THP-E148: Will Europe Do Whats Needed To Secure Their Energy Future?

September 15, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 148

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 148, Linde announces a big green hydrogen plant in the US. Recharge news has an exclusive on European hydrogen requirements. And Toyota and NREL announced a very important project. All this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Linde announces a big green hydrogen plant in the US. Recharge news has an exclusive on European hydrogen requirements. And Toyota and NREL announced a very important project. All 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.

In our press release on September 8, Linde announced that it would build a 35 megawatt PEM electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen in Niagara Falls in New York. The new plant will be the largest electrolyzer installed by Linde globally and will more than double Linde’s green liquid hydrogen production capacity in the United States. Linde will build own and operate the industrial scale electrolyzer and use hydroelectric power to produce green liquid hydrogen. The plan is expected to start up by 2025 Linde will leverage its existing liquefier and distribution infrastructure to supply existing and new customers. This project is the first of several electrolyzers Linde expects to build in the US to address green liquid hydrogen demand, and a quote from Todd Lawson, the Vice President of the East region and at Linde.

Linde is the largest liquid hydrogen producer in the United States. And this new capacity will increase product availability at a time of growing demand from customers across several end markets, including aerospace, electronics, and manufacturing. He says they will continue investing in green hydrogen projects to help meet growing demand as well as contribute to a more sustainable energy economy. Linde is a global leader in the production processing, storage and distribution of hydrogen. It is the largest liquid hydrogen capacity and distribution system in the world. The company operates the world’s first high purity hydrogen storage cavern, plus pipeline networks totaling approximately 1000 kilometers globally to reliably supply its customers. Linde is at the forefront of the transition to clean hydrogen and has installed over 200 hydrogen fueling stations and 80 Hydrogen electrolysis plants worldwide. The company offers the latest hydrogen technologies through its world class engineering organization, key alliances and partnerships. Alright, so interesting news from Linde as they look to build out more electrolyzer capacity.

Now, recently, we’ve talked about other electrolyzers getting put in place in the hundreds of megawatts, but don’t think that this electrolyzer is small, 35 megawatts is a lot. And Linde knows exactly what they’re doing. And when considering that they’re using hydroelectric power to generate the hydrogen, this does end up being a very green project. Now, there’s still a lot of time between now and their expected startup of 2025. So a lot can happen between now fid and actual start of construction. But if the latest news is telling us anything, and Canada is really ramping up their green hydrogen exports to Germany, this could be an opportune place to start generating hydrogen. Next in an exclusive article from recharge Rachel Parkes writes European Parliament to vote on scrapping green hydrogen additionality requirements. Europe’s renewable hydrogen industry is urging European members of parliament to vote in favor of a key amendment that would scrapped strict additionality rules that would force green hydrogen producers to secure all their renewable electricity from dedicated sources. This recharge news can exclusively reveal amendment 13. The latest overhaul of the renewable energy directive due to be voted on by MEPs on September 14, would also relax the proposed rules requiring green hydrogen producers to account for the provenance of all their renewable electricity on an hourly basis.

Instead, producers would be allowed to source electricity from the grid, provided they could verify it as renewable electricity by securing power purchase agreements from renewable installations for the equivalent amount. The balance between PPA purchases and grid purchases would be accounted for on a quarterly basis until 2030. And thereafter on a monthly quarterly or annual basis, as decided by the European Commission, sponsored by German MEP Markus Pieper and his center right voting bloc, the European People’s Party. The amendment would also effectively delete the controversial draft delegated act on additionality, replacing it with The more flexible stipulations embedded directly in article 27 of the RED. Hydrogen Europe, which represents over 400 Hydrogen related firms and trade associations has written to MEPS and a letter seen by recharge, urging them to vote yes on the amendment, claiming that the change is essential to allow Europe to compete with the United States for green hydrogen investment and for European hydrogen producers to keep costs down. The proposed delegated Act would have insisted on all renewable hydrogen producers sourcing electricity from dedicated renewable supply. With grid sourced electricity allowed only when it can be offset with dedicated supply within the hour.

