Company argues expanded hydrogen economy is required to pave the way for zero emission commercial aircraft by 2035
Airbus has announced it has teamed up with a specialist renewable hydrogen infrastructure investment fund that claims to be the largest of its type in the world.
The aerospace giant confirmed late last night that it had joined the Hy24 investment fund, which is managed by private investment house Ardian and specialist investment manager FiveTHydrogen.
The fund aims to provide financial capital to back large-scale green hydrogen projects around the world.
Pierre-Etienne Franc, CEO at Hy24, said he was delighted Airbus had partnered with the fund. “Hy24 is well-positioned to identify and accelerate the development of clean-hydrogen infrastructure companies to meet today’s needs and ensure tomorrow’s transportation and logistics,” he said.
Airbus said its support for the fund was further evidence of its commitment to scaling up the hydrogen economy, which would be required to deliver on its goal of producing zero emission commercial aircraft by 2035.
“Since 2020, Airbus has partnered with numerous airlines, airports, energy providers and industry partners to develop a stepped approach to global hydrogen availability,” said Karine Guenan, vice president of Airbus’ ZEROe ecosystem division. “Joining a fund of this magnitude demonstrates Airbus’ continually active role in infrastructure investments for the production, storage and distribution of clean hydrogen worldwide.”
The news comes just a day after hydrogen-electric aircraft pioneer ZeroAvia announced it had raised a further $30m from a string on existing and new investors to advance its vision to commercialize zero emission planes these decades.
It also comes in the same week the UK government published its long-awaited Jet Zero Strategy for decarbonising, which features a package of aviation policies and targets to rapidly expand the market for sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and carbon offsetting while also turbocharging the development of electric and hydrogen technologies that could enable zero emission flight.
However, the plan faced fierce criticism from environmental groups, which have long argued that low and zero emission aviation technologies remain largely unproven and as such governments should be doing more to curb demand for flights so as to deliver emissions reductions from the aviation industry.