May 11, 2023 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 213
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In episode 213, What's the biggest constraint for the hydrogen economy in Europe? And could an ambitious pipeline project from three separate countries alleviate some of those constraints? Also, Cummins and Tata continue to build on their 30 years of collaboration with more hydrogen technology advancements, all of this on today's hydrogen podcast.
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What's the biggest constraint for the hydrogen economy in Europe? And could an ambitious pipeline project from three separate countries alleviate some of those constraints? Also, Cummins and Tata continue to build on their 30 years of collaboration with more hydrogen technology advancements, 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.
In an article in oilprice.com Tsvetana Paraskova writes Europe's ambitious hydrogen plans face challenges. Europe is betting on hydrogen to cut the use of hydrocarbons and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. But the hydrogen industry faces challenges in making the sector a scalable and cost effective replacement for natural gas. The EU's renewables strategy includes the ambition to produce 10 million tons and import 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU by the end of this decade. The European Commission has outlined a hydrogen accelerator concept to scale up the deployment of green hydrogen, which the EC says will contribute to accelerating the energy transition and decarbonizing the EU's energy system. In March, the Commission set out new plans to incentivize and support investment and sustainable hydrogen production through a European hydrogen bank, an initiative aimed at accelerating investment in bridging the investment gap for the EU to reach its ambitious hydrogen targets under the repower EU plan.
Last month, the leaders of some of Europe's biggest economies pledged to turn the North Sea into an offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture energy hub. But scaling up hydrogen production and imports would need the creation of an entirely new market, which could face challenges in offering and pricing. European ports could play a part in a future hydrogen economy and the Port of Antwerp-Bruges plans to capture a part of this new market. The port's hydrogen program manager Maxime Peeterst told energy voice. Industry officials believed that the EU needs to revise some provisions in the hydrogen regulation in the coming years to make Europe's hydrogen industry globally competitive. The complexity of EU regulations compared with other jurisdictions makes Europe less competitive and hydrogen production advancement.
Daryl Wilson, Executive Director of industry body the hydrogen council told hydrogen economist in an interview last month, Wilson said in terms of the raw number of projects proposed and announcements, there are many more projects in the EU versus the US. But there are more projects moving to fid in the US. Okay, so a little more insight into what's going on in the Europe versus what's going on in the US. But the most important thing I can think to see through this is that the biggest hurdle right now looks to be regulation, not necessarily infrastructure. But that point really leads me into the next bit of news, which comes from a post in Reuters titled Italy, Germany, Austria sign letter to support hydrogen pipeline. The article says that energy ministries of Italy, Germany and Austria have signed a joint letter of support for the development of a hydrogen ready pipeline between North Africa and Europe. Italian gas grid operators SNAM said on Tuesday. SNAM, one of the companies behind the project, so the three countries expressed their backing for related infrastructure projects to obtain the status of European Union project of common interest or PCI, which would give them access to certain EU funds and fast track permits.
Europe is attempting to scale up its production and imports of renewable hydrogen, and so the so called the South h2 corridor would connect North Africa, Italy, Austria and Germany allowing renewable hydrogen production in the southern Mediterranean to reach European consumers visit according to SNAM. The 3300 Kilometer project is led by four major European transmission system operators Snam, Trans Austria Gasleitung (TAG), Gas Connect Austria (GCA) and bayernets in Germany. With a hydrogen import capacity of more than 4 million tonnes per year from North Africa the pipeline could deliver 40% of an EU hydrogen import target set for 2030 and can be operational by as early as that year again according to SNAM. Okay, so this is an interesting bit of news and a bit of good news for the hydrogen development in Europe. However, we do have to take this with a grain of salt since this is just a a joint letter of intent and not necessarily anything that we can plan to have funds allocated towards in the near term. This article does say that they plan on having this pipeline finished and completed by 2030.
I think that's a bit ambitious. I mean, sure, it's possible anything's possible, but I highly doubt that North Africa has this much hydrogen that will be available to send to Europe by 2030. Next in a press release on May 9, Cummins and Tata Motors to power a cleaner India with low to zero emissions technology. Global Power leader Cummins Inc recently signed a definitive agreement with Tata Motors limited to manufacture a range of low to zero emissions technology products in India over the next few years. The agreement was signed by Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins, president and chief executive officer and Girish Wagh executive director of Tata Motors at Cummins headquarters in Columbus, Indiana, it was announced late last month. Tata Motors and Cummins have a 30 year strong partnership through their joint venture Tata Cummins Private Limited in India established in 1993. The signing of this definitive agreement further strengthens their relationship and as they step forward from the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two organizations in November of 2022, to collaborate on the design and development of low and zero emissions propulsion technology solutions for commercial vehicles in India. As part of this agreement Cummins and Tata Motors Ltd have set up a new business entity called TC PL Green Energy Solutions private limited or GCS, a wholly owned subsidiary under the existing joint venture with a focus on the development and manufacturing of sustainable technology products.
These products will include hydrogen powered internal combustion engines, fuel delivery systems, as well as battery electric power trains, and fuel cell electric systems through the Accelera by Commons brand, the low to zero emissions technologies developed by tcplges will be integrated into both on highway and off highway applications for domestic and international markets. This agreement will play a pivotal role in developing sustainable powertrain solutions that will help in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and supporting India's netzero ambitions. In a quote from Rumsey after signing the agreement, progress requires a partnership and I am delighted that we are embarking on this decarbonisation journey with our trusted partner of 30 years. Together, we will advance low and zero emissions technologies in a way that is best for our customers, communities and the planet. Wagh also is excited about the partnership and said Tata Motors is leading the global megatrend of green smart and safe mobility in India. Our goal is to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 and a commercial vehicle segment.
We are collaborating with partners who believe in this vision and are delighted to further strengthen our three decade long association with Cummins Inc. Okay, so another great step forward and collaborations between two groups now in this case, Tata Motors and Cummins. Now I've talked several times about the work that Cummins is doing in developing hydrogen internal combustion engines. And from everything I've been able to read and hear about this system, it is on par with their traditional diesel setups, and have somehow figured out a way to avoid the NoX problem of hydrogen internal combustion engines. And so one of the things I'm also curious about is to see just how far this technology will filter down into Tata Motors will go all the way into Land Rover and Jaguar, or will it just stay with what they're talking about with the on road and off road vehicles? Probably something similar to heavy duty transport and off road vehicles for heavy duty construction.
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