(Reuters) – ITM Power, whose devices create fuel for hydrogen-powered vehicles, said the hydrogen industry could get a boost from the catastrophic BP Gulf of Mexico spill, as consumers and policymakers seek alternatives to oil.
“If you use renewable electricity, hydrogen can be made with zero carbon and reduces dependency on oil,” Chief Executive Graham Cooley told Reuters on Tuesday after the group completed its in-house manufacturing processes, moving it a step closer to commercialisation and boosting its shares.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday promised to reduce the country’s addiction to oil as lawmakers there prepared to grill BP on the April rig explosion.
Cooley said ITM was especially interested in the U.S. and German markets, where hydrogen infrastructure is more advanced than in Britain.
ITM is hoping for commercial sales of its hydrogen creation devices next year and said completion of the manufacturing system represented the last major milestone ahead of completion of CE product accreditation, which it expects by the end of the year.
“2010 is our product year, 2011 is our commercial year,” Cooley said.
Shares in the group rose 17 percent to a two-month high of 37 pence, extending a run commenced last week when ITM announced logistics firm DHL and London’s Stansted Airport would trial its hydrogen refuelling device.
ITM’s technology separates the hydrogen from oxygen in water. The hydrogen created can be used in a wide range of applications from laboratory work to vehicle refuelling and can be stored indefinitely until it is needed.
Hydrogen refuelling for fleets of commercial vehicles is a key focus for Sheffield-based ITM Power, Cooley said.
“We’re talking to many more people, you’ll see some newsflow in the next few months,” Cooley said.