all across the board. Based on the first one was in European one.

And now via expenditure, you also asked about the profitability. Well, we are not a charity foundation. We invest in funds. So we also raised some money on the open market with our own nurses. Also in some of the, there, which I just in line of what is the current market expectations? So indeed the challenge here is, uh, to create with the project owners, long term profitable business models, which will be successful in three years.

We are currently also anticipating forthcoming regulation, which is not yet for hydrogen. I mean, not yet transcribing and local laws in France. We hope it will be done by the end of the year. And now the countries laws are under consultation as well. However, as I said, we don’t want to wait. I firmly believe that this will happen and we are already taking some good marks and some good projects.

Antoine Walter: When you say that regulation out in the cooking, somehow, what will the regulation tell? We say you have to have a certain share of your energy mix, which has to come from hydrogen and renewable biogas or what

Alena Fargere: will it be? Oh, those . So this is not to say the question is the question now is what kind of support mechanisms will be implemented.

And give you an example of holler. It was a feed-in tariff and the same is true for biogas. You have an injection premium, what we call, and basically this is state who guarantees some visibility or future cashflow and also in premium. So for hydrogen, there is no yet that visibility because these kinds of very particular laws haven’t been voted.

How well they, under what I saw there are different means on the discussion to support the hydrogen economy across Europe and I’ll of course, continuation of some topics, substance, basically helping to find is the captain of the infrastructure projects. Should it be production and distribution already existing?

There are also some OPEX sites and the discussion. And there is one I really appreciate in particular, which is hopefully will be altered in France. Basically. This is the laws supporting around consumption than production and basically making premium thing, ensuring her dream for the customer. Meaning. I customer choosing between green and break hydrogen will have those two molecules had the priority almost.

And so the extra to be paid for the green content of hydrogen will be acceptable for the client. And like I say, a chunk of this difference will be paid by the state for some time. Of course, it’s not, I really want to stress here that those kinds of folks is up there forever. And it’s great. The idea is that it’s there.

To support and to benefit from this learning by doing effects and cost and insurance necessary cost reduction to bring these technologies at cost parity with significant CO2.

Antoine Walter: So it’s kind of building this path to scale and support the transition to a point where it’s just economically in the middle of the market.

You mentioned gray and green hydrogen. When I started digging a bit into this word of hydrogen was surprised at this very colorful word, which is hydrogen, and there’s actually much more than just green and gray. So. Why did you decide to focus on green and not, I don’t know, blue or true cause or purple?

Alena Fargere: Uh, yeah, maybe listening to a little bit of all of you, of what are the colors, how does it work? The hybrid market is existing markets mainly, or today nine to five. It’s very well, it’s quite a bit quite the main consumers are refineries and fertilizer. The hydrogen today will 98% of hydrogen produced today is produced from seeing the same reforming on from fossil fuel.

Basically you crack the it’s from natural gas, the seed you crack it into. You have each two hydrogen in one hand and see you to come in on the other hand for one tone of hydrogen. And it’s always 10. And this what we call green hydrogen. Alexa, let’s say classical one. How have I want you to keep in mind?

If you take these drug hydrogen and you put it in a car and you run it next to the diesel car or for the overall emissions, you will be better than the diesel one. However, the idea here, if you want to unveil the full potential of hydrogen for the energy transition, we need to think of production and the.

He’s big and doubles. So if we need to pick up a knife, it production 100 and we also need to deploy different markets. Some of them are existing. For example, those consuming hydrogen today. How about there are many, many of them wants, including the dehumanization and passport decompensation. Industry using hydrogen music to, to, to create if you also name it that are a lot of things to be developed at the same time.

So we have this double protection and if we focus on the decarbonization of hydrogen production, there are different means something that is imposed straightforward. On the existing assets you want, and these can be done. And it is already done in some locations, in a centralized waste production plant, and you have create any cream, their technology to capture a, and it allows you to.

