Emission-free hydrogen has the potential to entirely replace fossil fuels, and a startup in Germany, Enapter, believes it has the key to making this green technology accessible to all.

Vaitea Cowan, co-founder of Enapter, was inspired by her upbringing on a climate-change-affected South Pacific island. “I wanted to replace all the diesel generators in New Caledonia and remote areas that relied on dirty diesel,” she explains. “But realizing the potential for green hydrogen to replace fossil fuels, I wanted to be part of this change.”

Enapter, headquartered in Germany, has been operational for over three years and is dedicated to making green hydrogen economically attractive. The company’s mission is to make green hydrogen cost-competitive with fossil fuels. To date, Enapter has deployed its ion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolysers in over 100 projects across 33 countries. This technology converts renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas more quickly and cheaply than previously thought possible. The AEM electrolyser already fuels cars and planes, powers industries, and heats homes.

Most of the planet’s hydrogen is found in water. Green hydrogen is an emission-free method of extracting hydrogen, relying on renewable energy to power electrolysis—the chemical process that separates hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water.

Historically, hydrogen extraction via electrolysis has faced criticism for its low efficiency and high cost. However, Enapter claims its AEM Electrolyser addresses these issues, offering a quick and easy way to produce green energy, even at home. For example, about 2.4 liters of water—half the amount used to flush a toilet—can generate enough hydrogen to power a couple’s home for several days, depending on the power storage capacity. This is significantly less than the 20 liters consumed by a dishwasher.

Enapter recently joined forces with seven other leading European cleantech companies to form the Cleantech Scale-up Coalition. Supported by Bill Gates, founder of Breakthrough Energy, and Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, the coalition aims to help Europe become climate neutral, energy autonomous, and industrially competitive.

The coalition members are scaling and industrializing technologies that range from decarbonizing industry and energy with renewable hydrogen to producing scalable low-carbon cement, electrifying transport, and recycling materials and batteries.

Enapter has set an ambitious goal to produce 10% of the world’s hydrogen by 2050. With continued innovation and collaboration, the company is on a path to revolutionize the energy landscape, making a significant impact on global efforts to combat climate change.

By Impact Lab