THP-E296: Large Scale Green Hydrogen Projects Attract The Attention Of An Oil Major. Will The Others Follow?

Paul Rodden • Season: 2024 • Episode: 296

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 296, Shell looks to Bloom Energy to help with their hydrogen needs. And the feasibility study for green hydrogen in Mauritania by TotalEnergies and Chariot has wrapped up and looks promising. I’ll go over this news and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Shell looks to Bloom Energy to help with their hydrogen needs. And the feasibility study for green hydrogen in Mauritania by TotalEnergies and Chariot has wrapped up and looks promising. I’ll go over this news 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’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 PV magazine, Kavya Balaraman writes, Bloom Energy teamed up with Shell to look at large scale hydrogen projects. Bloom Energy is going to be working with oil and gas companies shell to study how the former’s proprietary hydrogen electrolyzer technology could offer decarbonisation solutions. The two companies are aiming to develop replicable, large scale Solid oxide electrolyzer systems to generate hydrogen that will then be used by Shell, a technology that quote, could represent a potentially transformative moment for opportunities to decarbonize several hardware bait industry sectors. This according to K. R. Sridhar, founder chairman and CEO of Bloom Energy. Green hydrogen is generally defined as hydrogen produced using renewable energy and water electrolysis technology, as opposed to other forms of hydrogen that are derived from hydrocarbons. Blooms electrolyzers are manufactured in California and Delaware and can be used for many industrial applications such as refineries, ammonia, steel processing and cement plants. This is according to Rick Beuttel, the company’s vice president of hydrogen business. He also says currently in the United States, the industrial sector contributes a significant amount of carbon emissions. They need innovative new technologies to help them decarbonize some of their processes where electrification is not readily available, or even feasible. That’s where green hydrogen could come in. The American green hydrogen industry has seen strong policy support this year, due to its role in providing long-duration energy storage capabilities as well as potentially decarbonizing industries that would be hard to electrify. A report from the Deloitte Center for Sustainable Progress released last June took a closer look at the potential of green hydrogen to meet the demands of heavy industry, and found global market milestones of $642 billion by 2030 and $1.4 trillion by 2050. However, green hydrogen production is expensive, said Beuttel, and government policies and regulations help to enable the green hydrogen market and drive down production costs to provide solid business cases for companies to make investment decisions in green hydrogen projects. In this context, Beuttel noted that Bloom Energy’s technology is 15% to 30% more efficient than competing, low-temperature technologies – and with electricity accounting for around 70% of the cost of producing green hydrogen, “solid oxide technology will make a meaningful improvement in driving down the cost of green hydrogen and helping to decarbonize heavy industry, transportation, and produce the liquid fuels of the future with no carbon footprint,” he said. Scaling up electrolyzer capacity will be a key part of growing the green hydrogen industry in the U.S.; a large chunk of electrolyzer production is currently outsourced to manufacturers overseas, experts say, and one of the key challenges to bringing more of that manufacturing capacity back to the U.S. is finding the capital needed to build infrastructure. Last May, Bloom Energy launched the world’s largest solid oxide electrolyzer installation at a research facility in California, a unit that the company says produces up to 25% more hydrogen per megawatt than other commercially demonstrated, lower temperature electrolyzers. The 4 MW electrolyzer system was installed and brought online in two months, and has the capability to produce over 2.4 metric tons per day of hydrogen. Okay, so a very interesting collaboration between Bloom Energy and Shell. Now, we’ve had Dr. Ravi Prasher the CTO for Bloom on the show previously to discuss their electrolyzer technology. It really does stand out in a field where so many others are developing similar products. So it’s no surprise that a company like Shell, which is on a mission to further decarbonize their operations would choose the bloom electrolyzer for their hydrogen needs. Shell is still in the oil and gas business and like all other downstream operators, they need hydrogen in their refining, as I’m sure most of you know, traditionally, that hydrogen has been split for methane for these operations. Leveraging electrolysis for the hydrogen does present a huge opportunity to reduce