Around 60%, you can have more costly technology temperature up to 90%, how we will be. Well, the market practice has for today. This is I would say 60 67, which will add something between one, two feet, Urus, parochial, hydrogen production. Knowing that world, right? Hydrogen, the market price for the trusted increasing natural gas price was around 1.5 to three was secure.

So you have these, let us say intermediate way where you’ve reduced the carbon content of your hydrogen production. That would be blue hydrogen, right? Exactly. Exactly. So keep this in mind. And of course we want to go a step further and go to zero in misses and that can be done. This is the objective.

This is the pledging for hydrogen, and this can be done. Basically, if you in place the natural gas, which has zero carbon footprint. So basically you, the hydrogen will produce will heritage in a way these carbon content that will be also considered. And in other way, you may be. So it’s a lot, it’s probably a lot in process for now.

It’s renewable electricity where you take what a molecule pass the current in there. And basically what a molecule H two O will split two in each two, hydrogen and oxygen. And, uh, here, I also want to stress that the electricity. Should be, must be renewable because if, for example, you put your electrolysis, have you parked in Germany?

Well, if you hold process , which does that installation, and then realize that if you put it in the black, for example, the Domini in university and publicity from the German brick, which well, your father shouldn’t do the SMR in terms of carbon footprint. So I really want stress out. That’s really crucial to have a neutral energy, power, or edit policies to be able to call the hydrogen green and to have zero carbon footprint.

So we had, let us say 100% emission, uh, one total of hydrogen, hydrogen, 10 tons of CO2, three one. Then you go down by 60%. It’s a blue one. The green one and what is very nice. You can push logic even to the negative permission. For example, you use to produce your hydrogen and capture this U2, which is admitted in the process.

In this case, your is the only technology which can give you hydrogen with a negative.

Antoine Walter: Actually the discussion we’re having right now is part of a trilogy on that podcast. And this is episode two of the trilogy and the episode three is an interview I have with the Australian company called hazer. And what hazer does stats.

They have. Installed the process on the waste with the treatment plant. So they have biogas as an input source and then they do carbon capture in the hydrogen process because they use the graphite that transformed that, that carbon into graphite and they reuse the graphite. So the carbon is captured, which is exactly what two weeks spending right now.

That is a negative carbon process. And actually that’s interesting because. You investing in both bio gas and hydrogen topics. And it sounds to me like if you combined both you’re exactly at that point. So is it part of your investment teases to take both the projects and bridge them together? It

Alena Fargere: makes a lot of sense in some locations in some vacation, it does not.

However well, you know, that the energy transition is quite regional specific. And so of course, if we can explore the synergies between our gas and hydrogen participants, And, um, your thoughts? Tell them to bring their technology to relate, to have them.

Antoine Walter: You mentioned those various levels of hydrogen and, and why that makes sense to go into the green or beyond.

I know, just to take one step back and what are we exactly trying to do with this? Hydrogen is it’s a replacement of the gray hydrogen one-to-one or does the ambition go beyond that and say, there are other parts of the energy mix, which we could replace by hydrogen. So maybe taking directly on fossil fuels or.

There are many different options, but what is the primary aim?

Alena Fargere: As I told you, what is really nice about hydrogen that you can visit? So with the project I considering today, there are, I would say two main directions. Of course, mobility. You can power costs, traps, trains, planes by hydrogen and you’ll need.

Thank you will meet will be water. No smell whatsoever. So it makes a lot of sense. And there are some cases which are quite economical already today. Then there is one example is, uh, you may know, and I looked at companies here in Europe states who are choosing hydrogen folks for the, especially for the food entrepreneurs, because in this case you don’t have any mission.

It’s really irrelevant. Big autonomy and very fast recharging time, which is very close to the use of these overs. However, there’s no issues in their inbox for mobility. Also, it makes a lot of sense to put hydrogen when you want to travel long distances and especially what you want to travel long distances or transportation.

Hold it up here and their projects for buses, trucks, uh, you maybe saw there are some hydrogen trains already running in Germany, and there’ll be some discussion and commands done by France and the UK to replicate success in Germany. This is the first, the second direction is. And here, you mentioned that you have double options.

