Bramble Energy Vision for 2024: Aisling Elmer Explores the Next Chapter in Clean Hydrogen Initiatives – an Interview with Hydrogen Central
Bramble Energy Vision for 2024: Aisling Elmer Explores the Next Chapter in Clean Hydrogen Initiatives – an Interview with Hydrogen Central.
Aisling Elmer is Customer Solutions Manager at Bramble Energy. She has a strong background in energy technologies, and holds a Masters in Natural Sciences.
Aisling’s passion for the cleantech sector grew during her time at university and subsequent Royal Society of Chemistry internship, where she contributed to the development materials for low-carbon technologies. This passion led her to a customer-focused research role and sparked an interest in the hydrogen economy and its core technologies.
What’s been the biggest challenge and the biggest development in the clean tech sector this year?
The biggest challenge in the cleantech sector this year has been the continued slow growth of available infrastructure for off-take of hydrogen. Government policy tends to concentrate more on supporting H2 producers rather than addressing the essential needs of end users. It’s an imbalance that poses a significant obstacle to the widespread adoption of hydrogen as a clean energy solution.
Development-wise, one of the most significant has to be the recent announcement from the US Department of Energy (DOE) – they’re allocating $7 billion in funding for the country’s inaugural clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs). The picture is similar globally, where we’ve seen substantial growth of large-scale projects with strong support from policy makers. In India, for example, there’s been a huge growth of the H2 economy, which really highlights the global momentum towards sustainable and low-carbon energy solutions.
Here in the UK, it’s great to see recommitment to Horizon Europe, allowing UK companies and research organisations to participate in the world’s largest collaborative research programme. As a fully associated member the UK will have the ability to shape and lead innovation projects with European partners, driving forward UK research and innovation in sectors from cleantech to healthcare.
What innovations are you most inspired about?
I’m most inspired by the surge of new startups in the hydrogen sector who are bringing ambitious and disruptive innovations to the table. Addressing longstanding challenges across the entire H2 value chain, these newcomers are not only instigating real change, but are pushing established players to accelerate their innovation efforts to stay competitive.
Looking ahead to 2024, what is your outlook for the sector?
Next year I see bigger projects focused on end-to-end solutions. Take the multi-million dollar US hubs that represent the largest public investment in hydrogen in the US to date. But it’s not just about the money; it symbolises a substantial commitment to advancing hydrogen technology, and is set to make a huge impact on the development and growth of clean hydrogen initiatives in the US. I also think, given the ambition demonstrated by the US, it could serve as a benchmark and inspire other countries to follow suit in 2024, while an investment of this scale is expected to create economies of scale and lower equipment and capital costs worldwide.
How has the conversation around hydrogen developed over the past 12 months?
Over the past year, I think the conversation around hydrogen has evolved significantly. There’s been notable growth in the shipment of equipment and installation projects, with pipeline values for installations approaching targets set for 2040. The pace of installations has also experienced a shift, characterised by reduced lead times, and the landscape in general has seen younger, more flexible companies step up to fill gaps in the market, creating a more competitive and dynamic environment.
What developments are you most proud of at Bramble?
I’m especially proud of the female leaders in Bramble stepping up and sharing their experiences, both within the company and externally. It’s truly empowering. It not only fosters a culture of inclusivity, but also serves as an inspiration for others, creating a more diverse and supportive environment.
And how important was the team dynamics and company ethos at Bramble?
For me, team dynamics and company ethos play a pivotal role at Bramble, especially considering the dynamic nature of startups and scaleups. The rapid growth and constant changes can create challenges within the company as we try to keep up. In an environment like this, the importance of strong team dynamics and a well-defined company ethos is key. Open communication becomes a linchpin for regaining stability, and being proactive in addressing new challenges is essential. These elements contribute to a resilient and adaptable team, fostering a culture where everyone is aligned.