THP-E322: The EIA’s Solar Question For The US, Green Hydrogen Deal With Ceres & Shell, And An International Collaboration

Paul Rodden • Season: 2024 • Episode: 322

Listen Now:

>Direct Link To The Hydrogen Podcast MP3<

Listen On Your Favorite App:

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 322, The US Energy Information Agency highlights solar for hydrogen development. Ceres gets a big win with Shell, and Japan and EU are working together to build out the hydrogen value chain. 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



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


Start Here: The 6 Main Colors of Hydrogen


The US Energy Information Agency highlights solar for hydrogen development. Ceres gets a big win with Shell, and Japan and EU are working together to build out the hydrogen value chain. 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 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 a report from the US Energy Information Agency, or the EIA electrolyzers are a small but growing source of US hydrogen production. Developers in the United States have plans to expand hydrogen production using technologies that make use of electricity, an early sign that hydrogen production could move away from its current reliance on hydrocarbon feedstocks in the coming years. Planned electrolyzer installations that use electricity to produce hydrogen from water, if built, would expand capacity in the United States from 116 megawatts (MW) of current capacity to 4,524 MW, according to information collected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Program Record. If all the planned projects are implemented, annual U.S. production of hydrogen through electrolysis could total about 0.72 million metric tons (MMmt) compared with the current 10 MMmt of hydrogen currently produced from fossil fuels and as a byproduct from other industrial sources. Electrolyzers that meet a threshold for low carbon intensity could qualify for a production tax credit if developers begin construction by 2033. Hydrogen is a critical input for petroleum refining and fertilizer production, and it can also be used as a storable fuel for electric power generation to be used in hydrogen gas turbines or blended with natural gas for use in traditional gas turbines. It is the simplest element found naturally on earth and is traditionally separated out of hydrocarbons, such as natural gas and coal, through a process known as steam methane reforming (SMR). The 10 MMmt of hydrogen produced annually in the United States is almost completely supplied by SMRs or produced as byproduct hydrogen obtained from a chemical plant or other facility where hydrogen is not the main product. Using our Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey 2018—the most recent year for which we have data—and our Annual Refinery Capacity Report, we estimate current U.S. SMR capacity totals 7.6 MMmt of hydrogen a year. Electrolyzers produce hydrogen through electrolysis, a process that separates hydrogen from water using an electrical current, with oxygen as the only byproduct. Because SMRs use hydrocarbons as feedstock, their byproducts include carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which must be captured and sequestered to achieve net-zero emissions. Hydrogen produced by electrolyzers is considered carbon-neutral if the electricity consumed is generated from renewable resources. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), two types of electrolyzer technologies are currently commercially deployed, both of which require further improvements to stay competitive: Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) and Alkaline. These technologies vary by construction cost, start-up times, and materials used to convert electricity to hydrogen. No matter the materials used, electrolyzers can leverage electricity generated from renewable resources. Although several electrolyzer projects are planned in the United States, traditional SMR technology produces most of the hydrogen commercially consumed in the United States today. The SMR process applies high-temperature steam to methane and a catalyst to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Industrial facilities and petroleum refineries primarily use natural gas as the source of methane for hydrogen production. SMR units can be fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities to reduce the carbon footprint of hydrogen production by storing carbon dioxide (CO2) underground. This technology is not new; since 2013, the Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Fertilizers plant in Oklahoma has been capturing CO2 created by hydrogen production and delivering it for enhanced oil recovery. Okay, so the US EIA is taking a further interest in solar farm development for hydrogen applications. It’ll be interesting to see if, in the next nine years, that enough solar farms can begin construction to produce just under 10% of the hydrocarbon sourced hydrogen currently being produced and four and a half gigawatts of electricity is considerable, and the land needed for that capacity is certainly available now, obviously water will be the concern going