You can either replace the hydrogen great hydrogen, which is already use a green one and be done in your finding one on one. Yeah. And especially the ammonia production. And you can also replace some other carbon-based fuels by hydrogen diversity. You can be the case, for example, in steel making, when you replace Coke by hybrid.

You tend to look on process and it gets used to takes a dive to find out final product. So this is really interesting subject. And when discussing with some steel makers, because for them it’s very difficult or almost impossible to find. So the hydrogen is a valid option. And also you have these public concern and push.

Maybe you also heard about that. So to have also sustainable materials and used the limited cup unplug and here hydrogen also can help and not industrial example can be production of synthetic. What’d we call it fuels basically what you do. You will take brief hydrogens and combine it with, seem to Aaptiv somewhere, which has to make a small.

Well, the energy turtle up to 60 in order to succeed in energy transition, we made new for major levers. Those there, the first one of course is replacing fossil fuels variables. The second one is being able to switch to hydrogen. We also need to do massive CCS. Was this you or carbon capture storage there?

And also of course not last but not the least the energy efficiency and consumption. So in order to limit our, uh, in respect of the carbon budget, which is left to be compatible with 1.5 or two degrees scenario, don’t have that much time and not that much budget. So we need to use extensively this whole thing and the carbon capture.

Well, we need to do something with that problem. And these objects come and can be utilized in combined hypertrophy in order to produce synthetic. Which can replace the fuels, which will stay in the ground, which will not extract. And basically different studies estimate. I would say about a third of the known fossil fuel resources from staying where they are, if we don’t want to drastically run on the cup and budget.

So that makes sense as well. And during the transition. Of course fossil based a solution will be there with them, the entire energy systems locally by nature. So we will be progressive process and already along this way, this synthetic fuels, which is from green hydrogen, the carbon can help and replace these fossil fuels, which will be based to read the transition.

Antoine Walter: You mentioned. I mean, there are so many different types of assets, which you could be investing right now. Right? The total list you just gave just now gives a hint at all the possible implications. Do you intend to focus on some of them or do you want to be agnostic and say we are putting some bets in all these races and one of the horses might win and then maybe the main output is going to be, I don’t know, new fuels or, I mean, one of them, and then at least we have some stakes in that.

Alena Fargere: I hope they kind of Pelham kale horses for when we’ll, we’ll drag us to the company with action, because this is also one of our payments for the fund. We decided it to be. So we also focus very attentively on the production. We aren’t innovating without project, which is quite well. This is quite important for us and for the partners.

So you may notice that. Quite focused already on the bio gas and hydrogen and fully hydrogen. I’m looking for the different applications. I just mentioned to you I’ll look on, on production. Should it be used for industry? Whatever industry is also heating, who didn’t talk about that. But with hydrogen you can produce a low and high grade.

Should it be for domestic or industrial applications is synthetic fuels. We discussed as well. There is lots of things you can do. And some projects make more sense in particular locations. And, uh, it’s quite, yeah. Regional specific approach as for now, because we don’t have it’s quite fragmented. Europe has been the leading this process.

Two years after the endorsement of the European commission and for all of a national plans. So yes, depending on the country, depending on the region, depending on the degree hybriding of this solution will vary. However, all of them tend to feasible and can make a lot of sense. Depending on the company position is a very big partner.

They telling them itself.

Antoine Walter: You mentioned this original fragmented aspects of the topic I’ve seen that spend capital has invested in life. So that’s a company which is doing this electrolyzers, which are turning wind farm energy into hydrogen. I think the first unit is a one-on per day production plant.

And if I’m right, it’s in the north of France, it’s next to not.

Alena Fargere: Yes. If you come around for more than welcome to visit, it’s a very nice.

Antoine Walter: My question was going to be a nasty question against friends supporting me bats. But you mentioned this original fragmented aspect. If I was to make a plant of this.

