THP-E264: Hydrogen Is Ramping Up But Is Global Gas Infrastructure Ready? Also, Hydrogen Aviation Is Coming To Japan

Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 264

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 264, Pipelines across the globe need to prepare for hydrogen now, and a press release from Universal hydrogen helps push Japan further into the hydrogen revolution. I’ll go over all of this and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Please feel free to email me at with any questions. Also, if you wouldn’t mind subscribing to my podcast using your preferred platform… I would greatly appreciate it.

Paul Rodden



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Start Here: The 6 Main Colors of Hydrogen


Pipelines across the globe need to prepare for hydrogen now, and a press release from Universal hydrogen helps push Japan further into the hydrogen revolution. I’ll go over all of this 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 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 oil Felicity Bradstock writes gas infrastructure needs to be ready for clean hydrogen. As green hydrogen becomes an ever more important clean energy source. Governments and energy companies must prepare for a steep incline in production in the coming years and ensure they have the correct infrastructure to transport it. Some regions of the world are already establishing major hydrogen corridors such as the Spain Netherlands link in Europe, adapting new natural gas developments to be suitable for hydrogen transportation could save companies money and time in the long run, as well as support the transition away from hydrocarbons to renewable alternatives. This month, the CEO of Italgas, Paolo Gallo, emphasized the importance of constructing gas infrastructure that’s capable of transporting hydrogen as a means of meeting decarbonisation goals. Gallo stated that today we are moving around natural gas, but tomorrow, we will have bio methane and clean hydrogen that will be used to decarbonize the system. So it’s extremely important that the infrastructure are already able to accept different kinds of gases in a blending situation. Green hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources rather than hydrocarbons to power electrolysis is being viewed as increasingly important for accelerating the Global Green transition. Unlike wind or solar power. Green hydrogen is a versatile carrier that can be used in a range of ways, such as in fuel for transportation. While most hydrogen is produced using hydrocarbons at present, favorable government policies and increased pressure on energy companies to decarbonize are expected to lead into a boom in green hydrogen production over the coming decades. Gallo is not the first to suggest the repurposing of existing infrastructure, with several energy companies already around the globe exploring ways to adapt existing pipelines to make them suitable for transporting hydrogen. Many European countries are aiming to use existing gas infrastructure to transport hydrogen. With several recent studies and pilot testing phases showing positive results. The use of existing pipelines can reduce hydrogen transport costs, but pipelines must be assessed to see whether they’re suitable for hydrogen transportation, taking into account issues such as leakage leakage detection, effects of hydrogen on pipeline assets, and end users corrosion maintenance and metering of gas flow. The potential use of gas pipelines for transporting hydrogen is becoming increasingly popular topic as many governments accelerate plans to increase their natural gas production and infrastructure. This is being seen in the US, which controversially has an LNG project pipeline of 13 facilities along the US Gulf Coast and Louisiana in Texas. Canada is also constructing its first LNG transport facility after years of pressure from energy companies. This reflects the global sentiment that natural gas will be critical for achieving the green transition. The EU ruled last year that natural gas will be used as a transition fuel and the midterm to shift to green alternatives as a means of moving away from more polluting hydrocarbons, such as oil and coal. This has driven many energy companies to announce new gas projects for the next decade. This reasonable production drive was further accelerated by gas shortages in Europe and North America following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russian energy last year, as companies developed new natural gas projects with support from state governments potentially at odds with national climate policies. They should consider the potential for new pipelines to be used for transporting alternative energies, such as green hydrogen and ammonia to ensure new infrastructure does not go to waste as the demand for gas eventually wanes. And the US Department of Energy’s hydrogen and fuel cell technologies office the HFTO launch the high blood initiative in 2021. To address technical barriers to blending hydrogen and natural gas pipelines to support the Department of Energy’s h2 at scale vision for clean hydrogen use across multiple sectors in the economy. The US has run 3 million miles of natural gas pipelines and more than 1600 miles of dedicated hydrogen pipelines. The high blend team will test gas pipelines across the country to see their soon suitability for transporting hydrogen and different blends. This year Open Grid Europe or OG E announced the first long distance gas pipeline in Germany is being converted for hydrogen use the 46 Kilometer pipeline in the northwest part of the country, will be ready to transport hydrogen from 2025. The project is part of the get h2 nucleus project that’s being funded by the EU an