forward. So as these projects move through their development stages, I’m hoping more clarity on the resources needed for these developments will be brought to light. Next in a press release on June 4, Ceres signs contract with Shell for green hydrogen. Ceres has been awarded a further contract for the second phase of its collaboration with Shell, to cooperate in the design of a solid oxide electrolyser (“SOEC”) module, for use in large-scale industrial applications such as synthetic fuels, ammonia and green steel. Ceres has been working with Shell since 2022, leading to the deployment of a 1MW SOEC system at Shell’s R&D facility in Bangalore, India. Building on this demonstration, the focus of this contract is to develop a pressurised module design that can be scaled to 100s of megawatts and be integrated with industrial plants to produce sustainable future fuels. The programme will use key learnings and data being harvested from the existing 1MW demonstration project to develop a commercially competitive and scalable solution. Key to this is the significant efficiency gains offered by SOEC technology, which results in approximately 35% more hydrogen produced per unit of electrical energy when coupled with heat from industrial processes. The project will examine pressurised systems that can drive further efficiency, performance, and integration with other processes, targeting a module level efficiency of less than 36kWh/kg of hydrogen, which aligns to EU SOE 2030 technology targets. Phil Caldwell, Chief Executive of Ceres commented, “Our strategic collaboration with Shell continues to provide valuable insights, ensuring Ceres’ SOEC technology is well positioned to meet our partners’ needs for the green hydrogen and synthetic fuels markets. Building on Ceres’ class-leading technology, our commitment to continuous innovation keeps Ceres’ commercial offering at the forefront of the industry in terms of simplicity, efficiency, and performance.” Okay, so Ceres with another massive win with Shell as they continue to refine their solid oxide electrolyzer module. I also like the thought process behind these projects. Utilizing the hydrogen for synthetic fuels is a perfect application for hydrogen. I’ve talked about syn fuels several times on the show, and I’m a big fan. So again, congratulations to Ceres on getting awarded the second phase of its collaboration with Shell well deserved. And next in an article in Reuters, Katya Golubkova writes, Japan, EU agree to work on creating hydrogen demand and supply. Japan and the European Union on Monday agreed to work together on policies related to creating demand and supply for clean hydrogen as well as to cooperate in advancing technologies to develop the new fuel, a joint statement said. Japan sees hydrogen as a new and cleaner source to gradually substitute liquefied natural gas (LNG), part of the country’s path to carbon neutrality by 2050, and for Europe, hydrogen is one of the options to phase out usage of Russian fossil fuels. in a quote from Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, Hydrogen will be very soon an internationally traded commodity, and close EU-Japan cooperation will be essential for promoting renewable and low-carbon hydrogen globally, and ensuring that standards and regulations converge. And on June 3, Simson met Ken Saito, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, and the two also chaired a Japan-EU hydrogen business forum attended by executives including of JERA Tokyo gas, Mitsui and Iwatani. The EU aims to produce 10 million metric tons and import 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030 as the bloc moves to cut carbon emissions but the switch needs investments in infrastructure to create demand for the new fuel. “Hydrogen is an important priority for European energy policy, and hydrogen will help us to get rid of the remaining Russian fossil fuels. But it also, in the long term, helps us to decarbonise our industry”. And the week before, Germany, a key buyer of Russian gas before the Kremlin sent troops to Ukraine in 2022, approved a bill to fast-track the construction of hydrogen infrastructure, import and production facilities, also as it aims to cut emissions. Japan plans to spend 3 trillion yen ($19 billion) over the next 15 years to subsidise production of clean hydrogen, according to Nikkei. Japanese trading house Itochu Corp, opens new tab on Monday said it is conducting a feasibility study of building hydrogen and ammonia supply chain in Kitakyushu in southern Japan, one of the future offshore wind hubs in the country. Okay, so Japan and the EU working together to drive the hydrogen economy forward. And there is one key phrase in this article that I love hearing, and that is the quote from Kadri Simpson that hydrogen will be very soon, an internationally traded commodity. I couldn’t agree more, as that has been one of my talking points for the. Last three years, I believe it will happen, and with both Japan and the EU pushing forward with the hydrogen value chain development, we will only continue to see more hydrogen applications and infrastructure being developed. 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.