Probably I’ll have even better yields if I install my plants in Chile or in Australia, or somewhere on the west coast of Africa, because there could combine a desserts with a notion, which means strong winds at night, I could have some solar panels on top of that, which would pour a little bit of additional energy into my mix.

Is it really a technology that has a chance to. Put everywhere or doesn’t have to be adapted to regional and local conditions.

Alena Fargere: Oh, this is what’s. You’re describing this long-term vision for how the level hydrogen system, it’s a more centralized way you are describing. And indeed there are countries with Richard Solon.

And France or the UK, for example. So indeed hydrogen being an energy that you can produce hydrogen from energy and reproduce energy from hydrogen, which is nice. You can. And the gene POM was hydrogen between different regions and different sectors. Of course, quite difficult to have electricity lines. I didn’t know between somewhere between the solid and defined, however you can transport molecules, which are easier to be transported.

Over longer distances and these hydrogen can be transported in whatever form from peak volumes can be done in a liquid form or in a form of ammonia or hydrogen carriers, et cetera. However, for me, it’s describing a more, I would say long-term scenario. And as for now that already some good setups or the projects you might have across the globe across different.

Which saying of hydrogen as one of the technologies, which we need to invest into France is a part of that in France. We’ll have already quite low carbon intensity of electricity. However, as we discussed earlier, if we really want to have green hydrogen, normally you need to have, and what life has in France next to Nancy is the first installation, which will be.

And as for now, the hydrogen would just produce these used mainly by mobility and what is also nice and maybe like a stress it out for hydrogen technology. It’s the kind of a Lego freak I would say. So you can start small and then just add some bricks and the maker be conservative. So in France or even in other countries, then there are some fortunate, uh, we are, uh, let us say the name.

For the solution can be a order of a hundred megawatts. So it was quite a big one today. The biggest installation is existing operating. So for mobility, you have installation. So I would say about five megawatts or less. And for industry, it makes sense 20, 30 and even higher. And, uh, what is really nice and you have big projects like that.

You can start with. You can already decarbonized for example, a part of the process was five to five Virginia, and also ensure that it works and it looks good and also a space all the time. And also not to do the appropriate height changes, but not progressively. And, uh, hydrogen makes a lot of sense there because yes.

And your installation. So this is the nice thing.

Antoine Walter: And do you expect some scale effects happening if that was installation grow bigger and less?

Alena Fargere: Sure you have this double up to learning by doing well. We are benefiting and contributing all of us in that now, you know, starting with small or needs hydrogen projects today already.

So we are increasing production capacity. This is a common voice we need to make all of us, even if we expect. Hydrogen go draw the price. We have no option to wait until someone does it because no one’s had to eat what happened. So there is also a conscious and a not carbonated back in. To contribute to this production.

And this is first by doing. And the second one is the scale of camp effects. You mentioned some things, the less corresponding costs to the numerous to keep the windows or whatever.

Antoine Walter: At the very beginning of this conversation, you mentioned how hydrogen could be supplementing and augmenting the electrification.

That way that we will have the two technologies in the future, which will coexist and each has its role and it is helping a bit, the other, or don’t you fear that at some point we have kind of a winner takes all and we all go for electricity and then you’re doomed, or we all go for hydrogen and then it’s a jackpot.


Alena Fargere: you afraid that today the electricity use it in an apartment who conquered the gas we use for cooking some sometime. So basically we already have acquire existing infrastructure and carrier. So that’s not the problem I would say. And I really see the need of complimentary to them, both from the decolonization potential and the speed we can go.

So, you know, Mr. Technologist, you do more one and also in terms of associated costs, because when you go, for example, If I take the example of transplants, there been a scenario for battery electric for passenger cars. And if you decrease this 100 scenario and put 10% only of yourself in the mix of the overall cost of.

This is global optimum and not the local bud is more cost-efficient because for full electric, at some point of time fee, then the last percentage is inquired by drastic investments between first intended, some extra production, capacities, and hydrogen, which is more adapted to the renewable energy profile.

