Bye-bye Royal Dutch Shell, Total, BP, Exxon and what have you. Nel Hydrogen has just sold 5 x 17 = 85 MW worth of electrolysers to US truck startup Nikola Motors for ca. $30 million.
PHOENIX (JUNE 3, 2020) — Nikola Corporation who becomes publicly traded on June 4, 2020 on the Nasdaq (NKLA), signed a purchase order with Nel ASA (Nel, OSE: NEL), for 85-megawatt alkaline electrolyzers supporting five of the world’s first 8 ton per day hydrogen fueling stations. Together, these electrolyzers may produce over 40,000 kgs of hydrogen each day.
The purchase order has a value in excess of USD $30 million, and the electrolyzers will primarily be delivered from the new electrolyzer mega-factory currently under development in Norway. This purchase order will support Nikola’s five initial stations with 8 ton per day hydrogen production capacity. The remaining equipment will be covered by a separate purchase order that is expected to be finalized within the coming months.
That phrase “in excess of” is a little puzzling, but if we assume that “in excess of” does NOT stand for “excessively over”, we may tentatively conclude that the electrolysers will change owner for the tip of somewhere near $30M/85MW = $350/kW! So far, the electrolyser price was in the range of $1000-1500/kW.
If this turns out to be true, the price of green hydrogen will be largely determined by the price of renewable electricity and not so much by the cost of conversion of electricity into hydrogen. It means that the renewable energy storage problem would be solved and that governments in North-Africa or the Gulf region could begin to contemplate combining their cheap labor, 1-2 cent/kWh desert solar and $350/kW electrolyser technology in order to touch serious money after the end of the oil age.
One can doubt if this news will be greeted in the HQs of Tesla and Volkswagen, companies that have placed their bets heavily on battery cars. The big winner could be Japan.
Regardless, this is hardly the time to buy a new gasoline car. Combine the above with the storage of hydrogen in Borohydride (“H2Fuel”), a storage technology currently under development in the Netherlands and in ten years time you will be fueling your car in 3 minutes with a yogurt-like substance and you’re good for yet another 1000 miles, without the necessity to daily fight with your neighbors over who can use the charging station. Additionally, “shameless” electric flying, based on a fuel cell, will become possible with Borohydride, that has an energy density of 9 kWh/kg.
[nelhydrogen.com] – Nel ASA: Receives purchase order from Nikola
[nikolamotor.com] – Nikola Orders Enough Electrolysis Equipment From Nel to Produce 40 Ton Hydrogen/Day
[fch.europa.eu] – Renewable Hydrogen Out-competing Fossil Alternatives
[npr.org] – Japan Is Betting Big On The Future Of Hydrogen Cars
[deepresource] – H2Fuel
Nel Hydrogen suggest a price potential of below $350/kW in a set of Powerpoints, that has a “2019” smell about it. Apparently that boundary has been broken in 2020.