THP – E46: The Hydrogen Revolution Sets Its Sights On The Locomotive Industry And The Good News Keeps Chugging. Also, A Brazilian Company Is Pushing Hard To Become A Dominant Player In South America. Speed To Market.

September 13, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 46

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 046, EDP looking to go big in Brazil. Loop Energy and Hydrogen In Motion looking at a big project in Canada and Chevron and Caterpillar announced a collaboration agreement on hydrogen. All of this on today’s Hydrogen Podcast.

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EDP looking to go big in Brazil. Loop Energy and Hydrogen In Motion looking at a big project in Canada and Chevron and Caterpillar announced a collaboration agreement on hydrogen. 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 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.

Brazil is set for first evergreen hydrogen next year as EDP races to front of the pack. This is according to EDP says it’s on track to start operating Brazil’s first green hydrogen plant as soon as next year, beating other major energy groups looking at renewable hydrogen production in South America’s largest economy. The local arm of the Portuguese group will spend $7.9 million installing a three megawatt electrolyzer at the port of Pecém in the state of Ceará. Taking power from Brazil’s huge installed base of wind and solar.

EDP Brazil CEO João Marques da Cruz said Ceará offers strategic characteristics necessary for the introduction of green hydrogen in the country because of its exceptional solar and wind potential, and its strategic location, being in Brazil’s westernmost point in the Atlantic Ocean, and because of the excellent port infrastructure that allows shipping to international markets. This project will turn Ceará into a pioneer for the creation of know how, and place the state in the center of a vast production chain and use of the fuel this according to Cruz.

The pilot project will be linked to research into the green hydrogen production chain and business models, technological insights and investigation of potential partnerships with local automotive sectors and other industries. The Ceará state government earlier this year unveiled plans to develop a green hydrogen hub for export consisting of at least two large scale production projects, one of which would be linked to an offshore wind farm. EDP wants the plant to be operational by the end of 2022. Putting it ahead of a clutch of projects looking to link green hydrogen production with renewables, including other major international players such as Iberdrola. Most of the other projects mooted for Brazil expect to begin hydrogen output in 2025 or later.

The planned developments aim to tap into Brazil’s high capacity factors that enable cheap renewable power from a 500 gigawatt plus onshore and shallow offshore wind potential alone, not to mention it’s huge solar PV and biomass resources. According to Giovanni Machado, Director at the government’s Energy Research authority, stated there are several pathways for producing green hydrogen in Brazil because of our diversity of renewable sources.

Brazil is well positioned, but the success will depend on the business model and the off takers and in early August, Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council started appraising plans for new green hydrogen regulations, government tax incentives, exports, and sourcing of international agreements and financing. Now, what makes this news so important is the timeframe, if EDP can push out this project by the end of 2022. That puts it several years ahead of any competition. Now the economics of the project remain to be a big question mark. But with Brazil’s infrastructure, it looks like this project could be on par economically with other green hydrogen projects around the world. Next, in a press release, Loop Energy and Hydrogen In Motion announced a project in British Columbia to convert diesel electric locomotives to hydrogen electric.

Loop Energy a developer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell based solutions and Hydrogen In Motion, a leading provider of solid state hydrogen storage announced their plans to collaborate on converting a Southern Railway of British Columbia owned and operated diesel electric switch or locomotive to hydrogen electric. The two British Columbia based companies will use locally developed technology, including loop energy’s five kilowatt e flow fuel cell system, and a low pressure solid state hydrogen storage tank developed by H2M. The project signifies the first instance of loop supplying its products for use in a rail transport application. This is an exciting phase for the hydrogen fuel cell industry, as this proves that it is technically and economically feasible to convert Diesel Power switcher locomotives to hydrogen fuel cell based power systems. This according to Grace Quan, CEO of Hydrogen In Motion.

The introduction of a hydrogen infrastructure into railyards, reduces air contaminants and greenhouse gases and brings clean technologies, job growth and innovation to local communities. In conjunction with Loop Energy, H2M will be working with the University of British Columbia Okanagan School of Engineering and Southern Railway of British Columbia. Under this collaboration UBCO’s research component will conduct computational modeling of h2 m low pressure tanks, comparing the hydrogen electric power train performance characteristics and operational functionality with those of the previous diesel electric locomotive. SRY has committed to demonstrating this hydrogen powered switcher locomotive in order to prove out viability in demonstrate greenhouse gas and other community impacts. The introduction of a hydrogen infrastructure into rail yards reduces air contaminants and greenhouse gases and brings clean technologies, job growth and innovation to local communities. With a successful demonstration of this retrofit SRY is an industry leader and sustainable carbon neutral rail operations will be able to onboard the rest of their fleet as well as transfer this technology to other rail carriers such as CP and CN rail for a nationwide impact. Other heavy duty operators in truck and equipment can leverage this knowledge as well as possibly share infrastructure and intermodal low pressure hydrogen refueling nodes.

According to George Rubin, Chief Commercial Officer of loop energy. As a Vancouver based company, we’re passionate about joining forces with like minded organizations on practical sustainable mobility solutions in support of a clean energy future for Canadian economy. This is a monumental step in making zero emissions rail transport a reality through a safe and compact onboard hydrogen storage solution. Combined with loop energies fuel efficient and power dense five kilowatt fuel cell module, we’re delivering a stronger, more efficient locomotive model by harnessing the power of hydrogen and battery electric. In addition of equipment and manpower provided by consortium members SRY H2M and UBCO and loop energy, partial funding has been generously provided by the government of British Columbia through the British Columbia advanced research and commercialization program, as well as the Government of Canada through the MIT ACS and the Industrial Research Assistant Program at the National Research Council. So what makes this big news?

Well, it’s the fact that it’s the biggest hydrogen train project in North America, and that if this conversion is successful, it could pave the way for a huge leap forward in hydrogen utilization and rail lines in Canada and the United States. And lastly, in a press release from Caterpillar, Chevron and Caterpillar announced a collaboration agreement on hydrogen. Chevron and Caterpillar on September 8 announced a collaboration agreement to develop hydrogen demonstration projects and transportation and stationary power applications, including prime power. The goal of the collaboration is to confirm the feasibility and performance of hydrogen for use as a commercially viable alternative to traditional fuels for line haul rail and marine vessels.

The collaboration also seeks to demonstrate hydrogen use in prime power. Linked to the collaboration and facilitated by progress rail, a caterpillar company, the parties also agreed to demonstrate a hydrogen fueled locomotive and associated hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Work on the rail demonstration will begin immediately at various locations across the United States. According to Jeff Gustavson, president of Chevron New Energies. Through Chevron new energies, Chevron is pursuing opportunities to create demand for hydrogen and the technologies needed for its use. For the heavy duty transportation and industrial sectors in which carbon emissions are harder to abate. Our collaboration with Caterpillar is another important step toward advancing a commercially viable hydrogen economy.

And according to Joe Creed, Caterpillar group president of energy and transportation, as we work to provide customers with the capability to use their desire fuel type in their operations, collaborating with Chevron is a great opportunity to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel source. This agreement supports our commitment to investing in new products, technologies, and services to help our customers achieve their climate related objectives as they build a better, more sustainable world. So this collaboration is huge. To have a collaboration agreement between a super major and one of the biggest generator manufacturers in the world joined together to promote and advance hydrogen utilization, this further sets the stage for a hydrogen transition. And this project along with the loop energy project could mean very real changes to the rail industry within the next one to two years.

Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come and visit me at my website at, and let me know. I’d 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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