And the energy has joined for hydrogen. Make the investments in the grid. I was acceptable and the overall cost of the system assessed. So this is a very small example for the ability for passenger cars, which is quite cetera. And you can extend exactly the same logic for the entire system. So that’s also why we are pledging and working for the complementarity of renewable motels and Newport electrodes to make the energy transition a success at cost.

Antoine Walter: If I keep comparing a better, I think your, your explanation is very clear. I mean, it’s true that electricity didn’t kill the gas and it’s, it’s true that we have several energy carriers. It’s very, very clear way to present it. Now, if I still compare a bit to the path to market from hydrogen to the path to market from electricity, electricity had.

Devices, which helps to have this path to scale. The first guy who had a phone with a battery was paying his battery. Crazy expensive for what it is, but the service of the phone was worth it. And that way we have this path to scale on the hydrogen side, you mentioned the heavy transport, which is going to help to have this path to scale.

But if I recall maybe five or 10 years ago, there was this idea that maybe much more fuel cell vehicles would be on the road. So also this personal vehicles. So do you fear that you might be missing some links in the chain of that path to.

Alena Fargere: Um, let’s maybe take an example of transportation. It’s a good one.

You’re bringing on the table. So the transportation sector. So, like I say, small coast and for some of the segments in the constipation batteries, they will continue to be there. I hope that, you know, bring us to even cost-reduction and it makes absolute sense to have battery electric of, uh, your what called community.

So that’s fine. It makes less sense that then it is necessary to transport more weight over a long distance. Should it be trucks or trying to, at some point of time, you just add an add batteries and because it’s having a need to add even more batteries in some point. So I would say this is kind of, there are some segments for, for which the choice is clear.

Should it be battery or hydrogen for some areas, there is a competition there. However, what I also want to stress that both. There is these three aspects of, you know, making the system greener and the challenge is big. And so depending on the sector we are talking to, there will be some complementarity, the sun or wind to do efficiencies of battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles can be comparable.

Uh, this you two over life cycle assessment. So, if you have both in the system, it can also low, more renewables, because as I said, we can transmit energy from Picatinny across different sectors and regions. And also important as you were describing the world in a centralized hydrogen production, important from wind and solar, which regions to some of the, you mean important regions, there is also reduced material.

If we want to go all battery, uh, there is a stress on the, they can be stressful nickel, cobalt, and lithium mining. And if you put hydrogen in the system, you reduce the stress on material needs. And also, well, there is a flattened catalyst process for the fuel cells. However, this vitamin category. So, this is like I say, green aspect of the combined system, uh, that is also a faster aspect of these compliant system, because, well, if you have to decode this, you can move faster with one, for some applications, you have a higher customer, but even for hydrogen technologies, because.

It’s quite low. And the autonomy you have is quite large. It makes a lot of sense for intense use, for example. And I’ve been getting the example of a taxi, a hydrophobic taxi business in price, because if you want to go zero emission in their culture, Actually lexical fuel cell electric vehicles. And when you need to run 24 7, well, we don’t want your car to be tattooed for eight hours in any profits.

And also you can tell you somewhere that makes sense for intense or for heavy weights as well. We’ve been discussing. Also there is this diverse regional needs, which can be a mix in, in a better way by electric battery, by metric on vacation and the project. So that was, I would say actually rated faster aspects of two technologies.

Fuel the energy transition dynamic. And the first is the cost we’ve been discussing that as well. So in the transportation sector, if you have both, you have less investment needed in enforcing the grid and UCP equals. So, um, give me, give you an example of cost efficiencies for the infrastructure. So instead of one.

And basically the cost of hydrogen infrastructure, I would say 90 10, 90 versus 10% scenario can be offset by the savings you made. So, yeah, betting on what you do risk in a way you’ve succeeded at the end of this position. And then you have more options, you know, combining this. Technologies together and yeah.

Benefit from this. I would say more sustainable, faster, cheaper aspects of

Antoine Walter: very clear. Let me throw a curve ball at you. And I’m sorry about that. I mentioned that this is episode two of a trilogy. And by episode one, I was discussing with Paul Martin. He was explaining how the provenance of hydrogen might be useful to DSI.

