// . //  Takes On //  Unlocking Cryogenics' Potential For A Sustainable Future


The financial and efficiency opportunities are obvious, but cryogenics also offers innovative solutions that will help shape a greener and more sustainable future
Garrett Skipper, Senior Consultant

Learn how cryogenic technology facilitates hydrogen production and high-density storage, making it a promising solution for decarbonizing industries.


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When most people hear "cryogenics" their minds tend to immediately go to the creator of a certain famous mouse frozen in storage, or astronauts waiting to be woken up after some far-off mission. What most people don't think about, or maybe aren't even aware of, is that this very sci-fi sounding technology has a lot of very cool applications in the energy and chemical space.

I'm Garrett Skipper, and as a mechanical engineer from the state of Texas, I've always been fascinated by the technology that is fueling our energy future. Before joining the Energy and Natural Resources team at Oliver Wyman, I spent two and a half years as a project engineer in a leading cryogenics company, focused on applications within the energy and chemical industries. Working with their liquefied natural gas and gas separation group, I became well versed in the competitive landscape, witnessed technological innovation, and explored how cryogenic technologies are helping fuel the energy transition.

So, let's answer the question I know a lot of people will be asking right now: "Garrett, what exactly are cryogenics?" Well, that's a great question, thank you for asking. At its core, cryogenics is the science of making things really cold. But why would you want to do that?

To me, it all starts with Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG. LNG is kind of a game changer — it reduces the volume of natural gas by up to 600 times, making transportation easier and far more cost effective. It's not just about convenience either, it helps diversify energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in countries without native natural gas reserves.

Right now, there's a unique financial opportunity in the European market for US natural gas exporters. The favorable export conditions create an attractive landscape, but currently, there's a catch. The lack of sufficient LNG production and export facilities means we're not fully harnessing this potential. By investing in cryogenic technology, clients can capitalize on the European market's potential for US natural gas exporters and turn this financial opportunity into a reality.

Then, of course, hydrogen is one of the clean energy carriers of the future. Cryogenic technology facilitates hydrogen production and allows for high-density storage, making it a promising solution for decarbonizing various industries. Within the last few years, we've seen big players in the hydrogen space dedicate more resources to hydrogen liquefaction facilities. Whether it's in fuel cells or just making hydrogen easier to transport, these are some of the most interesting applications for cryogenics, and I'm excited to see how industry leaders continue to embrace these exciting advancements.

Another item that will continue to become more important moving forward is cryogenic energy storage, which is a method for balancing energy supply and demand. During excess energy periods, it stores energy efficiently and releases it when needed, ensuring a reliable and sustainable energy grid. For our utilities clients, it presents an interesting solution to providing energy during times of energy insecurity.

However, despite the immense potential, there are some challenges to consider. LNG and hydrogen liquefaction facilities are not cheap, and cryogenics is still viewed as fairly niche by most people. For industry leaders to make the necessary capital investments, they will need to truly believe in the long-term potential of this technology.

As we look ahead, I'm excited about the possibilities that cryogenic technology can unlock for our clients. Whether it's LNG or hydrogen liquefaction, these technologies hold the key to a more resilient, cleaner, and efficient energy landscape. The financial and efficiency opportunities are obvious, but cryogenics also offers innovative solutions that will help shape a greener and more sustainable future.

I'm Garrett Skipper, and this is my take on how cryogenics are helping fuel the energy transition.


This transcript has been edited for clarity.