June 06, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 120
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In episode 120, Toyota announces a huge development in hydrogen transportation, and the g7 sets up a pact around hydrogen. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.
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Toyota announces a huge development in hydrogen transportation, and the g7 sets up a pact around hydrogen. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where’s capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.
On a press release on June 2, Toyota and Woven Planet have developed a new portable hydrogen cartridge prototype Toyota Motor Corporation and its subsidiary woven planet holdings have developed a working prototype of its portable hydrogen cartridge. This cartridge design will facilitate the everyday transport and supply of hydrogen energy to power a broad range of daily life applications in and outside of the home, Toyota and woven planet will conduct proof of concept trials in various places including woven city, a human centered smart city of the future currently being constructed in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Toyota and woven planet are studying a number of viable pathways to carbon neutrality and consider hydrogen to be a promising solution. Hydrogen has significant advantages. Zero Carbon dioxide is emitted when hydrogen is used. Furthermore, when hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass, co2 emissions are minimized during the production process as well.
Hydrogen can be used to generate electricity and fuel cell systems and can also be used as a combustion fuel. Together with ENEOS Corporation, Toyota and woven planet are working to build a comprehensive hydrogen based supply chain aimed at expediting and simplifying production, transport and daily usage. These trials will focus on meeting the energy needs of woven city residents and those living in its surrounding communities. So what are the benefits of using hydrogen cartridges? First, portable, affordable and convenient energy that makes it possible to bring hydrogen to where people live, work and play without the use of pipes. And to give you an idea about the size of these cartridges, it’s about 16 inches in length and seven inches in diameter with a target weight of about 11 pounds. They’re swappable for easy replacement and quick recharging their volume flexibility allows for a broad variety of daily use applications and small scale infrastructure can meet energy needs in remote and non electrified areas and be swiftly dispatched in case of a disaster. So what are the next steps for the hydrogen cartridge?
Well to date, most hydrogen is generated from hydrocarbons and used for industrial purposes such as fertilizer production, and petroleum refining. To use hydrogen as an energy source in our homes and daily life. The technology must meet different safety standards and be adjusted to new environments. In the future. Toyota expects hydrogen will be generated with very low carbon emissions and used in a wider variety of applications. The Japanese government is working on a range of studies to promote the safe early adoption of hydrogen and Toyota and its business partners are excited to offer cooperation and support. Toyota’s goal is to help hydrogen become commonplace by making a clean form of energy safe, convenient and affordable. By establishing the underlying supply chain, Toyota hopes to facilitate the flow of a larger volume of hydrogen and fuel more applications. Woven city will explore and test an array of energy applications using hydrogen cartridges, including mobility, household applications, and many future possibilities they have yet to imagine. Together with investors and those living within and around woven city. Toyota will continue to advance mobility over time by consistently developing more practical applications for the hydrogen cartridge and future woven city demonstrations. They plan to continue to improve the hydrogen cartridge itself making it increasingly easy to use and improving energy density. The ultimate goal of the project is to realize a carbon neutral society where everyone can access clean energy. First in Japan and then throughout the world. Hydrogen and woven planet aim to develop best practices for incorporating clean hydrogen energy into daily life by conducting human centered demonstrations in and around woven city. These real life experiences will help Toyota learn just how best to transform hydrogen into a familiar well used and well loved form of energy.
The portable hydrogen cartridge prototype will be showcased at Super Taikyu Series 2022 Round 2 at Fuji SpeedWay from June 3 to 5, this year. Their showcase is geared toward teaching people about how hydrogen energy works and helping them imagine that countless ways hydrogen can become a useful part of their daily lives. Okay, so big news from Toyota. And when this news dropped on June 2, I saw it absolutely everywhere. And for good reason as this demonstrates just the amount of dedication and progress Toyota is making into mainstreaming hydrogen for the everyday markets. Now I would imagine that Toyota and wolven planet have a lot of work still to do developing these cartridges, because I would imagine that their goal is at least to sustain the 10,000 psi that’s used to store hydrogen in vehicle tanks. But the pure and simple fact is that when it comes to r&d for hydrogen, Toyota is pushing things forward faster and better than anyone else in the industry. So if anyone can get this done, it’s going to be them.
