From sceptic to evangelist: Australia’s former chief scientist Dr. Alan Finkel shares his passion for hydrogen with H2 View

Dr. Alan Finkel has been on quite the hydrogen journey over the past decade. As he describes it himself: “From sceptic to agnostic, to believer, to evangelist.”

Serving as Australia’s chief scientist from 2016-2020, and now as Special Adviser to the Australian Government on Low Emission Technology, Finkel played a pivotal role in developing the country’s National Hydrogen Strategy. But he wasn’t always the hydrogen evangelist he is today.

Finkel was working for a battery-electric car charging company 10 years ago when hydrogen was raised as a potential mobile energy store for electric cars. Working as an engineer, Finkel and his colleagues did a calculation aiming to prove the benefits of battery storage; at the time he was sceptical about hydrogen.

“We were naturally territorial about the space we occupied. I was one of the engineers who analysed it purely from the point of view of range per initial kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity, either used to directly charge a battery, or to produce hydrogen,” he told H2 View.

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