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New Report: Hydrogen Aviation Powerlist 2023
🔥 A comprehensive overview highlighting over 110 companies working on hydrogen projects. (Plus: 10 innovators to look out for!)
TL;DR For the past months, we have been examining the reasons why hydrogen is a pathway worth investing in and exploring the potential benefits it has to offer.
As a result, we are releasing a new report to provide a comprehensive overview of sustainable aviation focused on hydrogen and highlight over 110 companies working on hydrogen projects.
You can download and read the full report for free here.
Recently, SimpliFlying carried out a war gaming exercise with a group of industry experts and journalists in London. Splitting into three groups, each group looked at an optimistic, neutral and pessimistic climate change scenario for the aviation industry in 2030 and then 2050.
Core to the optimists’ vision was the idea of a ‘Fuel X’, which would supplant fossil fuels and become essential to aviation, compelling major aircraft manufacturers to build new aircraft optimised for this new fuel.
Though we didn’t name it, ‘Fuel X’ will almost certainly be hydrogen. It’s right now the only viable candidate for an alternative propulsion system that can power aircraft for longer distances.
Fortunately, there have been several promising developments. For example, ZeroAvia and Universal Hydrogen, both of which are featured in our upcoming book, ‘Sustainability in the Air’, have carried out a number of successful tests on regional aircraft retrofitted with hydrogen-electric powertrains.
That said, significant challenges need to be overcome before hydrogen aviation becomes a reality. These include storage, transportation, infrastructure and the issue of hydrogen leaks. In fact, few topics in the sustainable aviation space elicit as many strong reactions as does hydrogen.
Some high-profile commentators and groups are convinced that hydrogen-powered flights are a fool’s errand. This includes the Hydrogen Science Coalition, which insists that green hydrogen should be used to decarbonise existing hydrogen uses. Its utilisation for any other purpose is a mere distraction that could make global warming worse by delaying the roll-out of other technologies like electrification.
In contrast, the list of high-profile individuals and organisations betting on hydrogen-powered flight is a long one:
Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund invests in ZeroAvia, as well as in Koloma, a ‘white hydrogen’ project in Colorado;
Aircraft giant Airbus aims to get a hydrogen-powered aircraft flying by 2035;
Airline easyJet has made hydrogen a central feature of its net zero plans and is working with engine maker Rolls-Royce;
Air New Zealand and a series of New Zealand airports are looking to create a hydrogen aviation cluster in the country.
Governments worldwide also understand that green hydrogen is different and are keen to support and incentivise its production.
With a lot of the aviation industry’s growth expected to come from the Middle East, India and the Far East, this is a particularly compelling reason why hydrogen aviation deserves a closer look.
What this report includes
A Hydrogen 101 explainer.
An overview of some of the key challenges – from supply to cost to leakage. We discuss some possible solutions as well.
A market map of 110+ companies that could make hydrogen aviation a reality. These include companies making more efficient electrolysers to those producing cheaper green hydrogen, as well as companies developing hydrogen fuel cells, and ones actually looking to get hydrogen-powered aircraft into the skies.
Ten companies to look out for. They are Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Destinus, Embraer, Fokker, H2FLY, Hydrogen Airport, Hysata, Lyte Aviation, Universal Hydrogen, and ZeroAvia.
A word on SimpliFlying’s position
At SimpliFlying, we are technology-neutral and believe that weaning air travel off fossil fuels will require multiple pathways, often simultaneously. As a result, while we are ‘pro’ hydrogen, we are also pro-electric aviation and pro-sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
We also feature innovators in the electric, hybrid-electric and SAF spaces, along with hydrogen in our upcoming book, Sustainability in the Air, as well as in SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam’s podcast of the same name.
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