"The advantage of the capacity to do business internationally is its potential to bring about a high degree of acceleration in market growth." "From Hamburg to the world" blog series – interview with Arjen Goorse, Managing Director of the Carneades Group.
, or activities that are of major importance for the international energy industry. A managed services provider, CARNEADES deals with all aspects of contractual and commercial management of large-scale projects in the fields of on-and offshore wind, energy and grids, hydrogen, the maritime industry, transport, technology and IT, mechanical engineering and construction. EEHH: Arjen, you’ve been working in the energy and processing industry for more than 25 years. Just two years ago, you began a new phase in your career at Carneades. What gave you the idea of co-founding the hydrogen division?
Arjen Goorse: As a long-serving project manager, I’ve collaborated on various chlorine-alkali electrolysis plants over the last 20 years. I had already discovered the hydrogen field very early on, during my early years as a student, when I wrote my degree dissertation focussing on integrated fuel cell systems in 1990. I ran into Tobias and Alexander, the founders of Carneades, for the first time at WindEnergy Hamburg 2018, and when they offered me the chance to co-found the hydrogen division two years ago, I agreed at once. With my many years’ expertise, I’d already been toying with the idea of gaining a foothold in the hydrogen sector for a long time. And now I’ve achieved this aim, over a year ago, when I co-founded Carneades Hydrogen.
EEHH: Carneades provides project management consultancy services for the hydrogen sector. What specific experience and expertise can Carneades offer to support investment projects and stakeholders?
Arjen Goorse: As a project management firm, Carneades has built up extensive expertise in the fields of project management, contract management, commercial negotiations for on- and offshore wind farms and grid infrastructure over the years. In addition, Carneades supports the leading green hydrogen projects in the industry, and therefore offers its approved, competent services to support strategic electrolysis projects as well. As a company, Carneades brings the experience necessary to apply expertise correctly during project scaling, with the aim of providing sufficient security for timely investments in large-scale projects. As you’d expect of us, our consultants can draw on long years of relevant experience, and what we supply the projects is precisely tailored to their needs. What makes our experts unique, and gives added value to the entire project cycle, is their combination of contractual and technical understanding with profound business ability.
EEHH: With their innovative technology and extensive technical expertise, German companies can make a major contribution to the creation of an international hydrogen value chain. In which countries is Carneades active at the moment, and what is your assessment of the market potential for renewable energies/hydrogen in them?
Arjen Goorse: With our wide-ranging experience in the renewable energy industry and in carrying out process plant construction, we can draw on a detailed understanding of best practices in project and contract management with an international focus. In the wind energy business sector we’re active all over Europe – for example, in Denmark and the Benelux countries. We’re also involved in projects in Asia, for example Taiwan and Japan. Boosted by this, our latest area of business, renewable hydrogen, is also taking off. For example, we’re assisting the Far East with our supply change expertise and, in the Middle East, we’re helping out with the project definition for a large-scale hydrogen derivative project. All over the world, renewable energy projects are on the up, and as a consequence this is driving up the market demand for hydrogen and its derivatives. Countries with renewable energy sources that have development potential – in particular, a combination of wind and sun – are becoming a target for large-scale projects in the renewable energy and hydrogen field, ensuring a sustainable hydrogen economy.
EEHH: Could you please tell us about a couple of projects that Carneades is supporting in these countries?
Arjen Goorse: We would very much like to report on our projects, but we have to maintain a certain degree of discretion with regard to our project partners, and unfortunately cannot disclose any more precise details about our projects. What I can say about our projects is that the ‘king-size’ projects are already in the planning phase and that we are working in the background with our expertise and experience so that the projects benefit from our support.
EEHH: International business activity brings both opportunities and, at the same time, challenges. In your experience, what must the company watch out for in this respect?
Arjen Goorse: The advantage of the capacity to do business internationally is that it has the potential to bring about a high degree of acceleration in market growth. Initiatives such as H2 Global are turbocharging the market launch of imported hydrogen. There’s a real boom in project announcements based on great expectations on the part of project developers (potential cost savings are sometimes unrealistically high). Moreover, not all these projects are completed. Making a selective choice from the offers to be considered and participating in projects is a challenge, especially when it comes to finding skilled staff. However, with its colleges and universities, Hamburg affords us a pool of young talent with vast potential. To succeed in this field, the younger generation in the hydrogen sector must be brought into contact with topic of hydrogen sufficiently early.
EEHH: What are your goals for the immediate future and, in your view, how can EEHH’s service provision contribute to these?
Arjen Goorse: The next steps in the energy transition are among the most important challenges facing Germany, Europe and the world. They are a massive undertaking for the whole of society. We at Carneades want to help ensure that project planning and implementation of plants are concluded successfully, and that the energy transition using hydrogen as a fuel source has a future. With its network of Hamburg companies, public authorities and universities, EEHH can ensure that networking expands internationally, and that everyone is offered the chance to convey their point of view on, or knowledge of hydrogen through presentations.
The services EEHH offers in the field of regulations are of great value. For example, we critically analysed the various drafts of the ‘Delegated Act’ in a small EEHH working group and drew the attention of regional and national politicians to it. For the future, we hope that the EEHH gains more power in the political arena both in Berlin and in Brussels, so that the views of the renewable energy sector can be heard earlier and more clearly understood.