THP-E43: Germany Eyes The World’s Cheapest Green Hydrogen From Namibia, A Great Collaboration Between Two Powerhouses In The Hydrogen Industry And Class Six Fuel Cell Electric Trucks Are Coming To A City Near You

September 02, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 43

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 043, Ballard and Hexagon announced a class six fuel cell electric truck. Germany looks to Africa to find the world’s cheapest green hydrogen. Mitsubishi Power gets a strategic financial advisor and its expansion of its hydrogen infrastructure in North America. And it turns out that I’m not alone and how I felt about the Cornell and Stanford study on blue hydrogen. All this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Ballard and Hexagon announced a class six fuel cell electric truck. Germany looks to Africa to find the world’s cheapest green hydrogen. Mitsubishi Power gets a strategic financial advisor and its expansion of its hydrogen infrastructure in North America. And it turns out that I’m not alone and how I felt about the Cornell and Stanford study on blue hydrogen. All 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.

In a press release from Ballard Power Systems, they along with Hexagon Purus have announced a class six fuel cell electric truck. So Hexagon Purus in Ballard Power Systems, announced on August 31 of 2021. A new collaboration to produce class six and seven fuel cell electric trucks powered by Hexagon Purus’s turnkey electric drive train and hydrogen storage systems and Ballard’s fuel cell module. This truck will provide a range of over 400 miles and refueling times comparable to conventional trucks. It’s a zero emission solution for a fleet owners with demanding operations moving goods through middle miles without the need to expand their fleet. This is Ballard’s eighth generation of the fuel cell module the FC Move, which provides a zero emissions electric power source with reliability over four decades of technology development, and over 50 million miles of on the road experience. And Hexagon Purus’s lightweight type four hydrogen storage systems.

High energy density pro pack battery storage and fully integrated electrified accessory systems deliver light, efficient and long range zero emission power for electrified commercial vehicles. The two companies are looking to have this truck enter California’s hybrid and zero emission truck and bus voucher incentive program eligible vehicle list in 2022. First Fleet deployments will be in and around the Los Angeles Basin area, a market with some of the nation’s most stringent air quality regulations. California leads the US and supporting the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell technology including development of a statewide hydrogen fueling infrastructure to serve as fuel cell vehicles. Both Hexagon Purus and Ballard have provided hydrogen solutions and equipment to industry for decades.

This collaboration of two industry veterans is expected to enable accelerated adoption of hydrogen and fuel cells and heavy duty transport applications. The two companies looking to have their first prototype of the hydrogen truck to be delivered in the second quarter of 2022. And next in an article from, Germany eyes world’s cheapest green hydrogen from Namibia amid global race for best cities. Germany plans to import huge volumes of what it claims will be the world’s cheapest green hydrogen, under a pact with Namibia that further widens the global dash to secure prime locations for hydrogen production link to massive renewable power installations. The German science Minister and the head of the Namibian Planning Commission both signed a joint communique of intent to build up the Southern African nations enormous solar and wind energy potential and then ramp up its green hydrogen economy.

The science ministry will provide up to 40 million euros or $47 million and support for Germany’s post COVID economic stimulus program for the partnership. This strategy is part of Germany’s 9 billion euros national hydrogen strategy that was presented last year. And it includes 2 billion euros in support to green hydrogen projects in partner countries around the world. As Europe’s largest economy due to space restraints, won’t be able to produce sufficient green hydrogen at home to meet expected demand. Last year, Berlin signed a deal with Australia which is one of the world’s most promising countries in the emerging global hydrogen economy amid an effort to secure massive future imports of green hydrogen, as well as exports of electrolyzers made in Germany. And while not as favorable as Australia, Namibia does have good conditions for renewable hotspots. The African nation is very sparsely populated with only two and a half million inhabitants and boasts more than 3500 hours of sun plus strong winds.

With those conditions, it can enable production of green hydrogen via electrolysis at a price of around $1.76 to $2.34 per kilogram, which is the cheapest in the world and could even put out the price points in places like Chile and Australia. My take on this is as follows. I do like to see this kind of economic growth in struggling African communities. That being said, Germany is still going to face one of the biggest problems that all Other desert based renewable hydrogen projects find and that’s water. Where are they going to source it? Next Mitsubishi power retained Citi as strategic financial advisor to help expand hydrogen infrastructure across North America. In release from business wire, Mitsubishi power Americas has retained Citigroup global markets as its strategic financial advisor to explore growth financing options to expand hydrogen infrastructure across North America.

During recent years, Mitsubishi power has emerged as a hydrogen infrastructure leader in North America, working with partners to develop hydrogen infrastructure projects. Mitsubishi powers current partnerships for large scale hydrogen production and energy storage and transportation include North America’s largest green energy storage project, the advanced clean energy storage, a partnership with Magnum Development in Delta Utah to create a green hydrogen hub that will eventually provide pipeline connectivity throughout the western interconnect of North America. The project will produce renewable hydrogen store it in vast underground salt dome caverns and dispatch it as a clean fuel for power generation, transportation and industrial applications.

