California company sees solar as a resource for green hydrogen
California-based renewable energy company Heliogen said June 15 it raised more than $100mn to support the development of a solar energy system that could support green hydrogen.
Two funding rounds yielded $108mn for its Sunlight refinery system, a turnkey solar power system. The latest tranche brings total funding to more than $200mn.
“This infusion of new support for Heliogen comes at a time when the paradigm shift toward clean energy is even further accelerated by the new realities the world is facing,” said Bill Gross, the company’s founder.
Hydrogen as a fuel source produces few harmful byproducts.
The company in 2019 tested a system that concentrates solar energy to produce temperatures greater than 1,000°C, saying that can help provide around-the-clock, carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power and green hydrogen fuel.
“The baseline system will provide industrial-grade heat that will be capable of replacing fossil fuels in processes including the production of cement, steel, and petrochemicals,” the company explained. “Heliogen’s technology will also enable power generation through the addition of a supercritical CO2 turbine and green hydrogen fuel production in combination with an electrolyser.”
Cost can be prohibitive in the production of hydrogen as an energy source. Last week, German renewable energy company Siemens Gamesa published a whitepaper, Unlocking the Green Hydrogen Revolution, that showcases how green hydrogen could become cost effective by drawing on wind energy resources to help fuel the process.
At the moment, Siemens estimates the greatest cost for green hydrogen is powering the electrolysers that split water into hydrogen and oxygen. In theory, it said, green hydrogen could be cost competitive as early as 2030 by using wind as a power source.