July 05, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 26
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In episode 026, Great news coming out of London, Saudi Aramco betting big on blue hydrogen. And look out Elon Musk, another eccentric auto manufacturer is calling you out... all of this on today's hydrogen podcast.
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Great news coming out of London, Saudi Aramco betting big on blue hydrogen. And look out Elon Musk, another eccentric auto manufacturer is calling you out... 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 is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters 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 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.
Okay, so the big news out of London. Well, it looks like the Mayor of London has ordered 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses to join their fleet. And according to businesswire.com, Nel hydrogen and Linesight have announced that they're collaborating together to deliver these 20 buses. In 2018, the Mayor of London developed a transport strategy to decarbonize London's bus network, under which all of TFL's buses will be electric or hydrogen fueled no later than 2037. And it's under the terms of this program that Nel was commissioned to provide TfL with a hydrogen station solution to provide fuel to 20 hydrogen buses operating in West London.
Now business wire is reporting that these buses are already a competitive alternative to battery buses and will in the near future, close the cost difference with the current internal combustion engine fleet. And what are the other perks to a hydrogen bus? Well, they can store more energy on board than an equivalent bus meaning that they can be deployed on longer routes. So where does Linesight fit into this? Well Linesight has been working with Nel hydrogen since 2019, providing program, project and cost Consultancy Services in both North America and Europe.
And on this particular project Linesight is providing project and Cost Management Services to Nel and according to Nels, VP of operations, Transport for London TfL are forging the path for sustainable business by 2037. It has been a privilege working with them on their hydrogen fuel bus program to date. Our collaboration with Linesight has resulted in clear stakeholder management and prioritization of key activities enabling us to meet expectations of TfL and open the hydrogen refueling activity efficiently. Linesight has played a pivotal role on the parallel project in procuring key and bespoke packages of work that are fundamental to project handover to the end user. We very much look forward to potentially working with Linesight on future projects across Europe.
Okay, so 20 buses out of 9000. I wouldn't call it a massive takeover, but it does set a precedence. And if these buses can show to reduce costs significantly, I can only expect that London will invest more, and I suspect we'll see similar projects like this across Europe. So Saudi Aramco is betting big on blue hydrogen exports ramping up from 2030. In an article from Bloomberg, Saudi Aramco outline plans to invest in blue hydrogen, as the world shifts away from dirtier forms of energy, but it said it will take at least until the end of this decade before global market for the fuel is developed. According to Saudi Aramco CTO, we're going to have a large share, but the scale up isn't going to happen before 2030 and we're not going to see large volumes of blue ammonia before then. He did say, however, that the State Energy firm may end up spending roughly $1 billion on capturing carbon for every 1 million tons of blue ammonia produced that would exclude the expense of producing the gas he said, and Saudi Aramco, which is the world's biggest oil company, sent its first shipment of blue ammonia in September to Japan.
In a pilot project to show the fuel could be exported. Aramco will decide on future shipments depending on the level of demand. The CTO Mr Ahmad O. Al Khowaiter declined to comment on how much gas Aramco is planning to produce for its blue hydrogen efforts, or on whether the company plan to abandon plans to make liquefied natural gas. And while Aramco predicts demand for oil to remain high for years, if not decades, the company is positioning itself to develop newer types of fuels. Blue hydrogen is in its infancy, and will take years to produce on a mass scale, given the expense and complications involved in the technology, the CTO said, and when referring to a potential timeline, he said, quote, from the time you make clear, offtake agreements, you're talking about a five to six year capital cycle to invest in the production and conversion requirements.
And now if you've been paying attention to hydrogen development in the Middle East, you know that there's a $5 billion green hydrogen plant being developed in the city of Neom in Saudi Arabia, that being a joint project being developed by Pennsylvania based Air Products and the Saudi firm, ACWA Power International. And while Saudi Aramco is looking into synergies between the two types of hydrogen, Khowaiter did emphasize that the cost for producing blue hydrogen are probably around 1/5 of those for green hydrogen, at least today's solar and wind prices. And lastly, Elon Musk is getting challenged by James Glickenhaus? It sounds funny, but it's true. And I promise there's more more to this story than an eccentric millionaire calling out an eccentric billionaire, the James Glickenhaus, who's looking to build a hydrogen fuel cell powered version of the original baja boot, which was famously driven by Steve McQueen. And he has now challenged Elon Musk to raise the cybertruck at the Baja 1000 after musk branded hydrogen fuel cells, mind bogglingly stupid, but for glickenhaus this is more than just a simple challenge to Elon Musk, and this fuel cell powered version of the boot isn't just a one off venture.
James glickenhaus has now announced that there's going to be a glickenhaus zero which is a new sister company to his Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. That will design, engineer, build and race zero emission Road and Race vehicles. And according to glickenhaus, the fuel cell boot pickup truck is still on track to race the Baja 1000 in 2022, as well as other targets for the new spin off primarily Le Mans. Okay, so you may be thinking, why is this a worthwhile topic to speak about?
Well, in my estimation, there are going to be two ways that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles FCEV's gain popularity, the first way is by doing what the Raven SR and the Hyzon motor partnership is doing building out distribution hubs in large cities and utilizing it for freight transport, which is a very good way to build that infrastructure. But there's also this new situation, and to me, harkens back to the muscle car wars of the 60s and 70s. And that kind of competition between manufacturers, drives product and technological innovations. And that I'm hoping is the case here, if glickenhaus can build a hydrogen fuel cell truck to not just compete in the Baja 1000, but actually finish it. That is a huge milestone for the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle showcasing a reliability and a durability and one of the harshest races in the world.
And glickenhaus is confident that the hydrogen variant of the boot can finish the 1000 mile race without stopping for fuel. And so just think about what that means for an everyday vehicle. If glickenhaus can showcase that our hydrogen fuel cell vehicle can go 1000 miles over some of the roughest terrain on Earth at full throttle, then that same technology can funnel down into consumer grade products. And so all I can say is this. Take the challenge Elon. Okay. That's it for me, everyone. If you have any questions or comments for me, come and visit my website at thehydrogenpodcast.com and let me know. I would really love to hear from you. And as always, take care. Stay safe. I'll talk to you later.
Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did 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 www.thehydrogenpodcast.com. Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.