The step from renewables to green hydrogen is short, also for intelligent platforms for plants management and control.
BaxEnergy is well aware of this, a company founded in Germany about 10 years ago by Italian Simone Massaro (after more than 15 years of experience in the USA), who is the owner and CEO. Today the company has returned ‘home’, has its headquarters in Acireale (Catania), employs 330 people, records continuously growing revenues (in 2020 the turnover increased by 300% compared to the previous year) and boasts several international branches.
“We develop software for the management of renewable energy production plants” Alessandro Lodi, Head of Sales and Business Development at BaxEnergy, explains to HydroNews. “We started with wind energy, working together with Enel, and then gradually expanded to hydroelectric, solar and biomass sectors. Currently our software is installed on 110 GW of renewable assets in 20 countries around the world: in Europe, India, South America, South Africa, Morocco and Namibia”.
As mentioned, the ‘step’ from renewables to hydrogen was natural for BaxEnergy and took place in 2019, when Hynamics – an EDF Group company dedicated to the production of hydrogen – contacted the Sicilian company to develop a software for the management and control of hydrogen production through electrolysers and its distribution through a H2 refueling station for buses in the East of France.
“The system manages both the production of hydrogen on site from renewable sources and the distribution for H2 rechargeable vehicles. It is part of the ‘H2ME – Hydrogen Mobility Europe‘ project, which aims to implement the largest pan-European network of hydrogen vehicles and petrol stations throughout Europe. Thanks to the project, 300 vehicles and 29 refueling stations will be supplied, of which 3 stations and about 100 vehicles will be distributed in France”.
Clean hydrogen represents a new line of business which BaxEnergy intends to pursue with confidence: “Renewable low-carbon hydrogen is the key factor for the development of a zero-pollution economy and represents a unique opportunity for research and technological development”, Simone Massaro, founder and CEO of BaxEnergy, assures HydroNews.
“Our group aims to a sustainable future and, through our technological solutions and collaboration with Hynamics, we are committed to contributing to the energy transition towards green hydrogen”.
This commitment is concretely expressed in Italy too, where BaxEnergy works on the development of projects with SNAM and with the Institute of Advanced Technologies for Energy (CNR-ITAE), in collaboration with the main Sicilian universities, for a series of initiatives that will be developed by 2023, with the aim of implementing some innovative technologies, including: back-up power systems, electrolysers and fuel cells with low critical materials; innovative hydrogen storage systems; digital twins & energy management systems; monitoring and remote control systems; production and automation processes for the production of components and technologies.
“The corporate goal in the medium and long term is to invest on EMS technologies for the production of hydrogen, so to contribute to Italian energy transition through the application of hydrogen in multiple industrial sectors”.
Particular attention is paid, in the context of hydrogen development, to Sicily, which according to BaxEnergy – among the companies that support the candidacy of the Region to host the National High Technology Center for Hydrogen (whose establishment is foreseen by the PNRR) – “can play a leading role in the development of renewable sources in Italy and in Europe” and has “some geographical and structural characteristics that can favor an energy transition towards decarbonisation by exploiting hydrogen”.
Among the favourable characteristics: the large availability of wind and especially solar energy, which would allow the use of electrolysis on a large scale; an energy economy strongly focused on the use of natural gas in the civil and industrial sector which can favor a gradual introduction of hydrogen as an energy vector; the presence of natural gas infrastructures and the geographical predisposition for interconnection between Europe and the Mediterranean areas such as North Africa and, finally, the presence of large industrial companies in the energy sector (Enel, Eni, Snam, Terna, STm, Sapio, 3SUN, Tozzi RE) and a dense network of small-medium local businesses in expansion and looking for new markets.
All factors that could contribute to making Sicily an important international H2 hub.
Thanks to HydroNews for the interview.