This woman solved one of the biggest problems facing green energy

Electric car 2018

SDGs (United Nations, 2015)

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Emma Charlton, Writer


Most of us take electricity for granted. We expect the lights to come on when we flip a switch, to boil the kettle, and to charge our phones whenever we need.

But while power failures make headlines in the developed world, more than 1 billion people can’t access electricity at all, and many more have an intermittent or unreliable supply.

Enass Abo-Hamed is on a mission to change that. She wants to make affordable and reliable green energy a reality using low-cost hydrogen production and storage technologies. While her prototypes still need some work, Abo-Hamed and colleagues at her startup, H2GO Power, are on track to develop energy stores big enough to power a hospital, a school or 100 houses.

 Enass Abo-Hamed, a World Economic Forum Young Scientist

Enass Abo-Hamed, a World Economic Forum Young Scientist
Image: H2GO Power

Their work underscores the increasing importance of renewables as energy security concerns and climate-change awareness grow. Even as green energy becomes more widely embraced, and new ways of harnessing it emerge, storage and grid imbalances mean a substantial amount is often wasted.

“As the clock ticks on a warming globe, some people choose to watch it happening, some choose to deny it, and some choose to act and reverse it,” Abo-Hamed told the Forum.

“We chose to do our part at H2GO Power by working on developing and deploying zero-emission technologies that could capture renewable energy, store it for long durations at scale for low-cost and then release it back to the user when the demand for power increases.”

Growth in global renewable energy.

Image: Renewables 2018 Global Status Report.

Developed while she was working on her PhD at Cambridge University, Abo-Hamed’s work has won wide acclaim. She was selected as an extraordinary young scientist by the World Economic Forum, is a member of the Forum’s Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technologies and was selected by MIT Technology Review as an innovator who’s “changing the future of science and technology”.

Her patent-pending “sponge” is a porous nanoparticle-based smart material that produces, stores and releases hydrogen. The hydrolysis of metal and chemical hydrides produces hydrogen, which is then trapped within the polymer framework. Later, the stored hydrogen can be released using heat.

The hydrogen sponge.

Image: H2GO Power.

“I developed a safe and efficient hydrogen-storage system, but I wasn’t sure what problem it solved outside the lab,” Abo-Hamed told the Forum.

“After investigating it further, I realised that this very technology could play a role in helping to create clean, affordable and reliable power supplies.”

H2GO Power has also developed a “plug-and-play energy unit” that’s the size of a standard shipping container. These can be transported worldwide and could help in areas where there’s currently little or no access to electricity, for example in parts of rural Asia or sub-Saharan Africa.

Share of population without electricity in selected countries.

Image: IEA Energy Access Report.

Even so, making affordable, storable, accessible green energy a reality will require open mindedness from investors, governments and policy makers, she said, likening the challenge to a marathon, not a sprint. Getting the cost structure right so that it appeals to customers who don’t have many alternatives to polluting fuels will be central to the success, as will securing funding.

There’s also a focus on reducing dependency on polluting energy generation after a World Health Organization report showed more than 90% of the world’s children breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at risk. This, combined with the threat of climate change and a desire to move away from a dependence on fossil fuels, may help shift the focus toward technologies like H2GO Power’s.

“It takes long cycles of development to scale production and reduce costs. So it takes time and big funding rounds,” Abo-Hamed said. “If we can contribute to increasing the adoption of clean technologies and encourage others to do the same, that could help combat climate change and help make air quality better.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief reaffirms commitment to untying ‘Gordian knot’ of Middle East conflict and instability

To tackle climate change, we need city diplomacy

UN health agency identifies 5-year-old Congolese boy as first confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

Why we are using these custom-built drones to collect whale snot

3 ways to nurture collaboration between universities and industry

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

US-China trade war: Washington now wants control of the renminbi-yuan

Amid troop build-up in Rohingya’s home state, UN appeals to Myanmar for peaceful solution

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: The Digital Era: A New Business Frontier

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

Turkey’s foreign bribery enforcement framework needs to be urgently strengthened and corporate liability legislation reformed

Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

Service and Sacrifice: Guinean peacekeepers make their mark in Mali

DR Congo Ebola outbreak now a Public Health Emergency, UN health agency declares

In Tanzania, UN refugee chief praises ‘regional peacemaker’ role, and efforts to welcome neighbours on the run

Palestine refugee crisis ‘expanding’; leaving highest number at risk this century across Gaza

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

Second Ebola death confirmed in Uganda as UN health agency mulls global emergency call

The implications of Brexit on European business, youth entrepreneurship and junior enterprises.

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

Myanmar military leaders must face genocide charges – UN report

Vaccinations and the movement of anti-vaccers

Top UN official urges Russia and Ukraine to step away from further confrontation at sea

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

The EU and North Korea: A Story of Underestimation

UN mission welcomes Afghan government’s announcement of Eid holiday ceasefire

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

UN Chief ‘strongly rejects’ Guatemala decision to expel anti-corruption body

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Why the agtech boom isn’t your typical tech disruption

Brexit: visa-free access to the EU for UK nationals and to the UK for Europeans

Security Union: Commission receives mandate to start negotiating international rules for obtaining electronic evidence

The digital skills gap is widening fast. Here’s how to bridge it

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

Here’s how we solve the global crisis of tribalism and democratic decay

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

The EU heads of State and Government about the result of the European Elections 2019

The European Commission, European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Ventures establish a new €100 million fund to support clean energy investments

How to rebuild trust and integrity in South Africa

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

EU rewards organisations that make eco-innovation pay

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

To end deforestation, we must protect community land rights

UN ‘stands in solidarity’ with cyclone-hit India – Secretary-General Guterres

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s