​Billionaire LNG chief eyes hydrogen for net-zero emissions goal

LNG shipping. Image: Shell

The billionaire chief executive of a liquefied natural gas company sees hydrogen as the key to achieving net-zero emissions.

Wes Edens’ New Fortress Energy LLC sells LNG to fuel power plants in the Caribbean, with plans to expand in other regions. But on a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, Edens said he aims to transform the company into a hydrogen supplier to reach net-zero emissions, including from its customers’ operations, within the next decade. He acknowledged that the goal is an ambitious one, with no guarantee that hydrogen will be economically viable for electricity generation.

“Ten years is a short period of time to try and become an emissions-free company, but I think the world needs a short period of time,” Edens said on a conference call with analysts. “When I see people talk about like carbon goals of 2050 and 2040, I’m like, ‘I’m too old to wait for 2040 and 2050.’”

New Fortress plans to launch a pilot in the next 12 months to test the use of hydrogen as a power-plant fuel, Edens said. The hydrogen could be produced by using electricity from renewable sources to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, according to a companypresentation.

“As with anything in a new and developing market, you’re going to kiss a lot of frogs, right? There’s going to be a lot of things we’re going to look at that won’t necessarily make sense economically,” he said. “I’m personally prepared to invest the capital.”

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Advocacy & Opinion


U.S. & International


Renewables


Special Report