The rule would not have applied to producers located in electricity bidding zones with more than 90% renewables in the power mix, such as those in Nordic regions, a scenario that has not been addressed in the EEP amendment proposal. Last week, the group’s chief executive Jorgo Chatzimarkakis wrote to the ISI President Ursula von der Leyen warning that the disproportionate rules and the delegated act risks a mass exodus of producers to the US tinted over by the Biden presidency’s generous incentives for green hydrogen production, but amendment 13 goes considerably further than Chatzimarkakis appeared to ask for and a plea to von der Leyen scrapping not just the hourly accounting, but also the requirement for all renewable hydrogen installations to have dedicated supply the entire draft regulatory proposal for green hydrogen. And if it passes, the amendment is likely to cause uproar among activists concerned about renewable hydrogen installations cannibalizing renewable electricity supply, which could usefully decarbonize other sectors.

Alright, so this is something that we’ve talked about on this show several times regarding the dichotomy between us regulations, and European regulations when it comes to hydrogen production. And according to this article, it appears that there are several over in Europe who understand just how important these regulations are when it comes to hydrogen, its production and the economics surrounding the industry. Now hopefully, the vote on the 14th will show some understanding of this situation, because if not, I can guarantee you billions of dollars will be moved from Europe to the United States for hydrogen generation. And lastly, in a press release out of Plano, Texas, Toyota Motor North America is collaborating with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL to build install and evaluate a one megawatt PEM fuel cell power generation system at NRELs. Flat Irons campus in Arvada, Colorado. This three year six and a half million dollar collaboration is funded in part by DOE’s hydrogen and fuel cell technologies office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and support DOE’s h2o at scale vision for clean hydrogen across multiple applications and economic sectors. The one megawatt fuel cell system integrates multiple Toyota fuel cell modules into a larger system to provide responsive stationary power through a previous collaboration. NREL has demonstrated the use of an automotive fuel cell system to provide carbon free power for a data center.

This new system at a significantly larger scale, generating about 15 times more power and capable of direct current and alternating current output. Toyota leveraged its over 25 years of fuel cell development experience as it designed the one megawatt system expanding on expertise from the light duty fuel cell electric vehicle market. Toyota is providing the fuel cell modules and is working with systems integrator Telios. For the design balance of a plant and build of the system for delivery to NREL. Toyota has developed an integrated control system to manage operation of the fuel cell modules to maximize efficiency and system life. The system demonstrates a simplified design as a drop in replacement to a conventional generator.

In a quote from Christopher Yang Group Vice President Business Development of fuel cell solutions at Toyota. Achieving carbon neutrality requires all of us to explore new applications of zero emission technology, including how that technology will integrate with other systems, which the project with NREL will identify the application of their modules he says in deployments of this magnitude shows the scalability of Toyotas fuel cell technology, whether it’s a single fuel cell module for one passenger vehicle, or multiple systems combined to power heavy duty equipment NREL Researchers will push the operational boundaries of the fuel cell system designed to identify performance limitations and degradation over time, generating valuable real world data to aid the development of future applications. Research and development will also include assessing how the system performs when integrated with energy storage and renewable energy generation systems, such as solar photovoltaic, and wind, and a quote from Daniel Leighton, an NREL research engineer and principal investigator on the project.

He says they will study the scaling of pem fuel cell systems for stationary power generation to understand what the performance durability and system integration challenges are. This fuel cell generation system also creates a new megawatt scale fuel cell research capability at NREL. The fuel cell generator is part of the advanced research on integrated energy systems or ares megawatt scale hydrogen system being designed and commissioned at NRELs flat irons campus. The flexible system which includes a 1.25 megawatt pm electrolyzer, a 600 kilogram hydrogen storage system, and one megawatt fuel cell generator provides a platform to demonstrate direct renewable hydrogen production, energy storage, power production and grid integration at the megawatt scale, the fuel cell generator system will be installed this summer, and the full system will be commissioned later in 2022. Okay, so really an amazing collaboration between Toyota and NREL.

And while we’ve talked about other larger fuel cell systems being set up for stationary power, such as Microsoft, this project, even though it’s only a one megawatt system, is just as important one because of who’s participating in the research, in this case NREL, but also because they’re combining a 1.25 megawatt electrolyzer, and a 600 kilogram storage system. So instead of just storing immediate power to the facility, they will also generate hydrogen store on site and also redeliver it back to the grid. And it will be very interested to see just how far this project goes. And how successful NREL deems it to be. All right. That’s it for me, everyone.

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