Austria's largest oil and gas company OMV announced Monday it will invest almost 27 million U.S. dollars on research into hydrogen as an alternative fuel over the coming years.
OMV stated in a press release that hydrogen is the company's “first choice in the fuel technology of the future,” and that given the requisite infrastructure for its use is already in place in Austria, it is set to become an important energy alternative for car manufacturers and motorists in the coming years.
CEO Gerhard Roiss said the continued research efforts into the technology are also aimed at addressing climate change issues, and in providing a viable solution in order to be able to meet European Union climate targets.
“Major investment in research and development is still needed to bring hydrogen to market maturity,” he added.
The research efforts include a project called “Power to Gas,” through which the company will work on using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis and for which research facilities will be established in the coming months.
The company said hydrogen is much easier to both store and transport through the existing natural gas pipeline network. This in turn also means less pressure in needing to extend the power grid.
Additionally the company said it is engaged in research in conjunction with experts at Cambridge University where efforts are being directed at producing hydrogen using water and sunlight..