Estonian green hydrogen tech firm raises €140 million in capital | News

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Estonian hydrogen tech company Elcogen has raised a total of €140 million in its latest funding round.

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Green hydrogen production in particular is a burgeoning area.

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American company Baker Hughes has joined Elcogen as a strategic investor, with the aim of continuing the development and scaling of solid oxide technology.

Elcogen’s solid oxide technology-based factory will be built close to the Iru power station, in Loovälja, near Maardu, while its output is expected to meet the needs of the South Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and also European markets starting around a year from now.

Enn Õunpuu, Elcogen CEO, told ETV news show Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK): “Currently, the world’s industrial hydrogen production stands at about 70 million tons per year.”

“All the hydrogen needed today is produced from fossil fuels, however. A change needs to be made here, and the industry today is moving increasingly towards green hydrogen, created through electrolysis and using green electricity,” Õunpuu continued.

Elcogen does not produce for end consumers, but instead will make energy conversion processors which are in turn sold to companies that install Elcogen’s tech in their own end-user devices.

These are mostly fairly small scale, in terms of dozens of kilowatts or through to megawatt-rated devices, and also in electrolyzers,” Õunpuu said.

A second phase planned to start in 2026 or 2027 will see production volume will growing to about 360 megawatts per year, Õunpuu continued.

The company should start to become profitable by that time also.

The perception that hydrogen technology is expensive and not profitable is a myth, Õunpuu added.

State-owned generator Eesti Energia is also working on several hydrogen technology projects, and sees the greatest potential for hydrogen in the chemical industry and electricity production.

Kaarel Kuusk, Eesti Energia’s partner relations manager, said: “One possibility we are currently developing is to build a combined heat and power plant in Ida-Viru County which could use hydrogen for electricity production alongside natural gas and biomethane. /…/ The earliest the power plant could start operating is in 2028.”

In the chemical industry, there is a need to further process shale oil mined in Estonia. “For the conversion of oil into raw materials for the chemical industry, a significant amount of hydrogen is needed. /…/ The end product is not burned away but remains in circulation as a product,” Kuusk said.

The adoption of hydrogen also requires infrastructure, such as a hydrogen pipeline, however. “Currently, this is also being planned from the North-Baltic region towards Central Europe. It would be vital for this pipeline to reach Ida-Viru County,” Kuusk went on.

Eesti Energia, like Elcogen, is making use of grants to implement their plans.

On this, Kuusk said: “Yes, the challenge with green hydrogen today is how to make these projects profitable, but work towards this goal is ongoing. /…/ It is indeed necessary to further develop the technology, so that electrolyzers become cheaper.”

“This is required for the price of electricity to come down,” he added.

Electrolyzers, which use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, are a critical technology for producing low-emission hydrogen from renewable or nuclear electricity.

Green hydrogen, also called renewable hydrogen is obtained via the electrolysis of water. The process is powered entirely by renewable energy.

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Source:
‘Aktuaalne kaamera,’ reporter Meriln Pärli.



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