THP-E32: The Nespresso Business Model Gets Applied To The Hydrogen Aviation Industry. Hyzon Motors Is In The Drivers Seat And It Sounds Like A European Company Is All In On Blue Hydrogen

July 26, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 32

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 032 , Universal hydrogen selling conversion kits for commercial air travel, Hyzon Motors getting even more traction. And Equinor likes the future of blue hydrogen beyond 2050. All of this 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



WANT TO SPONSOR THE PODCAST? Send us an email to:

Listen Now:

>Direct Link To The Hydrogen Podcast MP3<


Universal Hydrogen selling conversion kits for commercial air travel, Hyzon Motors getting even more traction. And Equinor likes the future of blue hydrogen beyond 2050. 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 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.

Universal Hydrogen which is a US firm that aims to do for clean fuel what Nespresso did for coffee, is poised to announce preliminary hydrogen deals with airlines including Iceland air as it looks at a possible listing as early as next year. This coming in an article from Europe’s Airbus has captured attention with a pledge to introduce 100 seat hydrogen powered airplanes by 2035. But founded by former Airbus technology chief Paul Eremenko Universal Hydrogen aims to speed up the introduction of hydrogen for smaller regional airplanes to 2025. But using fuel cells fed by modular hydrogen capsules to replace the turboprop systems, and the Nespresso quote earlier is directly related to how Eremenko views universal hydrogens business model. He says we are the Nespresso capsule of hydrogen.

We don’t grow the coffee and we don’t make the coffeemaker he says. But in order to kickstart demand, Nespresso offered coffeemakers while encouraging others to build compatible machines. Eremenko says it’s a similar model for us, somebody has to build the first coffeemaker and our version of that is to develop a conversion kit and offer that to regional airlines. The kits include a fuel cell, and an electric power train to replace the conventional turbo props built by Pratt and Whitney Canada. Airlines cost investing in these kits can be offset against long term contracts to supply fuel via modular capsules. And from the viewpoint of a passenger. The propellers remain while the engine architecture and fuel system behind them change, with some seats removed to fit the hydrogen capsules.

Now under the tentative deals announced on July 7, details of which have been supplied to Reuters, Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum would buy 11 kits to convert current and future ATR 72 dash 600 turboprop airplanes. Also on the list was Raven Alaska, which last year inherited part of the operations of bankrupt Alaskan regional carrier Raven air, they would buy five conversion kits under a long term hydrogen fuel deal. Also on the list was Iceland air, who would also buy conversion kits for its regional fleet as part of a long term fuel supply deal. Now beyond what universal hydrogen is currently doing, they also have their eye on joining a wave of listings via SPAC, but that does depend on how the SPAC market evolves over the next year or so. This according to Eremenko. Next Hyzon Motors is deepening its strategic hydrogen mobility partnership with Total Energies SE. This is an article from Yahoo Finance.

On July 12, Hyzon motors announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Total Energies through its marketing and services division. The MOU reinforces the two companies shared commitment to evaluate and develop hydrogen refueling and vehicle supply solutions for long haul transport to customers across Europe, Hyzon and Total Energies and to make it easier for fleet owners to transition to renewable hydrogen fuel by combining their existing infrastructure and technology. Total energies which operates over 15,500 service stations globally, and Hyzon a leading supplier of hydrogen fuel cell trucks already have hydrogen refueling stations and hydrogen powered vehicles in operation. A first concrete operational step is the announcement of the signature of an additional MOU between hyzon and total energies.

This time through its fringe affiliate total energies marketing France, which oversees its service stations network and new mobility solutions in France. Under the second MOU, the companies will collaborate on developing ecosystems that will secure by 2023 the production of hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks for total energy’s French customers. Starting from trials hyzon aims to eventually be able to supply customers with hydrogen fuel cell trucks at a total cost of ownership parity with diesel powered commercial vehicles across Europe. According to John Wilson, Vice President of the gas mobility at the marketing and Services Division of total energies said we are convinced that hydrogen is a mobility solution of the future.

