THP-E319: Green Hydrogen Breaking News: Fast Tracking Germany, Teeside UK, and Green Steel

Paul Rodden • Season: 2024 • Episode: 319

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 319, Germany is making moves to speed up hydrogen projects. On site hydrogen generation finds a home making steel, and lithium and hydrogen finally find some common ground. 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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Germany is making moves to speed up hydrogen projects. On site hydrogen generation finds a home making steel, and lithium and hydrogen finally find some common ground. 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, Petra Sorge writes Germany to fast track hydrogen projects to cut carbon emissions. Germany will fast track permits for hydrogen projects and end a ban on carbon capture and storage. As the nation tries to clean up its hydrocarbon intensive industry. The government will make it easier to get development permits with shorter environmental checks for production, storage and transport of hydrogen. Europe’s biggest economy wants to cut carbon emissions 65% by 2030 to reach net zero by 2045. Five years earlier than the European Union. Germany will support the move with quote a lot of funding this according to Michael Kellner, parliamentary State Secretary for the economy ministry, which he said at the green hydrogen innovation Congress in Dresden. This year it’s planning on 4.6 billion euros or $5 billion. This according to Kellner, Germany plans to replace its coal and lignite power plants with natural gas in the next decade. The government wants these gas stations to be able to switch to hydrogen in the future to help power its energy hungry industries. The country is among the world’s first to have presented a draft for a core hydrogen network to link its main industrial hubs stretching 9600 kilometers or 6000 miles. Lower natural gas prices have slowed the economic push to move to hydrogen and across the worlds projects are stalling with companies slow to put money on the table but Berlin is pushing ahead. Earlier this month the national hydrogen Council a governmental advisory body increased its estimate for the country’s future hydrogen demand by 14% by 2030. For sectors that cannot decarbonize with hydrogen, such as cement or waste incineration, carbon capture, storage and utilization will become possible in Germany. The draft bill also includes an option for the technology for gas fired power plants, the government is set to pass the so called hydrogen acceleration Act and the carbon management strategy in cabinet on Wednesday. Okay, so Germany fast tracking permits for the acceleration of the hydrogen ecosystem. It’s also good to see that they’re opening the doors for CCUS to be implemented, where necessary. Now we all know by now, that $5 billion will not be enough to cover the vast infrastructure Germany is looking to develop. But I would venture that with these regulatory hurdles being removed, or at the very least fast tracked that could substantially derisk some project development and open doors to private investment. Next, in an article in the cooldown, Leslie Sattler writes green hydrogen producer signs first of its kind of agreement with major steel company. Leslie writes, in a historic first for Europe, green hydrogen producer Lhyfe has signed a memorandum of understanding with major stainless steel company Ugitech to create a green hydrogen production facility at Ugitech’s plant in the French Alps. This pioneering partnership aims to replace dirty pollution with clean hydrogen in steel manufacturing, according to Renewable Energy Magazine. Under the agreement, Lhyfe will install a green hydrogen production unit capable of generating around 13 tons per day at Ugitech’s site in Ugine, France. The locally produced hydrogen will power the steel plant’s furnaces and heating equipment, with excess supply made available to fuel clean transportation in the region. Slashing pollution from steel production can have huge benefits for our climate and communities. The steel industry is a significant source of dirty pollution, releasing about 7% of carbon pollution globally. By switching to green hydrogen, Ugitech’s facility alone could avoid releasing over 17,000 tons of planet-overheating pollution annually. On a wider scale, expanding the use of pollution-free hydrogen in heavy industry is critical for protecting our families from the devastating impacts of rising global temperatures — from increasingly severe floods, droughts, and heat waves to threats to our food supply. It’s exciting to see a leading steel company like Ugitech, which produces 220,000 tons of steel each year, taking bold steps to go green. What’s more, the Ugine plant is located in the heart of the 2030 Winter Olympics zone. So, in addition to slashing pollution, this project can contribute to a more sustainable model for the Games and winter tourism in the Alps. It’s a win-win for the climate and the economy. “The steel sector is a major consumer of fossil fuels and is one of the industrial sectors that should be decarbonized as a priority,” said Philippe Desorme, vice chief executive officer at Lhyfe. “The energy transition