Next, in an article from recharged news.com Rachel Parkes writes, G7 unveils controversial hydrogen action pact to tackle climate crisis and Russian gas and reliance. The Group of Seven industrialized economies has launched a new hydrogen pact to accelerate the development of both blue and green hydrogen and derivatives, such as ammonia in the hope that they can play a role in tackling both the ongoing climate crisis and the energy crisis being exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The hydrogen action packed or g7 hap commenced the g7 nations which is Germany, the US, UK, Japan, Italy, France and Canada, to accelerating the development of both blue and green hydrogen and power to x and hard to abate sectors, speeding up regulatory frameworks and common standards on hydrogen and identifying and closing existing hydrogen ramp up gaps in the g7 nations and elsewhere. In a quote from the g7 climate and energy ministers, as they said in a 39 page communique ramping up global markets and supply chains for low carbon and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives is a key enabling step towards a full decarbonisation of our economies. This need has become even more prevalent given the current geopolitical turmoil and disruptions which led to record high energy prices and a severe risk for our energy security.
The g7 hap also confirms the nation’s strong financial commitment to the market ramp up of blue and green hydrogen as well as the exchange of best practice on sustainable hydrogen production and ongoing dialogue on the emerging geopolitical implications of a global hydrogen economy, but offers little in the way of action promised and its name. And controversially, the g7 also pledged to quote support the Low Carbon and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives in the decarbonisation of natural gas infrastructure, and for zero emission thermal power generation. The term quote low carbon hydrogen generally refers to Blue hydrogen derived from hydrocarbons with incomplete carbon capture and storage. So it’s inclusion in a document stating that decreasing your dependence on Russian gas is a special urgency might raise a few eyebrows.
The same is true for the signaling out of hydrogen use in natural gas infrastructure, pipelines that many argue have no major role to play in the decarbonisation of heating, due to the expense and technical challenges that would be involved. Supporting hydrogen for thermal power generation is also widely seen as a very wasteful use of expensive fuels. using renewable electricity to produce green hydrogen before compressing, liquefying, storing and transporting that hydrogen and then burning it to reduce electricity would result in efficiency losses of about 70 to 80%, meaning that up to four fifths of the original clean energy is wasted. Hydrogen could be used to produce backup power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. But other forms of long duration energy storage are widely believed to offer a better value for money unless the hydrogen was used for a quote seasonal storage, ie storing excess solar power in the summer for use in the winter. But that would make for extremely expensive electricity and would be unlikely to make economic sense until variable renewable energy has a much greater share of the power mix.
And while natural gas infrastructure and thermal power generation were singled out by the g7, there was no mention of so called no regrets uses of clean hydrogen and its derivatives in the non electrophile sectors, such as ammonia, fertilizer production, oil refining heavy industries, such as steel and cement, and long distance shipping, which all require huge amounts of unabated gray hydrogen or hydrocarbons today. Okay, so this is an interesting article from recharge news that really does seem to take a lot of the same viewpoints as Elon Musk does, and his thoughts and views on hydrogen. And there are some key points in here that I do think need to be addressed. The first is the continued use of the term, low carbon hydrogen. That’s not a term unique to this article, but it is something that really needs to be clarified moving forward. Now the US government has set some standards for what they deem as low carbon hydrogen And I have a feeling that as this G seven hydrogen pact continues to move forward, these seven countries will agree on what constitutes low carbon hydrogen.
The second point that I feel really needs to be discussed is the use of excess renewable energy used to create hydrogen from water. Now, on the surface, these numbers make absolute sense. It is a huge loss 70 80% of that energy being created is used to create hydrogen and then store it, compress it and liquefy it. But what needs to be kept in mind is that is excess energy. In other words, energy that’s not going to be used at all. So if you think of it in purely economic terms, this isn’t an 80% loss on electricity, but a 20% gain. And the last thing that this article discusses that I also find very interesting is that during this summit, there was no mention of the no regrets uses of clean hydrogen and its derivatives. And my guess is only that it’s because these industries, such as ammonia, manufacturing, oil refining, heavy industries, like steel and cement, and long distance shipping, really fall down to private industries for them to adopt hydrogen for their own specific needs.
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