Listen to what he said, because I guess you disagree lecture, you have your argumentation on it. The hydrogen is

Alena Fargere: being pushed by two groups of people it’s being pushed by the fossil fuel industry for women. So a win-win situation and it’s being pushed by hydrogens useful idiots. They useful idiots in the hydrogen regime.

There are people that think they’re going to make giant amounts of renewable electricity, that nobody will know what to do with. And so they have to find something to do with it. So they’re going to make. I prefer to be useful idiot acting rather than a very intelligent person is not doing their thing, but just to be, I will be more well, I will interesting to, to listen maybe for other arguments he’s putting on indeed.

There is a need to decarbonize for the oil and gas me. And, uh, hydrogen can play a role there. As I said today, hydrogen is used extensively. And in any way, if the coal and gas major, well, it’s more challenging for you to stick to the carbon budget and you need to recognize. And so here, the hydrogen is a good, invaluable.

You may be so some projects in the north of the UK, they are to be 100%. And, uh, adapt their distribution grid to be able to transport 100% of hydrogen by 2050, they run some analysis there and it’s shown that the hydrogen option is a 150 million, less expensive than fluid education. So they are running this project.

And it’s good. Hydrogen is considered as one of the options for all of them gas and to change the business model, because at some point of time, we don’t want to use fossil fuels anymore. So that’s, I would say in argument for hydrogen and in other one, I also considered to be an argument for hydrogen because you need to replace fossil fuels by hurting will energy sources.

And that’s the, I think we all. Electricity’s difficultly story is this is one of the big challenges has for us for now. the big frustrations. Uh, you can do a pumped water storage, however dependents have the geographical. Uh, well you have it in all geographies. It is also regional specific and, uh, Holly is available and here, of course, hydrogen can also, you know how these more massive integration of renewables, which is.

And store this energy or between different regions and different locations. And Aquaman that wants to add for my own is that these hydrogen can also decarbonize different sectors. Should it be transportation? I believe Dr. Lott covered quite extensively. Uh, the challenges, the segmentation, the different technologies, which can play a role and transportation, uh, especially when you need to have an intensive travel longer distances for.

We haven’t spoken about obligation, but their hydrogen can also play a role by being combined to C2 and converted in sector as well. Uh, hydrogen will decarbonize industries, which are difficult or impossible to the key thing. Uh, we’ve mentioned also. So that’s a fuel. So I would say that. The aspects of which are covered by hydrogen, by large, it’s quite holistic.

And I would say that people, what can in hydrogen, they are rather driven and passionate and engaged for the energy transition success, rather than any other things.

Antoine Walter: So congrats. And I think that’s absolutely clear. I think what stands out from what you’ve been explaining so far is that first we don’t have to oppose hydrogen to other type of energy. It’s another carrier which plays into the mix and which has different capabilities in different. Properties and the rest of the mix, which makes for a good complimentary option.

And yeah, if one person of anything it is not possible, then you have to find the right mix and the right level of any type of carrier. And I think your explanation on, on what’s the role of hydrogen into that play is absolutely clear, which leads me to my closing question for this dip dive, which is a bit of a crystal ball question.

As an impact investor as an investor in that field of this green gas has been bio gas or green hydrogen. What will tell you that you’ve succeeded in 10 years?

Alena Fargere: Oh, there’s an excellent, I would say the twists exceeds if we need the CO2 abatement targets. Whereas I think with my team with all this great bio gas and hydrogen projects, And there is, of course, this very big aspects of carbon emission reductions hollow is not the only thing we’re working on.

It also attracts the sectors, also tracks some bright minds and driven people who want to activate for the energy transition. And this creates also some, uh, jobs, which is well received and well looked forward in the current context. And yeah. Would save these two minutes. We attained the carbon budget. I think we have income to contribute both the reduction of the think to contribute, and also the working places for people who act already today for the energy transition.

