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Innovative Hydrogen Integration Strategies


Hydrogen Integration Strategies are methods for incorporating hydrogen as a resource and energy carrier into a variety of economic sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, and power production. It’s believed that hydrogen can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a more sustainable energy system.

Backward and Forward Hydrogen Integration Strategies

Backward and forward integration techniques are being used by a number of significant players in the hydrogen industry to improve their value capture and solidify their place in the value chain. While backward integration deals with controlling the production of inputs or raw materials, frontward integration deals with growing into end-user markets or downstream processes.

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Here are some instances of businesses using these tactics:

Backward Integration:

1.      Plug Power: Backward integration was achieved by the acquisition of United Hydrogen Group Inc. by leading hydrogen fuel cell technology vendor Plug Power. This agreement allowed Plug Power to enter the hydrogen market through vertical integration. Plug Power is able to guarantee a dedicated supply of hydrogen for its fuel cell devices because United Hydrogen runs a hydrogen manufacturing facility that uses electrolysis and steam methane reformation.

2.      Air Liquide: Industrial gas market worldwide Investments in hydrogen-generating technologies are part of Air Liquide’s backward integration strategy. They have created innovative electrolysis methods, such as proton exchange membranes (PEM) and alkaline electrolyzers, to manufacture hydrogen from water by using sustainable energy. Air Liquide offers a safe, sustainable hydrogen supply for a variety of applications, including energy, commerce, and transportation, through its vertical integration into hydrogen manufacturing.

Forward Integration:

1.      Hyundai Motor Group: Hyundai, one of the biggest automakers, is creating a vast hydrogen ecosystem as part of its forward integration strategy. The infrastructure for hydrogen is being developed with great effort, and vehicles like the Hyundai NEXO that run on hydrogen are now more widely available. In addition, Hyundai established Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM), a joint company whose purpose is to lease fuel cell electric trucks. A complete program for zero-emission commercial vehicles is being offered by Hyundai as part of its vertical integration into the mobility and transportation sectors via HHM.

2.      NEL ASA: As the infrastructure for hydrogen refueling is expanded by Norwegian hydrogen business NEL ASA, forward integration is given priority. The commercial activities of NEL include the planning, creation, and manufacturing of hydrogen refueling stations. In order to facilitate the expansion of hydrogen fueling networks, which in turn propels the market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, NEL provides turnkey solutions. Infrastructure for hydrogen develops faster when NEL stations are placed all over the world.

Hybrid Integration:

1.      Siemens Energy: Forward and backward integration are combined in a hybrid integration strategy used by Siemens Energy, a multinational energy technology firm. They now provide both hydrogen gas turbine and electrolysis technology as part of their extended offering. Siemens Energy can use hydrogen as a clean energy carrier with their hydrogen gas turbines, but they can also manufacture green hydrogen with their electrolysis solutions. Siemens Energy is able to offer integrated solutions for hydrogen production, power generation, and storage because of this hybrid integration approach.

2.      Linde plc: Leading industrial gas provider Linde plc, which has adopted a hybrid integration strategy, is involved in the generation and distribution of hydrogen. Large-scale hydrogen production facilities are operated by Linde using a variety of techniques, including steam methane reforming. They also have a massive pipeline and transportation network for distributing hydrogen. Linde is able to provide a dependable supply chain for hydrogen to a variety of end users because of its hybrid integration.

These instances show how businesses in the hydrogen industry employ supply chain management, backward and forward integration tactics, and value optimization at various points in the value chain to strengthen their market positions. These tactics encourage the creation of all-encompassing solutions and the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source.

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