They also have North America’s largest blue hydrogen project, which is a joint development agreement with Bakken Energy to create a hydrogen hub in North Dakota, comprising facilities to produce, store and transport and consume blue hydrogen. The Hub will be connected by pipeline to other hydrogen hubs being developed throughout North America. They also have a strategic partnership agreement with Texas Brine that provides salt dome rights that position Mitsubishi power to develop green or blue hydrogen in hubs in New York, Virginia, Louisiana and Texas. Mitsubishi power will also use Citi for guidance that is extends its web of joint development projects and partnerships with hydrogen off takers. Mitsubishi power has already secured several joint development agreements, gas turbine orders for power projects with hydrogen capabilities and off taker agreements.

Those current projects and partnerships include JDA’s with Entergy in the Gulf Coast, with Puget Sound energy in the Pacific Northwest to develop strategies and projects to assist the utilities in meeting their carbon reduction goals. They also have hydrogen gas turbine orders now secured and released for manufacturing with the Intermountain Power Authority in Utah and capital power in Alberta, Canada. And they also have off taker agreements in unregulated US power markets with independent power producers such as Agate Power’s Danskammer project in New York, Balico’s Chickahominy project in Virginia, and Advanced Power / Emberclear’s Harrison project in Ohio. Stephen Trauber, Vice Chairman and global co head of natural resources and clean energy transition at Citi said Mitsubishi power has a strong North American clean hydrogen project portfolio and a clear vision to connect the continent to decarbonize power generation, transportation and industrial sectors. We look forward to helping them model the trajectory to clean hydrogen. We will leverage our expertise in assisting clients in traditionally carbon intensive industries to help Mitsubishi power their options to attract and deploy capital from Investment Partners.

Paul Browning, President and CEO of Mitsubishi powers America said, For several years, we’ve been working with early adopters of green and blue hydrogen, that have advantaged access to existing hydrogen infrastructure such as the Intermountain power agency, Magnum development Bakken Energy and Entergy’s Orange County advanced clean power station. Now we plan to build off of these early adopter projects to build a hydrogen hub and spoke infrastructure that spans North America and makes clean affordable hydrogen widely available. Strategic financial advice from Citi will enable us to attract strategic and financial partners who share our vision. With our customers and partners, we are creating a change in power. So a great collaboration between two powerhouses in the hydrogen industry.

I foresee great things happening from this union. And lastly, an article from Robert Rapier of Forbes discusses how blue hydrogen can help decarbonize the economy. And in this article, Robert does hit some very important points, including the Bank of America recently released its own hydrogen forecast in which they estimated annual hydrogen revenues of two and a half trillion by 2050, which is made possible by the hydrogen infrastructure investments currently of $11 trillion. The authors of this study also projected hydrogen volumes will increase sixfold by 2050, supplying 22% of global energy production. He also goes on to say that the long term ideal for hydrogen production is green, which is hydrogen produced from renewable sources at low carbon index compared to steam methane reforming. However, the Department of Energy estimates that the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable sources is presently six to $12 per kilogram. That’s versus the less than $2 per kilogram when it’s produced from hydrocarbons. So at a price is three to six times higher than hydrogen produced from hydrocarbons, the green hydrogen ideal is still at a significant economic disadvantage. That being said production of use of blue hydrogen offers the hydrocarbon industry a significant opportunity to improve their ESG scores.

The Department of Energy estimates that blue hydrogen can be produced via Steam methane reforming process for $2.27 per kilogram, which has an overwhelming cost advantage over hydrogen produced from renewable sources. And it’s after this that Robert discusses the Cornell and Stanford study. And if you haven’t heard my podcast on that study, it’s a recent report from researchers at Cornell and Stanford universities. that claim that the use of blue hydrogen is actually worse than simply burning natural gas. He goes on to quote Ted Nordhaus who’s the founder and executive director of the breakthrough Institute, who recently pointed out in a Twitter thread that the study’s findings are based on worst case scenarios throughout the analysis. He goes on to quote Nordhaus’s Twitter thread. If gas production is crazy leaky, you value methane reductions much more than carbon reductions. And you assume that carbon capture tech doesn’t capture over a third of the carbon blue hydrogen is worse than gas. He adds though, that by using less extreme set of assumptions, and by the admission of one of the study’s authors, the global warming potential or GWP will be 10 times lower than the study concluded.

Now it’s a fair point to point out that the carbon index of blue hydrogen will depend very much on the entire production process. But if methane is obtained from a process with a high leakage rate, and the carbon isn’t captured and stored, then yes, the CI is going to be much higher. But it’s good to see that there are level headed people such as Ted Nordhaus that look deeper into these assumptions to find a much clearer path forward. Alright, that’s it from me everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s podcast, come visit me at 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.

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