Maryland climate tech startup Ally Power just snagged a pretty brag-worthy stamp to add to its passport: The company headed to host country Egypt last week to present for potential participation in the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27), the annual worldwide climate summit.
Founded in 2019, the Hyattsville, Maryland company develops technology for charging stations for hydrogen-powered vehicles. Hydrogen power is cleaner than other fuels, as it only emits water vapor and warm air. In 2021, Ally Power raised a $40 million funding round for its hydrogen charging stations and participated in the Bethesda Green and Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator programs.
The UN’s annual conference, which follows a 1992 treaty between 154 countries and the European Union, is a decision-making event for delegates from all participating counties and monitors climate change progress. For industry companies such as Ally Power, it’s a chance to present their own technology and ideas for limiting climate change.
A chance for growth
Joseph Alfred, founder and CEO, told Technical.ly that potentially presenting at the November conference is a chance for huge growth and collaboration for the startup.
“A very good sentiment that was shared throughout the entire weekend was: All parties need to be a part of the conversation, regardless of size,” Alfred said. “And we also need to have established industry in the conversation so that they are going to be a part of that transition because they have the financial resources in order to make the changes. If we can showcase to them that there’s an easier path to more carbon reduction, then they will be at the table and continue to be at the table.”
Alfred said that Steve Lutes, VP of the US Chamber of Commerce, notified Ally Power that it had been selected as part of a delegation of US companies asked to present their solutions to the Egyptian government ahead of the conference. Following this, the government will select which solutions and companies it thinks is most promising to participate in the conference and potentially fund.
One of the things Alfred was hoping to learn, the founder said, was whether users would prefer a hydrogen energy hub or an interstate highway system for hydrogen production. (At present, the startup’s technology can be done at both.) He’s confident that his message was heard because since the presentation, the company has scheduled meetings with a large electrical utility in Egypt and the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Egypt, he said.
Why the passion for clean energy in transportation?
The industry is slowly moving up the ranks to be one of the top producers of greenhouse emissions worldwide: “It should be targeted first because it’s the biggest problem,” Alfred said. “That’s what we wanted to showcase.”
Alongside its work at COP27, Ally Power is working with the Department of Energy loan program office for a $60 million loan to develop a mechanism to finance retrofits for individual vehicle owners, Alfred said. And between now and November, he’s also looking to enable retrofitting of Class A, long-haul vehicles.
On the whole, though, he thinks the energy and climate tech spaces are in full bloom, especially in electric batteries, and he’s eager to see where hydrogen technology can go from here.
“There is a transitioning towards greener hydrogen generation sources and in this area, it’s really important to be collaborative,” Alfred said. “If you can attach yourself as a smaller company to larger companies that are in this space, you can create a project that will get funded by a funding entity.”
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