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With Poseidon at the Helm: ITM Power's Course in the Electrolyser Market

17 August 2023

The need for green H₂ is only growing, and PEM electrolysers are an important technology on the energy transition pathway. ITM Power’s 20 MW Poseidon electrolyser module marks a much-needed step towards commercial viability, but is a more focused corporate strategy enough to help ITM in the face of increasing competitive pressure?

On 17th August, ITM released FY2022/23 results alongside the announcement of a streamlined product portfolio. 

Product lineup: Trident (2 MW base module), Neptune (2 MW containerised all-in-one system), Poseidon (20 MW scalable module based on Trident).

Gyubin Hwang


SFA’s views:

1. Is scalability sufficient to retain market relevance amidst increasing competition?

    • EPC still comprises about half of electrolyser project costs, and multi-MW turnkey modules are essential to bringing hydrogen costs down via increasingly large, bankable projects.

    • ITM’s move can be seen as an effort to challenge established players who have scalable 10-20MW solutions. At the extreme, Rely, a JV between John Cockerill and Technip, will offer clients 100MW turnkey systems based on JCH’s pressurised alkaline electrolyser technology.

2. How competitive is ITM’s PEM electrolysis technology? 

    • While the claimed current density of 3.3 A/cm2 bodes well for production capacity (Nm3/hr) and footprint, the overall efficiency of 50 kWh/kgH2 remains on par with PEM technologies used by larger competitors Nel, Plug Power, and Cummins.

3. Will PEMs continue to win electrolyser market share, or can alkaline technologies improve, and retain the lead?

    • Alkaline electrolysers reach efficiencies of up to 42 kWh/kgH2 which translates to LCOH savings of around $0.65/kg. 

    • Technical improvements such as high-pressure operations and better gas diffusion electrodes with advanced catalyst coatings also promise improved start-up times and better responsiveness to intermittent electricity, which are areas in which PEMs have traditionally excelled. 


①: Moving from mass-produced electrolyser stacks that are sold “as-is” to clients to providing platform-based modular goods that have more added value (Poseidon 20 MW module)

②: The firm not only builds technology platforms but also provides lifecycle solutions associated with commissioning, system design, etc., which is where ITM’s EPC tie-up with Linde will provide a one-stop shop for project developers seeking turnkey electrolyser solutions.

Market leaders Nel, Nucera, John Cockerill all have similar partnerships with engineering solutions providers.

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The Iridium and Ruthenium Market Report

A joint quarterly report on iridium and ruthenium market fundamentals analysing the technological developments of end-uses, metal availability and price risk outlook.

Green H2 Consulting

Clean Energy, Electrolysis and Fuel Cells

SFA (Oxford)'s Hydrogen Team

Henk de Hoop

Chief Executive Officer

Beresford Clarke

Managing Director: Technical & Research

Dr Jenny Watts

Head of Clean Energy & Sustainability

Dr Sandeep Kaler

Market Strategy Analyst

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