Two energy industry veterans plan to launch an investment fund focused on hydrogen this year as more and more governments include the niche fuel in their global warming battle plans.
Hydrogen has long-been touted as a potential clean fuel as it only emits water vapour but it has failed to gain traction, mainly because of historically high production, transportation and storage costs.
But with the European Union for one now looking to promote so-called green hydrogen to help reach net zero emissions, the sector is expected to attract hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in the coming decades.
The new fund, HydrogenOne Capital, is being launched by JJ Traynor, a former Royal Dutch Shell executive, and Richard Hulf, who has worked at Exxon Mobil and been an energy fund manager at Artemis.
"We've spoken to a lot of people in the market who are interested in the theme but find it very hard to get invested, so our idea is to get a very focused team to be dedicated to this," Traynor told Reuters.
The 250 million pound ($315 million) fund is due to be launched by the end of 2020, according to a presentation for investors seen by Reuters. The London-based fund would be the world's first hydrogen-dedicated investment fund, Traynor said.
Analysts at Barclays expect demand for hydrogen to grow eight-fold to 575 million tonnes per year by 2050 in a market worth more than $1 trillion.