Toyora Mirai Hydrogen FCEV
Toyora Mirai Hydrogen FCEV

Green Hydrogen for 1 Euro: Bill Gates is Investing Millions into groundbreaking Tech

Green hydrogen, or hydrogen derived from water utilizing renewable energy sources

Green Hydrogen may be a key component in potential efforts to provide the planet with an energy source in an eco-friendly manner. Green hydrogen, however, continues to be hampered by its cost: one kilo of green hydrogen costs between three and seven euros, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. As a result, grey hydrogen is around two to four times more costly than the low-emission energy source

An Israeli company, H2Pro now wants to develop a technology for producing green hydrogen. The energy source can indeed be generated in large quantities at the cost of about $1 per kilogram. H2Pro has already concluded a USD 22 million funding round. Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Bill Gates’ investment company, led the financing round. 

The Israeli Manufacturer is attempting to develop a potentially game-changing method of producing green hydrogen at a low cost. Bill Gates’ investment firm, controlled by Microsoft’s founder and billionaire philanthropist, is committing tens of millions of dollars to the project. 

Green Hydrogen Production Process H2 Pro
Green Hydrogen Production Process H2 Pro

According to the news site Renew Economy, H2Pro is working on a water fission system that can achieve a 95 percent efficiency while costing considerably when compared to an electrolyzer that is usually used to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. E-TAC, which stands for Electrochemical, Thermally Activated Chemical, is comparable to electrolysis in how it splits water into its constituent parts using electricity. 

“Hydrogen is an important part of any plan to achieve climate neutrality,” said H2Pro chief Talmon Marco. “It is already being used extensively and will play an even greater role in the future, as it can replace fossil fuels in many applications, but unlike fossil fuels, it does not produce CO2.”

Unlike traditional electrolysis, E-TAC releases hydrogen and oxygen in two separate phases – an electrochemical and a thermally induced chemical stage. Since the most costly and sensitive component of even an electrolyzer, the membrane, is removed, separating hydrogen and oxygen into two different processes significantly decreases the investment effort needed for technological growth. E-TAC systems are thus much simpler and less costly to make, as well as safer to use. 

Last week, the company completed a Series A2 financing round worth USD 22 million. The funding round was led by Bill Gates’ companies Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe and BY IN Venture, the venture capital arm of Israel’s Sumitomo Corporation. 

H2Pro’s approach to hydrogen production is unique in that it is both electrically and chemically powered, providing tremendous opportunities for this important market,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. 

“We look forward to working with [H2Pro] and the European Commission to further develop H2Pro’s E-TAC system and support the company’s mission to commercialize low-cost green hydrogen.”

Bill Gates founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures back in 2015. However, the Microsoft founder is currently not the only billionaire backing the company: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, British billionaire Richard Branson, media mogul, and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma are among key members of the Board.

Images Courtesy of H2 Pro | Toyota Motor Corporation