THP-E154: Will Hydrogen Hubs Be The Future Of Global Energy Generation?

October 10, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 154

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 154, An article in Forbes discusses the current hydrogen economy. I’ll go over the article and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Paul Rodden 0:00
An article in Forbes discusses the current hydrogen economy. I’ll go over the article and give my thoughts 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 is 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.

Paul Rodden 0:38
In an article from, the surging hydrogen economy that oil and gas companies are tiptoeing into, this in an article from Ian Palmer. As reported two years ago, Rystad Energy said that liquid hydrogen would find a place as a niche fuel for cement and metal industries, aviation and seagoing vessels. But these sectors would add up to only about 7% of the global energy market. But then BP opened the door with its Teesside hydrogen project, a massive venture in the UK, where both green and blue hydrogen will be generated and used to fuel heavy industries in the area, long haul trucks and even add to natural gas pipelines to fuel homes and businesses. This was followed recently when BP acquired a 40% stake in the Asian renewable energy hub or AREH. In the massive iron ore mining region of Pilbara in Western Australia. BP will be the operator for the 26 gigawatts of green power capacity, which is about a third of all electricity generated by Australia. The project will also generate 1.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen or 9 million tons of green ammonia each year. Lots of funding dollars and tax breaks have appeared in two bills approved by the US Congress. First, the infrastructure investment act in 2021, provided $9.5 billion for hydrogen development, and a big chunk of this $8 billion was to build four hydrogen hubs across the US. There was also 1.5 billion for r&d projects. The author’s state, New Mexico, are joining with Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to propose a regional hub. Second, the inflation Reduction Act that was signed in August of 2022 has $370 billion for investment in clean energies and includes funding and tax breaks for hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration, which is needed to dispose of the co2 byproduct of blue hydrogen. Two new federal tax credits plus one subsidy could make a difference. Also, a production tax credit offers up to $3 for each kilogram of hydrogen that’s produced with near zero carbon emissions or green hydrogen, but the tax credit is lower for non zero emissions or blue hydrogen without CCS. An investment tax credit of 30% will be available for investing in clean hydrogen, and last, an almost doubling of the CCS subsidy from $45 to $85 per metric ton of co2 that is sequestered with the biggest tax breaks going to the cleanest hydrogen production. This will improve the economics of generating green compared to Blue hydrogen. One observer speculated that green hydrogen and ammonia will become the new energy industry. BP is taking the lead in the $36 billion AREH, an enterprise producing solar and wind energy, then using this to generate green hydrogen and green ammonia for use within Australia and for export to Southeast Asia. Totaal energies has joined an Indian venture that may invest $50 billion over 10 years to produce green hydrogen in India, there’s a great demand for fertilizer and green ammonia should have a thriving market there. Chevron is getting ready to produce green and blue hydrogen and to spend billions of dollars on it. Scheller looking for a big hydrogen project according to an insider. In the US, Amazon has a deal with plug power to provide green hydrogen to power 800 long haul trucks or 30,000 forklifts beginning in 2025. Other examples from that report include air products which will begin producing green hydrogen and the Casa Grande Arizona area to the tune of 10 metric tons per day, and libertad power announced a deal with high end die. They will produce green hydrogen from a new plant in Farmington, New Mexico. Diesel direct will distribute the fuel to trucking fleets along an east west corridor between Los Angeles and West Texas and international business Universal Hydrogen will invest over $250 million to produce green hydrogen and a new facility in Albuquerque to provide aviation fuel Tallgrass Energy is Need to convert a coal fired power plant into a blue hydrogen generating facility. The Escalonta plant near Grant’s New Mexico was closed in 2020. Tallgrass wants to obtain methane feedstock from the local San Juan Basin and dispose of the co2 byproduct and underground layers of the same basin. Bayotech is a company that actually produces hydrogen fuel in New Mexico. The biogas hub is a smaller and more efficient generator that makes hydrogen cheaper feedstocks can be clean natural gas, or other renewable biogas sources that can make hydrogen that is carbon zero or even carbon negative, and three hydrogen hubs are being deployed in the US in 2022. With plans to expand the network into the UK and globally, each of the hydrogen hubs and bayotechs network produces one to five tons of hydrogen each day, hydrogen is delivered locally and high pressure transport trailers carrying gas cylinders. Now the capstone for bayotech is that the giant manufacturer Caterpillar up the company’s investment to hundreds of millions of dollars. And in a quote from a spokesman, we’re seeing tremendous demand for hydrogen, especially with the IRA and last year’s infrastructure bill. We’re operating now in a very big growth environment. Now hydrogen burns to water and is so emissionless a huge advantage where batteries are too large to store energy such as planes, ships, and long haul trucks. But hydrogen production is inefficient because first green hydrogen requires green electricity that drives an electrolysis process that breaks down water into hydrogen and oxygen. But electrolysis is only 55 to 80% efficient this according to shell. Second, blue hydrogen requires very hot steam to break down methane into hydrogen, and methane is a hydrocarbon that is associated with leaks and wellheads pipelines and storage tanks. Methane is many more times warming in the atmosphere than co2. Further, the byproduct is co2 That has to be disposed of by injecting deep underground. Blue hydrogen is a zero emission energy source that is squeezed in its production between two heavy emitters methane and co2. So blue hydrogen is not truly zero emission. And third, hydrogen can be burned like natural gas to heat homes and offices. BP suggested some of the hydrogen that will be generated at Teesside in the UK could be added to pipeline gas that is used by customers for heating and cooking. But how does hydrogen fuel compare it with heat pumps, which the government is offering to replace hydrocarbon boilers with along with a subsidy of 5000 pounds. A new report looked at over 30 separate studies that concluded that hydrogen was much less efficient and more costly. It takes a lot of energy to create solar or wind electricity and then convert it into hydrogen and then burn it to heat a home a lot more energy than using the same amount of electricity to run a heat pump six times more energy according to the report, hydrogen has one big advantage the energy is contained in a dense form. But there’s one main drawback it’s inefficient. But as Rystad Energy predicted liquid hydrogen in 2050, we’ll find a place as a niche fuel for aviation, ocean vessels and cement and steel industries. Hydrogen is well suited for manufacture by large oil and gas companies because they already know how to produce and distribute natural gas and they have deep pockets. Despite the limited scope clean hydrogen could be a silver bullet for major oil and gas companies wanting to provide Rystad Energy 7% global energy market for hydrogen by 2050, the oil and gas industry could exhibit their reach for Paris climate goals and without having to stop drilling. On a smaller scale hydrogen production is surging from school buses to long haul trucks and forklifts to airplanes. One commercial enterprise is setting up hubs across the US to deliver hydrogen fuel and transportable trucks on a scale much smaller than existing big production units at refineries. Okay, so really great insights from Ian Palmer over at Forbes with a good overview of the current and near future hydrogen economy. And what he touched on most is really, I think, going to be the most important impact of the hydrogen future. And that’s the current development of hydrogen hubs. Now really, the beautiful thing about hydrogen hubs is that they can vary in size as well as vary their product output, meaning that depending on the type of off taker, the hub can be producing anything from straight hydrogen to solid carbon, to green ammonia, to synthetic gas and synthetic fuels. And I think that within the next three to five years, we’re going to see a lot more of these hubs popping up, varying greatly in size. Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show and As always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Paul Rodden 10:11
Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and want to hear more, I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening very much. Appreciate it. Have a great day.