THP-E48: The Not So Secret 37 Billion Dollar Korean Hydrogen Pact, The Hydrogen Trial Tests The Viability For Converting Gas Networks To Hydrogen And Impressive Numbers To Watch For Fuel Cells

September 20, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 48

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 048, Fuel Cell energy reports third quarter gains. The hydrogen trial to heat UK Homes is a huge success. And Samsung, Hyundai and others join forces and a $37 billion Korean hydrogen pact. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Fuel Cell energy reports third quarter gains. The hydrogen trial to heat UK Homes is a huge success. And Samsung, Hyundai and others join forces and a $37 billion Korean hydrogen pact. 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 hydrogen podcast.

So in a press release from Fuel Cell Energy, the company highlights their third quarter fiscal 2021 gains. And compared to this time last year, those gains are quite impressive, including revenues of 26.8 million compared to 18.7 last year, and a gross profit of 1.1 million compared to a gross loss of 3.1 million last year. In a quote by President and CEO Jason Few “Fuel cell energy delivered higher revenue in the third fiscal quarter both sequentially compared to the second fiscal quarter and year over year. We are pleased by the continued execution of our project backlog and the advancement of our strategic agenda in terms of infrastructure solutions and talent to support our ability to achieve our long term goals.

We’ve made progress in advancing our inflight projects and combined with an increase in our investment and commercial capabilities and research and development activities. We believe we are positioning fuel cell energy for long term growth, and sustainable commercial success.” We are almost two years into our powerhouse business strategy. And we continue to make progress he continues the ability to deliver these results while simultaneously increasing our annualized production rate, repositioning our brand for the future, and building the next generation sales structure underscores the hard work and effort of the over 380 employees of fuel cell energy to further deepen our bench and ensure that we are well positioned for the future. We recently announced additions to our team, significantly expanding our sales and marketing presence with the goal of enhancing customer engagement and effectiveness.

He concludes by saying we have increased our investment in innovation and are making progress toward the availability of our advanced technologies solutions, including distributed hydrogen, long duration energy storage, and hydrogen production VRI solid oxide platform. These offerings will complement our commercially available carbonate fuel cell platforms that provide a scalable solution to deliver against the increasing requirements of clean distributed power and hydrogen generation to strengthen and supplement the grid power and enable the hydrogen economy. The global transition continues to accelerate. And we believe Fuel Cell Energy is positioned to answer these opportunities with our patented portfolio of platform solutions.

Okay, so this press release is a big deal. And what’s most important about it are the revenues and profits over the last year. I know many investors are holding off on investing into fuel cell companies and other hydrogen related companies due to the lack of performance data. And well financial metrics on one company may be considered anecdotal. These numbers shouldn’t be ignored. And I’ll be checking to see if other operators in this space are seeing the same kind of success. Next, in an article from, the trial of hydrogen to heat UK homes and university hailed a success. A UK trial to blend 20% hydrogen with 80% methane and Keele universities grid has shown that it’s possible to safely distribute and use hydrogen in a live grid, as well as cope with fluctuations in demand. The 18 month high deploy project which delivered over 42,000 cubic meters of hydrogen to 130 homes and faculty buildings has already paved the way for larger trial involving 700 users in North East England.

The hydrogen was produced via electrolysis generating no carbon emissions at source and consumers didn’t have to make any changes to cookers or boilers, or pay for the hydrogen used. The consortium behind the project says rolling out a hydrogen blend across the country would enable the development of a hydrogen supply chain, create demand at lower production costs without consumers having to purchase hydrogen appliances supplying a 20% hydrogen mix to the 23 million homes and buildings that are heated by gas across the UK would avoid some 6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions or 7% of their current emissions. That the emissions reductions isn’t greater is because by volume hydrogen carries a third of the energy of methane. So large quantities of renewables would have to be deployed to provide the volumes of hydrogen required which begs the question why not use the electricity directly to decarbonize homes.

Well, in a quote by Angela Needle, the director of strategy at gas network provider Cadent. Efficiency is not the only value driver for working energy system, you have to look at resilience. Is the energy always there when we need it? We’ve got to look at customer behavior and needs the cost of disruption of getting everybody to install an electric solution over hydrogen. Is it worth it? And does it get us to net zero at the pace we need? Hydrogen she adds, would knock the top off peak demand and provide seasonal energy storage or backup on windless days. Last week, the UK had to fire up one of its remaining coal power stations owing to a lack of wind. The government’s hydrogen strategy, which was published last month, envisages a five gigawatt low carbon hydrogen capacity by 2030. It did not set out any one path for decarbonisation of heat, because it wants more evidence about the feasibility and requirements for converting gas networks to hydrogen. A decision is expected in 2026 on whether to develop a hydrogen town.

Its climate advisor, the Climate Change Committee, says decisions will be required from the mid 2020s on the balance between electrification and hydrogen. And so why is this big news? Well, blending hydrogen and natural gas lines isn’t necessarily something new, but utilizing it for residential heat is. I am very much looking forward to seeing what the trial involving 700 users in northeast England turns out to look like. And lastly, big news to come out of South Korea as Samsung and Hyundai and others are joining forces and a $37 billion Korean hydrogen pact.

And in an article from 11 of South Korea’s influential conglomerates or chaebol’s including Samsung and Hyundai have banded together with the aim of turning the country into a major force in the global hydrogen economy are promising to invest a combined 43.4 trillion won or $37.3 billion in the sector by 2030. It is a rare act of cooperation for the table namely Samsung, Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai Heavy Industries, SK, Lotte, Posco, Hanwha, GS, Doosan, Hyosung and Isu which together with for medium sized Korean companies have formed a council called the Korea H2 Business Summit. The 15 members say they will build up a supply chain and infrastructure to enable the use of hydrogen across many sectors, including transport and power, both domestically and internationally. The new group, which met for the first time at a trade show on the outskirts of Seoul last week, will also promote the domestic hydrogen industry, discuss sectoral challenges, offer policy recommendations to the national government and cooperate in order to compete on the global stage as quickly as possible.

“We will bring together the competitiveness of each company to bolster the competitiveness of our hydrogen industry as a whole.” This according to Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Eui-sun. SK chief executive Chey Tae-won added we will create a fund to promote large scale investment and to advance big infrastructure projects and overseas operations that require a significant amount of funding. Members will meet regularly to draw detailed implementation plans and hold an annual conference every September to discuss major issues. Potential cooperation between the companies include forming consortia for exporting equipment, and sharing hydrogen delivery trucks for fueling stations. The inaugural meeting came days after Hyundai Motor the world’s fifth largest automaker announced it would offer all of its commercial vehicles with hydrogen powered drive trains by 2028. while introducing cost cutting next generation fuel cells that would bring prices of its h2 powered models in line with battery electric vehicles by 2030.

Other council members are also bullish on hydrogen, with SK investing one and a half billion dollars in US fuel cell maker Plug Power earlier this year. Lotte planning to produce hydrogen at its existing chemical plants and Doosan and Hyundai Heavy designing and building hydrogen production facilities. So again, big news to come out of South Korea on the hydrogen front. And it’s very interesting to see such heavy hitters like Samsung and Hyundai, agreeing to form this kind of conglomerate. And with the capital that these companies have at their disposal, they can definitely lead the way in building out infrastructure and pushing the industry forward. So great news to come out of South Korea. The big question is Where will they get their hydrogen? The answer is most likely Australia.

Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come and visit me on 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’d like this podcast. If you did want to hear more. I’d appreciate it. 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