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Q&A: New Zealand’s hydrogen opportunity and Hiringa Energy’s role in it

Q&A: New Zealand’s hydrogen opportunity and Hiringa Energy’s role in it

Founded in 2016, can you tell us the story behind Hiringa Energy’s creation?

Andrew Clennett (AC): After a number of years of planning we started to get serious in 2016. We were originally four founders; my wife Cathy and myself, Dan Kahn, our Chief Technology Officer, and Matt Carnachan, our Head of Trading & Energy Markets. Between us we appreciated had a unique mix of complementary backgrounds and the skills that hydrogen was going to need to commercialise.

I had spent 20 plus years’ in the upstream and energy sector, and was moving more into value chain integration. From 2014 hydrogen was really starting to move, so I started to think hard at how one could apply those conventional energy sector skills in a different way to really help crack something like hydrogen commercialisation.

I had taken a sabbatical to Zaragoza, Spain to the World Hydrogen Energy Conference in 2016. It was really interesting to see the shift that was going on; I think there was something like nine conference lines – six or seven of them were academic, one was commercial, and one was stakeholder and strategic. You couldn’t get into the commercial and strategic sessions; there were queues out the door. It was a clear tipping point – something was starting to happen.

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