Hydrogen Flight – Dream or Reality?

Hydrogen Flight – Dream or Reality?

David Hunt 28/05/2020 6
Hydrogen Flight – Dream or Reality?

I have a bit of an obsession with Hydrogen, and I love to encourage the debate between the hardcore 'batteries are the only answer' and 'Hydrogen is the only answer' schools of thought.

Despite personally being of a mind we should electrify everything, I'm still pretty technology agnostic (clean technology I should say). So where do Hydrogen and Fuelcells play a part in the clean energy and mobility transitions? Not many people would first look to the skies. But Val Miftakhov, CEO of Zeroavia, and my podcast guest this week certainly did. But first considering all energy vector possibilities, as you can hear.

So Where Do You Stand on this Debate?

Take a listen to the podcast with Val Miftakhov of ZeroAvia, sharing how they are developing the world’s first zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled aviation powertrain.

Hydrogen Flight – Dream or Reality?

Here is my summary of the key insights:

1. Aircraft entering usage now are generating three times the emissions of previous aircraft and they will be in the air until on average 2050. Meanwhile, other sources of harmful of emissions from, for example, power generation and road transport are on a steep downward path. Aviation will be the bad kid on the block, and when that happens aviation emissions will be very hard to abate.

2. ZeroAvia looked at batteries, biofuels, synthetic fuels and many other options as the basis for its new aviation proposition. Val believes that without a miracle breakthrough none of these options can deliver the power needed any time soon. Hydrogen powertrains are, he believes, the answer in terms of power output, energy intensity, utilisation and logistics with aircraft in the air by 2023!

3. With governments around the world bailing out their airlines and at the same time including provisions to enforce reduced emissions, is now the time for the world to embrace this technology and look to a very different future for aviation?

4. Val found the UK government’s Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK to be the easiest government agencies he has had to deal with in his life as an entrepreneur! Which as you'll probably hear, astounded me! Something we can be proud of in the UK when we must seem to the world to have lost the plot over most things in recent years.

Hear more from Val on our latest podcast here

As ever, please share your thoughts, and the story.

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  • Peter Hester

    The aviation industry is going through unprecedented times

  • Michael Ditch

    Hydrogen-electric aircraft will play a critical role

  • Sophie Butterworth

    Aviation has become the main driving force that finally propels hydrogen into the mainstream

  • Damian Kubicki

    Hydrogen fuel has been touted for years.

  • Carlos Nukunuku

    I believe that hydrogen has a great future in transportation !

  • Paul Robson

    The sooner the airline industry realizes that and align their investments accordingly, the sooner we will have hydrogen fuel scale-up.

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David Hunt

Energy Expert

David Hunt is a prominent figure and thought leader in the clean energy sector. Hailed as a leading green entrepreneur by the Financial Times, David also presents at industry events such as EcoSummit, Energy Storage Europe and Fully Charged Live. David is a frequent contributor to trade publications such as Energy Storage News, Solar Power Portal, PV Tech, Clean Energy News and Smart Cities World. His industry insights have been quoted in UK broadsheet newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph and the Sunday Times. Being well versed in business and economics, he has also lent his voice to the likes of BBC Radio Four and ITV’s 6 O’clock news. A cleantech expert and industry insider, David specialises in the clean energy and eMobility sectors. His drive to accelerate these growing markets led him to set up Hyperion Executive Search Ltd, a talent acquisition company specialising in the clean energy space that incisively places talent where it’s needed. Hyperion has been helping businesses grow and succeed since 2014 and recently expanded its operations in Europe with a new office in Munich. David’s headhunting team now operates across EMEA and the US. Before this, David co-founded an award-winning multi-technology renewable energy installation business, sat as a policy board member with the UK Renewable Energy Association, and was a member of PRASEG (Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group). The ‘This week in cleantech’ podcast is a platform for David and invited experts to share and review the biggest, and most interesting news stories in the cleantech sector each week, providing expert opinion, analysis and insight. It is anticipated that the podcast will be a catalyst for the further growth and development of the cleantech revolution.

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