THP-E29: The DoE Is Ramping Up US Investment In Hydrogen And West Virginia Is Making A Play To Capitalize. Also, Two Italian Companies Are Teaming Up To Tackle Security For The Hydrogen Industry

July 15, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 29

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 029, The US Department of Energy pumping even more money into hydrogen, some great bipartisan news to come out of West Virginia as they look to utilize some of that DoE cash. Snam and Leonardo partnering in hydrogen safety, and how the world’s first hydrogen focused investment fund is planning on deploying its millions. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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The US Department of Energy pumping even more money into hydrogen, some great bipartisan news to come out of West Virginia as they look to utilize some of that DoE cash. Snam and Leonardo partnering in hydrogen safety, and how the world’s first hydrogen focused investment fund is planning on deploying its millions. 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 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.

On Wednesday, July 7, the US Department of Energy said it’s going to fund 31 next generation clean hydrogen technologies with 52 and a half million dollars, hoping to help reduce costs and accelerate breakthroughs in the sector. All of this looking to be in accordance with the hydrogen energy earshot developed by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Commenting on the news, Secretary Granholm said, part of our path to a zero carbon future means investing in innovation to make clean energy sources like hydrogen more affordable and widely adopted so we can reach our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These projects will put us one step closer unlocking the scientific advancements needed to create strong domestic supply chain and good paying jobs in the emerging clean hydrogen industry.

And according to an article from H2 View, each of the 31 technologies that will benefit from the funds will focus on bridging technical gaps in hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization technologies. That includes fuel cells, thereby paving the way towards decarbonisation of the electricity sector by 2035. And creation of good paying jobs across the hydrogen sector. Also commenting on the news was US Senator Shelley Moore Capito saying next generation hydrogen technologies, including fuel cells, will be critical to adjusting the climate crisis and developing new industries here at home.

This will help to create and bring back good paying jobs and we must continue to innovate and lead in these areas so our nation is not left behind. And speaking of Senator Capito, she and Senator Joe Manchin, also announced on July 7, that $1.25 million from the $52 million pot that the DoE is investing in a hydrogen research is now going to go through the West Virginia University Research Corporation. According to Senator Capito’s website, this project advances the production of next generation clean hydrogen technologies, and supports the DoE’s recently announced hydrogen energy Earth shot initiative to reduce the cost and accelerate breakthroughs in a clean hydrogen sector. She goes on to state that it’s critical that we support an all of the above approach and invest in a variety of technologies including hydrogen, West Virginia University’s top notch facilities, students, faculty and research capacity, we get a perfect place to make the most of this investment to develop and accelerate breakthroughs in clean energy.

On the announcement, Senator Manchin said, West Virginia University continues to utilize our state’s vast natural gas resources to tackle some of the toughest challenges in Industrial Research, including by developing clean, innovative ways to produce hydrogen a fuel that it’s increasingly important to our economy, it has potential to decarbonize our energy systems, industrial processes, and the transportation sector. Today’s announcement is further acknowledgement of the importance of the groundbreaking research conducted by West Virginia University students and faculty and the ongoing partnership with the US Department of Energy and National Energy Technology laboratory. I’m thrilled to see the National Energy Laboratory continue to invest in West Virginia University, and I’ll continue to push for funding that supports research projects in the Mountain State. So good on the two senators from West Virginia putting their differences aside and create new pathways for generating clean hydrogen.

And now over to Italy, where Snam and Leonardo are partnering for innovation and safety in the hydrogen sector. In an article from, Italy’s Defense Group Leonardo and gas operators Snam said on Thursday, July eighth, that they had signed a memorandum of understanding to develop technology for innovation and safety in the hydrogen sector key in Europe’s decarbonisation strategy. The three year agreement aimed at developing advanced systems to monitor and defend critical infrastructure and envisages that the joint solutions may also be applied to other international players in the large energy network sector. Now, this deal comes months after top us fuel pipeline operator colonial pipeline shut down it’s enire network following a cyber attack involved one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes ever reported. The snam Leonardo partnership will focus on the cybersecurity of strategic infrastructures, Internet of Things technologies, and advanced sensors for monitoring energy infrastructures and introducing hydrogen into the aerospace sector.

According to Marco Alverà, Snam CEO, making key industry sectors sustainable and protecting critical infrastructure are priority challenges for the future of our communities. Now, there hasn’t been a lot of big news coming out of Italy, as far as big hydrogen projects. The small bit of news that I always come across is very interesting, including this article here. And I wouldn’t be surprised in the next five years to see Italy leapfrog into the lead for hydrogen development. And lastly, news out of the UK, where the world’s first hydrogen focused investment fund is planning to deploy its millions. According to recharge news, the initial focus will be on green hydrogen production, but blue and waste to hydrogen are firmly in the new company sights. This is according to managing partner, JJ Traynor, the world’s first clean hydrogen focused investment fund Hydrogen One Capital, which is aiming to raise an initial 250 million pounds this month ahead of its listing on the London Stock Exchange. We’ll first concentrate on green hydrogen production.

Traynor who is the co founder of the fund says in the early stages of the fund, it’s going to be all about green hydrogen. We’ve sized our fundraiser to be able to invest in 20-100 megawatt projects, which are what’s on the table today. But keep in mind that those are phase one projects and many of those sites will scale up over time to 500 megawatts, or even gigawatt scale. He continues, the demand pole that we’re seeing today is actually the cleanup of the gray hydrogen sector. And that’s $175 billion a year industry.

The Managing Partner also said that the fund will have a multi asset approach, which will be investing in both listed and privately owned companies as well as private projects. He says we expect private allocation to be 90% of the fund over time. And in terms of where we see the best value or shareholders today, it’s in the supply chains and the hydrogen supply projects. He says that while green hydrogen will be the early focus of the fund, it is very firmly monitoring blue hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage as well as waste to hydrogen, which he describes as one that’s very much worth keeping an eye on. If you look at the IEA, he says 10% of the primary energy mix in 2050 is coming from clean hydrogen, often almost zero baseline today. Due to that level of hydrogen in the mix, you need all forms of clean hydrogen.

Of the two founding members Traynor, who’s a former Shell Executive Vice President and Richard Huff, a former Artemis fund manager and Exxon Mobil engineer. They say that the new company currently has four green hydrogen projects, and 12 private companies and its initial sites with 20 listed companies on the radar. And out of those 36. In total, there are electrolyzer manufacturers, fuel cell manufacturers, project developer companies and green hydrogen supply projects. They also say that the midstream and downstream parts of the sector are in scope. So hydrogen distribution, hydrogen storage, and then some of the applications including the power sector, as one example. Interestingly, Traynor seems to be uncomfortable about making a distinction between green and blue hydrogen.

He says, to be honest with you, I think there’s a slightly polarized argument on the different forms of clean hydrogen supply. And this is really the incumbents in different parts of the industry banging on their own drums, we’ve gone for clean hydrogen, because we want to avoid greenhouse gas emissions. He says that in the coming years, there may not even be a choice to buy green or blue hydrogen. Down the tracks, 5 10 15 years in the future as a customer, you’re going to buy clean hydrogen off the grid, you’re going to buy it out of a storage facility. And that hydrogen is just going to be a blend of clean hydrogen that comes from a variety of supply sources.

In the same way as you do today, where you buy a blend of Brent crude that has come from oil fields in the North Sea basin. So very interesting, fund starting up in the UK. And I really like the vision that co founders have on their investment plan. Okay, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions or comments or concerns about today’s episode, come and visit my website at and let me know. I’d 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 Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.

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