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Former oil producers are going to invest in hydrogen

Two veterans of the oil industry, top managers of Shell and ExxonMobil, create an investment fund focused on hydrogen projects. Reuters reports, that this will be the first of a kind in the world.

The fund, which will  be established this year and named HydrogenOne Capital, is founded by former Shell Executive Vice President of Investor Relations John Traynor and Richard Hulf, who worked for Exxon, Enterprise Oil, Ernst & Young and the Artemis Foundation.

"We have communicated with many people in the market who are interested in this topic, but it is difficult to invest in, so we plan to put together a team focused on this issue,"said Traynor.

The fund is planned to be about $315 million. It will be based in London.

Interest in hydrogen in the world has been growing dramatically despite the authorities' desire to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and use green energy, fueled by instability in the oil market and the pandemic. Barclays analysts expect that the demand for hydrogen in the world will grow 8 times, up to 575 million tons per year by 2059. Hydrogen can be used as a raw material, fuel, energy carrier or energy storage solution. However, the use of hydrogen is still expensive and requires technological development.

In the first half of July, the European Commission presented a "hydrogen strategy", which implies massive production of pure hydrogen. In the next four years, it is planned to build plants with total capacity of 6 GW in Europe, which will allow to start production up to 1 million tons of hydrogen. By 2030, the capacity of electrolysis plants should be brought up to 40 GW. This will allow to produce up to 10 million tons of hydrogen, and by 2050, hydrogen technologies should be massively used in heavy industry and transport.

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