If we hit on two of them.

Antoine Walter: I would relax to see success as you described it, because I think that’s, that’s beneficial to the wellbeing and to the society in general. So I think there was a fascinating, deep dive you’ve shined a special lights on, on that word. So I learned a lot of things. I propose you to conclude it by switching to the rapid fire questions.

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Rapid fire questions:

Antoine Walter: In that last section, I’ll present you with short questions, which you can answer with short answers. And, um, any of course I’m not cutting the microphone if you want to be longer, but theoretically, the rule of the game is to be short. What is the most exciting project you’ve been working on and why?

Alena Fargere: Uh, as for now, I would say yes, these circle liberation was life, the French independent or producer of hydrogen. That’s amazing. They have a great team, a great capacity to attain the ambition and decarbonize industry and transportation was their project. So I’m really happy with our corporation.

Antoine Walter: Can you name one thing that you’ve learned the hard way

Alena Fargere: and working for them to transition can be tough.

And the talent is big. And sometimes personally makes me feel now the intelligence side to speak and I say, okay, I’m just. Means just me. So this is a huge thing.

Let us, let us focus on some small thing.

And I hope that if everyone does that, that way we can, you know, a big, big, big talent.

Antoine Walter: That’s a really good one. Is there something you’re doing today in your job that you will not be doing in 10 years?

Alena Fargere: I hope I won’t be educating people about high hydrogen can be beneficial for the physician success because it will be common knowledge.

I hope for you,

Antoine Walter: yeah.

Alena Fargere: Contributing to this mission, thinking until I’m,

Antoine Walter: I’m asking you, what is the trends to watch out for in the water sector. So I can give you a bit of context. So. From my water perspective, I’m discussing hydrogen is because the water sector was looking at hydrogen saying, okay, if you do, editorializes in their utilizes, you need a lot of water.

And that lot of water or someone has to produce it. And shall we align for that? So here for the trends, do you think it’s a reasonable concern from the water industry to say, we have to prepare ourselves to produce much more water because we need to make that available for the hydrogen sector.

Alena Fargere: With topic to be discussed for the hydrogen applications in some cases.

No particular what the test, I would say. If you look from an application, when you take water, then you split the molecule to create hydrogen. Then you put hydrogen in a fuel cell where it’s reacts with oxygen to create from, from air to create electricity. And so we have a kind of cost separately, uh, for some applications there.

The hydrogen is used, for example, for creating the inference advisors. Uh, this is not close cycle. However, I don’t see an enormous stress in water and I, I will be interested to, to have your thoughts on that as well. Probably, yes, I do believe that the hydrogen supply will be moving on. If you call us is quite ambitious targets.

However, using water hollow is not the only way to produce low carbon hydrogen

capture and storage. So I think there needs a way, you know, to balance unnecessarily on the


Antoine Walter: question for me, we, you have someone to recommend me that they should definitely invite on that microphone.

Alena Fargere: Um, well, of course I can, I can suggest you to speak with some of the project owners, which are we are working with and what we’d like to make the interest. And I think maybe it sounds our biogas, this school, we are creating a biogas from what the cleaning facility. May give you the good Vance on how to can Sweetwater recycled waste and create green gas at the same place by providing some, you know, nice tops and some nice benefits for the, for the community.

I think this can be.

Antoine Walter: That would be absolutely of interest. So I’m more than happy. If you have some suggestions to make me, it’s been a pleasure discussing with you for the past Hauer. If people want to follow on with you after this recording, where shall I redirect them the best? As usual, the link would be in the episode notes and then has been a pleasure.

Thanks a lot for your insights. Sorry for my muggle questions. And I really hope for you that in 10 years, you don’t have to explain all of that again. If not, you can just send them back to that interview said, Hey, I did it all once. I don’t have to do it all the time.

Alena Fargere: Just go and listen to Antoine’s podcast,

Antoine Walter: which is good advertising.

Let me use that one as well.

Alena Fargere: Thank you so much for your questions.

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