By Martin clark

Fuel cell technology and engineering group, Ceres Power, has long had the ability to attract an impressive list of partners, working alongside famous brands such as Doosan, Linde Engineering, Bosch, Shell, among others.There are also signs that its strategic collaborations are beginning to pay off, though that is not always reflected in the immediacy of the stock exchange or investor sentiment. Its share prices on the London AIM market are currently trading around their 2020 levels, after bubbling up in 2021 and then trailing off since.

Away from the vagaries of the stock market, however, making friends does not seem to be a problem for Ceres Power and its chief executive, Phil Caldwell. In March, the company hosted Sir Keir Starmer, the man who may well go on to be Britain’s next prime minister, at its Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Redhill, Surrey. It was a chance for the company to showcase its work in developing clean energy technologies and how it can play a meaningful in helping the country transition to a net zero future.

Ceres Power is looking to play a part in the nascent hydrogen industry, as a developer of electrochemical technologies, providing fuel cells for power generation and electrolysis for the creation of green hydrogen and energy storage.Ceres Power’s High Hopes For Hydrogen.The next key event in the Ceres Power calendar will be the annual general meeting, which is scheduled for 22 May, 2023.But when the group released its 2022 final results earlier this year, on 24 March, it was able to rattle off a list of tangible milestones as its matures its technology further.

ldwell said it had been another “productive year” with the first electrolyser modules on test, a new partnership with Shell, and a collaboration with Linde Engineering and Bosch for green hydrogen.He said the company is also making strong progress on power systems with existing partners, Bosch and Doosan, to scale up production.All of these ventures have significant long-term potential and are clearly of sufficient interest to entice the Leader of the Opposition, alongside his, opposition Chancellor Rachel Reeves, for a closer inspection.

“Investment in our business has ensured we are well-positioned to deliver on our strategy to support our partners to install manufacturing capacity at the scale and pace needed to decarbonise our energy systems and enable a net zero future,” Caldwell noted when introducing the 2022 results.That all may be some way off, but there is no doubt strong interest and backing for the work the company is doing, and at a time when the energy transition is gaining momentum.Most recently, Ceres Power signed agreements with Bosch and Linde Engineering on a 1MW green hydrogen demonstration to validate the performance, cost, and operational functionality of its solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC) technology for use on an industrial scale.

The two-year trial, at a Bosch site in Stuttgart, Germany, commencing in 2024, aims to show that the technology provides an efficient pathway to low-cost green hydrogen, which could play a significant role in harder-to-decarbonise industrial sectors.Ceres Power has committed £100 million for the development of its SOEC technology. Its first 100kW electrolyser module is currently on test and initial results are providing confidence the technology can deliver green hydrogen at <40kWh/kg, around 25 per cent more efficiently than incumbent lower temperature technologies.

C programme builds on Bosch’s experience of Ceres Power’s solid oxide fuel technology (SOFC), which shares the same material sets, manufacturing process, equipment and stack design.“The vision for our partnership with Linde Engineering and Bosch is to set a new industry standard for solid oxide electrolysers, leading to widespread adoption in industrial applications,” noted Caldwell.Other projects and partnerships are in place in some of the world’s biggest industrial markets — in India, with Shell, to launch a megawatt-scale demonstrator in Bangalore later this year, and also in China, with Weichai Power, a diesel engine manufacturer.

Weichai’s SOFC power system, using Ceres Power’s technology, has now passed the EU CE certification of the international authoritative testing organisation, TÜV SÜD.Its Chinese partner estimates that when its products reach 1GW of distributed power deployed, it has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by around 2 million tonnes per year compared with grid electricity. With climate concerns and carbon targets all looming large, that will be music to the ears of political hopefuls and investors alike.

The share price for Ceres Power was 306.59pence against a low of 266.30 and a 52-week high of 739.60p on May 26 evening on the London Stock Exchange.