is going to become increasingly necessary to ensure the long-term survival of our industries, and green hydrogen is emerging as one of the pillars of this transition.” Frédéric Perret, Director of Development at Ugitech, noted their company is running a multiyear “Hydreams” project to validate that “hydrogen combustion will have no negative impact on processes and products” in steelmaking. “The next step is to roll out this new solution to all systems for which direct electrification is not a compatible option,” he said. “This is the purpose of this [memorandum of understanding] with Lhyfe.” The two companies will now conduct a feasibility study before moving forward with the hydrogen plant’s construction and financing. Here’s to hoping this groundbreaking partnership inspires more heavy-industry leaders to forge a cleaner path forward. Okay, so Ugitech will leverage on site generated green hydrogen for their power needs with excess hydrogen flowing into the community for various applications and potentially leverage in their upcoming Olympics. And it wouldn’t be the first time hydrogen was used in the Olympics, as Japan relied heavily on it for their last Olympics. But what I’m keying in on from this MOU is something that I’m seeing more and more in Project announcements, and that is using smaller units putting out anywhere from five to 15 tonnes per day of hydrogen for local applications, in this case, a steel factory, but I’m also hearing of these applications and hydrogen refueling locations and other decarbonisation projects, all of which are leveraging different technologies and feedstocks to generate their hydrogen. Large scale projects are obviously needed and will continue to develop, but these smaller applications play a very important role in building out the hydrogen economy. Next, in a press release on June 4 Green lithium partners with EDF to produce a low carbon lithium using green hydrogen and Teesside UK. Currently, the majority of the world’s lithium is refined in China. The UK’s and EU’s reliance on international sources of refined lithium chemical imports is creating uncertainty over security of supply, price, and volume. These factors underline the reasons why the UK Government made lithium a key part of its Critical Minerals Strategy in 2022 and Critical Minerals Refresh in 2023. Improving lithium refining processing also represents a significant opportunity to decarbonise the European battery and electric vehicle (EV) supply chains. Utilising hydrogen as a feedstock gas will be key to unlocking this decarbonisation potential. Crucially, current operators use fossil fuels in the form of coal or natural gas to fuel their refineries and, as a result, they emit large volumes of carbon dioxide which contributes significantly to the overall carbon embedded within an EV. Replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen is part of Green Lithium’s carbon reduction strategy for its Teesside refinery. Overall, this has the potential to reduce emission levels by 75% compared to refineries outside of the UK. The Teesside refinery will provide annual production of over 50,000 tonnes of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals that will help meet Europe’s growing demand. The forecast level of annual production will enable the production of over 1 million EVs in a European market forecasted to produce over 15 million by 2030. EDF Renewables UK and Hynamics (part of EDF Group) are currently securing funding from the UK Government’s Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) for its North East-based Tees Green Hydrogen project. The Net Zero Hydrogen Fund is overseen by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero and aims to support the commercial deployment of hydrogen production projects across the UK as part of the UK Government’s wider decarbonisation strategy. The Tees Green Hydrogen project will provide a boost to local industry and transport in Teesside by supplying green hydrogen to support decarbonisation efforts and achieve a significant reduction in industrial pollution, securing its long-term sustainability. Okay, so a coming together of two green technologies that are usually at opposing ends of the energy transition spectrum. Now, most of you that have listened to this podcast over the years, may think I have a negative opinion of lithium, and that’s not entirely true. I believe battery technology has a very prominent role to play in our energy future. I just happen to believe that transportation is best handled with hydrogen. But there are so many other applications in which battery technology is perfectly suited. So with that aside, my two biggest issues with lithium have been, how it’s mined and how it’s refined. This project solves one of those issues. By leveraging hydrogen for the lithium refining process, they will drastically reduce the carbon emissions of that battery development. And not only that, by developing the lithium in the UK, the environmental and economic cost reduction of removing the transportation of the lithium from China is a huge benefit. I like this project. And I do hope to see more of this in Europe and also here in the States. 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.