That is why total energy ventures previously invested in Hyzon Motors. The announcement today takes the relationship even further, giving the company leverage to expand the reach of hydrogen in the commercial vehicle market in Europe to achieve our climate ambition of net zero emissions by 2050. Together with society, hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks must come to the market. We are therefore excited about this partnership with hyzon. Next, Norway’s Equinor sees role for blue hydrogen beyond 2050 in net zero co2 world. This is an article from s&p Global Platts, Norway’s state controlled energy company, Equinor is confident there’s a long term role for hydrogen produce from hydrocarbons with carbon capture and storage.

The company’s Senior Vice President for low carbon solutions Grete Tveit, told s&p Global Platts, the development of blue hydrogen from hydrocarbons with CCUS would pave the way for green hydrogen production from renewable energy. And while future supply would likely be entirely green, there is still plenty of room for blue hydrogen, in a 2050 net zero co2 scenario Tveit said in an interview. If I’m investing in blue hydrogen facilities that can last for 30 or 40 years that I’m happy to buy, Tveit said July 8. Ecuador is spearheading several blue hydrogen projects across Europe, but it is also developing green hydrogen projects in parallel. We don’t see them as competing because we really think we need both solutions as soon as possible and as much as possible. The company is part of a consortium developing the North h2 renewable hydrogen project powered by four gigawatts of offshore wind in the Netherlands by 2030.

However, blue hydrogen would be the dominant low carbon hydrogen pathway in the next decade, she added. Most of the other green projects are in the megawatt scale. She said, What we need is gigawatt and we need many gigawatts. That’s why I believe blue is important. And while the company aims to become a global offshore wind energy major, the scale of its plans in the hydrogen space could be similarly ambitious. It aims to be a large scale hydrogen producer in three to five industrial clusters by 2035. Which Tveit said could account for 10% of European low carbon production. The company also said at the end of June, it was expanding its blue hydrogen plans in the UK, adding 1.2 gigawatts of capacity in the Humber region. On top of the 600 megawatt H2H Salton project. Much of their production will feed the keybie hydrogen power station, which Equinor is developing with utility SSE Thermal. Equinor said it could deliver with its partners over half of the UK’s five gigawatt low carbon hydrogen goal by 2030.

Tveit said the large industrial customers for blue hydrogen in the Humber region will be adding to the hydrogen demand pool rather than replacing existing conventional hydrogen as the area’s sought to decarbonize completely by 2040. Equinor is also developing the h2 Morrow blue hydrogen project in Germany, with open grid Europe and Thyssen Krupp to supply the country’s largest steelworks. In the Netherlands, It’s working with Vattenfall’s gas uni to convert Vattenfall his Magnum gas fired power plant in the Netherlands to run on hydrogen. And the company has partnered with NG to develop low carbon hydrogen value chains in Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Tveit said that while blue hydrogen had a price advantage of a green, and both would become more competitive as costs fell, and carbon prices rose stay support was still needed. She says as it is right now we need funding support, and so does the customer buying the hydrogen.

Now Platts assess the cost of hydrogen production by steam methane reforming from natural gas at just over two and a half euros per kilogram that was on July 8. And also keep in mind that number is in the Netherlands and includes carbon CCS and capex. However the unabated number was 225 per kilogram. In contrast, renewable hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis in Europe was almost double that cost at 496 euros per kilogram that includes capex with PEM electrolysis at 618 per kilogram. And when addressing the government support that Ecuador has received so far, Tveit said that the UK Government had done a good job and consulting and supporting the industry, which is why Equinor had progressed blue hydrogen projects the furthest there, and when asked to blue hydrogen developments were critical to ensuring natural gas remained a viable commodity in the energy transition. Tveit said that was not the primary motivation for Equinor’s investments in the sector.

Equinor does not anticipate a complete divestment from hydrocarbons anytime soon, and Tveit saw a market for natural gas way into the future. Rather, the move into blue hydrogen was a way for Equinor to decarbonize its own operations to meet its aim of becoming a net zero co2 emission company by 2050. She said if we still have oil and gas production, we need to decarbonize our products. Equinor is also investigating converting natural gas pipelines in Norway to ship hydrogen to continental Europe and possibly the UK. If we can reuse them, then of course, that is a lot of savings Tveit said. And really what all of this tells me is that Equinor has a very solid understanding of how the hydrogen market is going to develop over the next 30 to 40 years. And it seems to me that right now, Equinor seems to be leading the way at least in Europe when it comes to hydrogen.

Okay, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come by my website at 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 Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.

Leave a Comment