How 2G and Centrica Business Solutions are working together to deliver a hydrogen-powered future.
2G is a CHP cogeneration specialist founded in Germany in 1995 by Christian Goltholt and Ludger Gausling – the two ‘G’s in 2G. Renowned for its highly engineered modular design and outstanding service, 2G delivers efficient and reliable energy solutions.
The company’s roots are in the biogas sector, in Germany’s abundant farmland, using manure to produce power and residual heat for stables. It expanded by focusing on the use of natural gas engines, creating access to other markets such as the building trade, education facilities, the hospitality sector – any industrial application where there existed demand for combined power and heat. The company went public in 2007 to raise capital for R&D investment and in 2008 began a programme focused on hydrogen.
Seeking to expand activities in the UK, Netherlands and Italy, 2G has in recent years taken on a more strategic and structured approach to partnerships that is evident in its engagement with Centrica Business Solutions. Launched in late 2022, the partnership will complement 2G’s hydrogen-ready CHP with Centrica’s end-to-end service of analysis and finance through to operations and maintenance, bringing customers financial benefit now and unlocking Net Zero growth down the line.
We believe that being successful requires partnerships; we are too small, and the world is too big, to do it all on our own. We’re looking at Centrica to extend our grip on new markets – and we have the hydrogen package to open doors.”
Jan van Ooijen, Senior VP and Advisor to the Board, 2G Energy International
Jan van Ooijen, Senior VP and Advisor to the Board for 2G Energy International answers questions about the partnership:
We offer best-in-class cogeneration systems for natural gas, biogas, landfill gas, syngas and hydrogen in the 50 to 2,500 kW power range. We’re an engine manufacturer and a complete CHP system packager. With this partnership, Centrica Business Solutions owns the engine. Until recently, the major volume of our sales has been in Germany, but we aim to have roughly two-thirds of our business in other countries by 2026.
Currently, the balance is around 50/50 between Germany and export. In 2008, we started investigating opportunities to use 100% hydrogen in our engines. In 2012, we had the first project at Berlin airport, followed by an apartment block and an industrial site elsewhere in Germany.
Now, we have over 30 pilot projects globally, including in Japan, Australia, Canada and the Middle East, where we have engines that produce both power and residual heat or cold based on 100% hydrogen.
We believe that being successful requires partnerships; we are too small, and the world is too big, to do it all on our own. We’re looking at Centrica Business Solutions to extend our grip on new markets – and we have the hydrogen package to open doors.
2G's vision to expand activities in the Netherlands led me into initial talks with the Centrica Business Solutions management team and an invitation by them to the UK. They were interested in our proven technology and ability to supply them with 100% hydrogen engines. Our core range – from 20 kilowatts up to one megawatt with our own engine solutions and own technology – covers a need for Centrica Business Solutions across its markets, specifically in the UK, but also in the Netherlands and Italy.
We reached an agreement whereby 2G would become Centrica Business Solutions' manufacturer of the package for those markets which, given its ability to reach millions of households and industries as the UK’s leading energy provider, made it a very interesting prospect for us.
The additional value for us lies in Centrica Business Solutions' approach being ‘build, own, operate’ and having access to projects where 2G would normally either be in competition or would struggle to complete a deal given how capital-intensive those projects tend to be. 2G historically has covered smaller customers, so having the additional route to market is a big plus for us. Bringing our expertise to bear in this partnership means we can be integral to delivering a complete solution and ultimately reward customers that we simply couldn’t reach alone.
The UK is on a path to develop a strategy for hydrogen in combination with other technical solutions be that fuel cells, batteries or heat pumps – but hydrogen and hydrogen CHP already has a place in the thinking of both authorities and potential users to fulfil that demand to an extent.
The actual usage and potentially challenging conditions under which such projects are currently being developed makes it good for us to partner with Centrica Business Solutions so we have access to them. The biggest issues with hydrogen today – especially green hydrogen – is not that it can’t be made, the biggest issues are storage and transportation.
So, the logistics and infrastructure around hydrogen are what most matters for this new market, regardless of location. Centrica Business Solutions' position in the UK and its access to decision-makers on a governmental level means it can be impactful in terms of those infrastructural needs and making a project work.
Whilst having a 2G engine that can transition simply, with no disruption as the market changes and hydrogen comes in, creates a future-proof scenario for customers.
Centrica’s position in the UK and its access to decision-makers on a governmental level means it can be impactful in terms of infrastructural needs and making a project work.”
Jan van Ooijen, Senior VP and Advisor to the Board, 2G Energy International
2G and Centrica Business Solutions have set up a governance structure that ensures we’re market-conforming and that we jointly benefit from this approach. Each one of us has their strengths; Centrica Business Solutions having many, but certainly the financial background and structure plus their willingness to invest in total solutions.
On our side, it’s technology and expertise. What that means for customers is that they reap not only financial benefit, but in terms of a solution, the partnership brings everything together for them, it delivers the whole package something 2G wouldn’t be able to offer if they came to us directly.
Crucially, both parties enjoy the partnership – I think that’s where it always starts – this is about human beings working together after all. You can put something on paper, but that’s not going to make the relationship a successful one – we must enjoy it and make sure we do everything to make it a success.
I would hope to see some nice big projects based on ‘build, own, operate’ where Centrica Business Solutions can show the world that they are the leader in new technology based upon our technology in the UK.
The potential is there – there are lots of projects currently being scrutinized and worked on to make that happen. And then of course I’d like also to see the first results in the other two countries that we are focusing on, the Netherlands and Italy. Through partnership, trust and engagement we’re moving forward every day.
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