important project of common European interest or the IPC AI initiative. The adoption of the pipeline is expected to help companies and heavy industry and medium sized businesses connect to the hydrogen supply. Several new natural gas facilities are being constructed to support midterm energy security on route to a green transition. At the same time, many companies around the globe have announced plans to develop their green hydrogen production over the coming decade. With demand expected to rise significantly over the next few years. Energy companies and governments must now use this opportunity to develop pipelines that can be used for the transport of both natural gas and green hydrogen to save money and time in the future and better support a green transition. Okay, so a good overview of the oil and gas midstream network in the struggles and opportunities the industry faces as hydrogen becomes a more mainstream player. Now, the day after this article was released, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of oil and gas professionals at the Woodside building in Houston to discuss the hydrogen industry and utilized our hydrogen advantage software to showcase the pipeline infrastructure in the US, Europe and Australia. During the q&a session, there were several questions revolving around hydrogen transportation, dedicated pipeline networks, liquid versus compression, and whether or not derivative products were a better medium for hydrogen transportation. There are also several questions around the potential drawbacks of using hydrogen and natural gas pipe networks. I also had similar conversations with Marcia Leonard when being interviewed in her podcast elemental energy, as well as chatting with tech business development executives around the best way to transport hydrogen, all of that to say that hydrogen transportation, specifically pipeline transport is quickly becoming a very important topic. As offtake opportunity ramps up which it will, the need to deliver the hydrogen to their use point becomes the most critical piece of the puzzle that’s yet to be resolved. Now the EU has had their hydrogen backbone plan for years and is slowly refining to denote which existing pipelines will actually be leveraged to carry hydrogen. These moves make the planet much more likely to develop and allows the hydrogen economy to make more detailed strategies around hydrogen production, transportation and just where to target potential offtake. Now, one point that should be made is that in this article, and several others is that they focus on green hydrogen blending into the natural gas lines. The point that should be made is that by the time the hydrogen gets blended into these lines, the technology used to generate the hydrogen is irrelevant. Electrolytic thermalytic or natural. The feedstock at this point doesn’t matter assuming that is that these are all now low CI score sources, which they will be going forward. And lastly, in a press release on November 16, universal hydrogen Japan Airlines Company Limited and gel Engineering Company Limited signed an MOU to bring hydrogen powered flight to Japan. Following the announcement in March of 2023 of universal hydrogen is collaboration in Japan to study green hydrogen supply and logistics solutions for Japanese airlines. The company announced it has signed an MOU with Japan Airlines Company Limited or JAL and gel engineering company JAL EC to bring hydrogen powered flight to Japan and establish Giles position as a global leader in operating true zero carbon emissions passenger aircraft. In a quote from Rod Williams CCO of universal hydrogen, JAL JAL EC have completed one of the most rigorous evaluation processes we’ve seen to date to determine its sustainability partners and universal hydrogen is honored to be amongst those selected JAL joins other major global airlines to be interested in universal hydrogens ATR retrofit conversion kits solution to replace the regional fleet and combined with our hydrogen ecosystem collaborations, we’re bringing a complete solution to the JAL regional network. The MOU further sees both JAL and JAL EC provide their input on the technical design and development of the conversion kits and the overall hydrogen value chain in Japan. JAL will be able to promote the specifics of their regional operation with a strong focus on reliability and maintainability. This input complements the work universal hydrogen is doing alongside investors Sojitz and Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc, as well, collectively The parties have spent the last several months studying green hydrogen supply and logistics solutions for Japanese airlines to scale their utilization of hydrogen powered aircraft in the very near term. This is being done by identifying, evaluating and qualifying local hydrogen suppliers and partners for hydrogen production, hydrogen module filling, module delivery operations and more. Okay, so just a quick press release from our friends at Universal hydrogen on the success of their efforts in Japan. This is a country craving hydrogen solutions. This is a very large component of Japan’s overall determination to utilize hydrogen to its fullest capacity. So congratulations to universal hydrogen. And like I said, during our panel conversation at the Reuters, hydrogen North America conference, I can’t wait to take a hydrogen flight with you very soon. All right. 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 podcast, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that will be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at So until next time, keep your eyes up and honor one another. 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. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.