Energy : McPhy
France’s McPhy Energy is a developer of technology that can be used to store renewable energies in the form of solid hydrogen. Instead of being wasted, intermittent excess of supply over demand in electricity, generated from wind and solar power, can be used to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. Magnesium hydrides, which are found in abundance, are then used to absorb this hydrogen which is thus stored in solid state thanks to a disruptive innovation from the French National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) in Grenoble. The solid hydrogen storage can then be used in factories on demand as raw material; in CO2 free hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; or turned back into electricity.
The McPhy IPO on Paris Euronext in March 2014 was a resounding success being 8.6 times oversubscribed. The investors in the company include Emertec, Sofinova partners, Gimv, Amundi and Air Liquide. The €32m raised will help the company accelerate its commercial development globally, extend its range of electrolyzers, further develop the infrastructure for the hydrogen storage equipment etc.
McPhy Energy was founded at La Motte Fanjas (Drôme) in France in 2008. It has 1000 clients in the renewable energy, transport and industry sectors. The CEO of the company is Pascal Mauberger (see photo below).
It has three production sites in France, Italy and Germany. In May 2014 the French oil company Total opened a hydrogen refueling station on the Berlin-Schönefeld airport premises using McPhy’s technology for producing and stocking green hydrogen.
Germany which is developing renewable energies on a large scale and phasing out nuclear energy, has a lot to gain from McPhy’s innovation. It will now be able to store renewable energy and use it at will instead of depending on coal plants with high CO2 emissions, as a back-up, when there is a lack of sunshine or wind.
In the US, California is supporting the roll out of zero emission hydrogen vehicles. It was announced in May 2014 that McPhy will provide an electrolyzer which will produce green hydrogen fuel using renewable electricity at the refueling station in Woodside, California.
Sources : Bloomberg.com, Bfm Business,
Video link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0FdXhw4Kk
Online publishing, August 20th, 2014