emissions. So if you haven’t had the opportunity to listen in on what Robbie had to say regarding the bloom electrolyzer, I highly suggest taking a listen. Next in an article in upstream Iain Esau writes TotalEnergies and Chariot eye phased approach to huge Africa green hydrogen scheme. TotalEnergies and its partner Chariot Energy have wrapped up a feasibility study on a huge proposed green hydrogen project in Mauritania, submitting a report to the government. The two companies are considering investing in a scheme that could generate 1.2 million tonnes per annum of green hydrogen, most likely for export to Europe, which would make it one of the largest projects of its kind in the world. Chariot — headed by chief executive Adonis Pouroulis — said the feasibility study on Project Nour has been presented to Mauritania’s government, with the next steps expected to include completion of an investment framework, conceptual engineering studies and offtake negotiations. Project Nour is equally owned by Chariot’s fully owned subsidiary, Chariot Green Hydrogen, and TE H2, a company co-owned by TotalEnergies and Eren Group, and is being developed with the support of Mauritania’s Ministry of Petroleum, Energy & Mines. Chariot said the feasibility study has laid out the foundations to execute a phased development with a first phase comprising renewable capacity of 3 gigawatts, powering up to 1.6 GW of electrolysis capacity, in order to produce 150,000 tpa of green hydrogen. Offtake possibilities identified included using the hydrogen for domestic production of green steel and export of green ammonia. The study confirmed that the project would benefit from geographical proximity to Europe and access to the existing deep-sea port at Nouadhibou. Chariot said the study also outlined a “sustainable” project, with a local content plan aimed at maximising employment and business opportunities in Mauritania. Mauritania’s Minister of Petroleum, Mines & Energy, Nani Chrougha, said: “With the completion of the feasibility study of Project Nour, Mauritania has just taken an important step forward on the path to realising its green hydrogen ambitions. “We are fully committed to the development of this sector. Our aim is to be the largest producer and exporter of hydrogen on the African continent and we believe that Project Nour could support this objective.” Chrougha added that Nouakchott is “pleased to have recently received considerable, high-level support from the European Commission” after Mauritania was selected as a key partner in the European Union’s ‘global gateway’ initiative for future hydrogen exports and green steel production… opportunities that will be mutually beneficial in the long term.” A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Port of Rotterdam focused on establishing early supply chains in the European market. Laurent Coche, chief executive of Chariot Green Hydrogen, added that the “feasibility study further corroborates” the importance of the planned project. “Nour’s size and scale has the potential to have a material impact both as a domestic and export producer. With TE H2 and the government we will continue to look at how best to bring it into production to maximise value in the near and long term for the benefit of all stakeholders.” According to a provisional timeline given in a Chariot presentation in December 2023, conceptual engineering studies are due for completion in mid-2025, which will be followed by about two years of front-end engineering and design work leading to a potential final investment decision in 2027. Okay, so more details surfacing around the total energies and chariot large scale project in Mauritania. I reported previously on this feasibility study getting launched and now we have the results. Now, if you don’t know where Mauritania is, it’s located in the northwestern region of Africa and is also covered by the Sahara Desert. And if any of you are car fans, the latest episode of the grand tour takes place in Mauritania, and you can get an idea of just how desolate the country is. But because it is in the desert, sunlight for solar farms will be plentiful, but freshwater will be scarce. Now, there’s plenty of coastline. But if total energies and chariot are planning to desalinate the seawater, that will add a massive cost to production. That again, there are some electrolyzers that can split saltwater, but I haven’t heard of that technology being used at this scale. But that certainly is a possibility. And this project will have a huge impact to the nation of Mauritania, the revenue this project has the potential to generate and the jobs that will be added will give a much needed boost to that economy. So with that said, my hope is that this project finds its way through fit and begins hydrogen production as soon as possible. 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 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 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.