Bloom Energy Announces Initial Strategy for Hydrogen Market Entry
Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) announced today that it is entering the commercial hydrogen market by introducing hydrogen-powered fuel cells and electrolyzers that produce renewable hydrogen. These products will be first introduced to the South Korean market in 2021 through an expanded partnership with SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C), an affiliate of SK Group. Bloom’s technologies are critical in enabling South Korea to execute on its government-mandated Hydrogen Economy Roadmap. Bloom’s existing partnership with SK E&C has already sold 120 megawatts (MW) of fuel cells in South Korea, generating over $1 billion in equipment and future services revenue for Bloom.
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Electrolyzer technology in the future hydrogen economy (Graphic: Business Wire)
“The Bloom Energy Servers are a proven market leader in clean, reliable, and resilient on-site power,” said KR Sridhar, founder, chairman, and CEO of Bloom Energy. “This expansion of our product offering enables zero-carbon electricity and transportation solutions. Innovation and execution are fundamental tenets of our business and we are excited about the opportunity to advance the hydrogen economy with our long-time partner, SK E&C.”
Delivering Hydrogen Fuel Cells to South Korea
Bloom Energy announced in June 2019 that its fuel cells could run on hydrogen to generate zero-carbon electricity. By the end of 2020, Bloom expects to ship a 100 kilowatt pilot Server to South Korea to power an SK E&C facility in early 2021. The second phase, a 1 MW hydrogen Server installation, is targeted for a 2022 deployment. Both companies have committed to fully fund and resource these two phases.
“Our three-year collaboration with Bloom Energy has reinforced to us our view that Bloom’s fuel cell technology is the best in the world,” said Jason Ahn, CEO of SK E&C. “Given the Korean government’s ambitious directive of deploying 15,000 MW of fuel cells by 2040, we forecast to sell 400 MW per year of fuel cells in the future.”
The Proven Importance of Electrolyzers
Bloom Energy’s core technology is based on research done by its founders on using electricity generated by a solar panel to produce fuel and oxygen on planet Mars for NASA. Bloom Energy Servers reversed this process by taking in fuel and air to generate electricity. Bloom is capitalizing on this technology by taking terrestrial renewable power and producing hydrogen using solid oxide electrolyzers. The renewable hydrogen, when produced in this manner, can fuel cars, power resilient AlwaysON Microgrids, or be injected into natural gas pipelines to reduce carbon emissions.