Arne Ballantine, CEO and Co-Founder of Ohmium International

Expert Interviews – Tuesday, November 11, 2022

Arne Ballantine is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ohmium International, a company whose mission is to make green hydrogen a reality today. Arne and his team are achieving this through the creation of a modular Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer technology that converts renewable energy into emission-free hydrogen. Arne has 20 years of experience commercializing hydrogen generation and power generation technologies with PEM and Solid Oxide Cell Technologies.

What is your outlook for the Global Hydrogen Economy?

Green hydrogen (carbon emission-free hydrogen generated using only renewable energy) is becoming the fuel of the future and an attractive substitute for fossil fuels in hard-to-abate industrial sectors such as heavy transport, fertilizer, and steel production. With more than 300 GWs of publicly announced projects globally, the hydrogen market is expanding exponentially. Considering the market potential, the scalability of our hydrogen electrolyzers helps our clients to smoothly expand their projects in phases as the market grows.

In addition, energy security and accelerating the transition to low carbon alternatives has become a critical priority for many governments in recent months given the volatility in the oil and gas markets brought about by the conflict in Ukraine. Green hydrogen represents a very credible solution for countries to become energy independent.

What is your outlook for the Indian Hydrogen Economy?

Green hydrogen offers India the opportunity to become a global energy leader. India’s rich renewable energy resources makes it one of the best locations for green hydrogen production. The country’s potential to become a green hydrogen hub is further boosted by the introduction of the hydrogen policy designed to scale up domestic production. We look forward to collaborating with forward thinking companies in India to explore all the opportunities our cutting-edge, made in India electrolyzers can provide in supporting them to accelerate their transition to green energy.

What are the key Technology challenges related to Green Hydrogen? Are there India specific technology challenges?

One of the major challenges for the hydrogen industry is related to the transportation of hydrogen. Our modular electrolyzers with vertical stacking capabilities provide companies with maximum flexibility when it comes to building their operations much closer to where the hydrogen is being consumed overcoming the challenge of having to transport hydrogen.

Given the relatively high cost of Hydrogen today, what are the areas for cost reduction and avenues for improving the overall Green Hydrogen economics and achieving cost parity with Blue Hydrogen?

Grey hydrogen and blue hydrogen are produced using natural gas. The price of green hydrogen has been decreasing while, According to ICIS, the fluctuations in the natural gas price have made the grey and blue hydrogen very expensive. ICIS also highlights that green hydrogen has already crossed the price threshold for grey/blue hydrogen in the EU. Furthermore, for green hydrogen production, the renewable energy price can also be locked down over the life of the project through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). This kind of price security creates a desirable protection for the end green hydrogen consumers as opposed to the price fluctuations that are likely to occur with regards to grey and blue hydrogen.

What are the key differentiators of Ohmium?

Our products achieve a very competitive Levelized Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH) based on Ohmium’s cutting-edge PEM technology, and our extremely scalable modular design. The PEM technology used by Ohmium was originally invented for NASA and provides a safe and dynamic solution which is fully compatible with renewable energy resources, including solar and wind. Also, our state-of-the-art modular design supports the rapid construction, and smooth operation of the hydrogen facility and is easily scalable – ensuring we can meet the growing needs of our clients both now and in the future.

Can you share more about your products (electrolyzers) and the R&D activities of Ohmium?

We have two R&D centers in Silicon Valley, CA and in Bangalore, India. Considering Bangalore is also known as the Silicon Valley of India, the R&D centers create an opportunity for us to leverage the wealth of knowledge in both of these geographies to rapidly advance our product development. The expertise that exists in these R&D centers has enabled us to design unique interlocking modular PEM electrolyzers that provide a safe, modular, flexible, easy to install and maintain alternative to customized electrolyzers.

Can you describe your plans for India and the footprint of your Indian Operations

Our manufacturing facility in Bangalore area has the capacity of 500 MW per year. We are expanding the manufacturing capacity to reach 2GW per year. Our sales have been growing very rapidly and increasing the manufacturing capacity is critical to meeting the current and the near-term future demand in the rapidly expanding market.

To learn & understand more about Green Hydrogen, Solar and Energy storage from top experts. Visit The smarter E India Conference , 7-9 Dec. at Gandhinagar Gujarat India.

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