November 08, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 62
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In episode 062, Forbes has a take on the colors of hydrogen and their importance. And more big news from Hyzon motors. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.
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Start Here: The 6 Main Colors of Hydrogen
Forbes has a take on the colors of hydrogen and their importance. And more big news from Hyzon motors. 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.
An article from forbes.com David Blackman writes, hydrogen of any made up color can help achieve Net Zero. Blackman writes, despite all the bad press and attacks from the climate alarm lobby they receive, quote unquote fossil fuels have powered a rapid expansion of the global economy and enabled vast improvements in the standard of living across the globe for well more than a century. These versatile energy and material feedstocks have revolutionized the way society transports people goods, generates electricity heats and cools buildings and manufactures all manner of consumer goods. There’s no question that this rapid societal expansion has come with an increasingly high cost through the release of potent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that we all have hydrocarbons in large part to thank for creating modern society as we know it.
It’s clear new technologies are needed if we were to continue to live what we have come to consider a 21st century existence. To mitigate climate change in greenhouse gases, public and private stakeholders are setting ambitious goals to achieve net zero emissions by mid century through the deployment of low and zero carbon energy solutions. But the challenge to achieve Net Zero is complicated by the fact that energy demand is rapidly increasing to fuel a growing population and continued economic development around the world. In the early stages of the transition to load and zero carbon energy sources. Policymakers emphasized support for commercially viable solutions like solar wind batteries and natural gas, which resulted in a 10% reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions 27% reduction in the power sector due to mainly a natural gas, displacing coal and 25% growth in the economy since 2005. The US and other nations around the globe need to rapidly scale up this progress to achieve net zero by 2050.
But even that is not enough, all viable solutions must be on the table. Hydrogen in particular has emerged as a key solution in the efforts to curb emissions and attain a net zero system. Hydrogen is a versatile zero carbon energy carrier that can significantly reduce emissions and the power transportation and industrial sectors at scale. Despite this, an army of activists and progressive Democrats including Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have started raising doubts about hydrogens potential. Citing a recent study conducted by longtime anti natural gas activists at Cornell University, it has been largely rejected by the scientific community. Although hydrogen itself is a colorless element. The criticism centers around the colors of hydrogen and their perceived dirtiness or cleanliness, based on their respective feedstocks and production methods. The target of this ill informed narrative is so called Blue hydrogen derived from natural gas, a hydrocarbon the climate alarm lobby prefers to eliminate rather than using it as a tool to help clean the environment. Shell, for example, is mounting a major global blue hydrogen initiative that would be accompanied by carbon capture and storage.
Howard Energy recently announced a carbon neutral project of its own that will produce blue hydrogen using the tailgate gas collected from the various refinery operations at the port of Corpus Christi, making productive use of natural gas that is currently flared or otherwise disposed of. It’s difficult to imagine a more productive way to reduce emissions than projects such as these. The campaign to demonize hydrogen based on made up colors is at worst deceptive and at best counterproductive to mitigating climate change. Instead of focusing on invented colors of hydrogen policymakers should focus on the real impact including technologies carbon intensity, and ability to reduce emissions. Fortunately, though, most in Congress and this administration recognize hydrogens value in our advancing an inclusive approach for all hydrogen production methods that reduces lifecycle carbon intensity, the bipartisan infrastructure and jobs Investment Act, which passed the Senate with a 69 to 30 vote, with the support of Warren and Markey no less defined clean hydrogen as manufactured in any manner that emits two kilograms or less of carbon dioxide equivalent for every kilogram of hydrogen produced no mention of production method feedstocks or colors, just a clear cut goal to reduce emissions now, it would seem to make sense for a global effort to achieve Net Zero to focus on making maximum beneficial use of hydrocarbons rather than willy nilly elimination of them. Europe is experiencing the consequences Have the latter approach today as many countries there find themselves in a frantic scramble to secure adequate natural gas and coal supplies to power their electric grids and provide heat to their citizens homes this coming winter.
It didn’t have to be this way, policymakers must make rational decisions to enable the United States ability to compete in a rapidly evolving energy transition. prohibiting the use of any technology that contributes to carbon reduction in the energy system is short sighted and irresponsible. Hydrogen of every made up color can and should play a key role in this effort. So there’s a lot to unpack from this article in Forbes. But I believe David Blackman hits the nail on the head. Now I’ve talked ad nauseam about the report on blue hydrogen, so I’m not going to dive into that. But I will talk about the color schemes. Now I’ve talked to several scientists in this space, and most of them really hate the color schemes. If for no other reason, then on the surface, it makes one technology sound better than another.
And if you’re a listener to our show, you know by now that that’s not true. But the one thing that the colors do give us is an easy way to decipher between the technologies, usually green being the electrolysis of water by means of renewable electricity, blue being hydrogen produced by steam, methane reforming from natural gas with carbon capture turquoise from the methane pyrolysis of natural gas or other solid materials, yellow or pink being nuclear derived hydrogen, again from electrolyzing water, and then the other relatively new colors such as clear gold and white. And the thing is that this article points out is that all of these methods are either carbon neutral, for the most part or carbon negative.
And the point that Blackman writes about focusing instead on carbon intensity, I think is the critical factor and the one key metric surrounding hydrogen that should really be focused on and I also believe that by following this methodology, the United States will avoid the pitfalls that Europe has found recently.
Next Hyzon is in the news again. In a press release from Sha Steel Group Hyzon Motors and Guofu HEE to deploy 49 ton hydrogen trucks for steel shipment trial operation in China. On November 4, Hyzon motors a leading global supplier of zero emissions hydrogen powered fuel cell electric commercial vehicles announced a joint demonstration project was on Zhangjiagang Haili Terminal Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Fortune 500 company Sha Steel Group, the 4th largest steel company and the largest private steel enterprise in the world. Under the demonstration agreement. Hyzon Motors expects to supply 49 ton hydrogen fuel cell heavy duty trucks for a 60 day trial at Shaw steel group’s operating base in the port of Zhangjiagang. The hydrogen powered vehicles will provide transportation services from Sha Steel’s plant to the port. During the trial local supplier of hydrogen equipment and storage systems Guofu HEE will provide hydrogen through its hydrogen refueling station in Zhangjiagang. Pending successful completion of the initial trial, the three parties expect to expand their business collaboration to accelerate the implementation of fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen refueling stations and hydrogen production across the steel transportation industry.
Through the collaboration, the company’s plan to localize the production of fuel cell electric vehicle core components, reducing manufacturing and distribution costs. According to Hyzon CEO Craig Knight Hyzon singular focus is decarbonizing heavy mobility. This requires alignment along all positions of the hydrogen value chain from production to distribution to offtake. Implementing Hyzon fuel cell electric trucks at Sha Steel, the world’s fourth largest steel company allows us unparalleled opportunity to build our expertise in developing solutions for this industry. Hydrogen was officially included as a zero emission solution for long term energy storage and load balancing in China’s 2035 emission reduction goals.
Through this cooperation, the companies expect to gain access and insight into the country’s decarbonisation and transportation challenges and develop actionable near term options to eliminate emissions. So very interesting news out of China, with the Sha steel group utilizing Hyzon motors, trucks for steel shipment. So big congratulations to Hyzon motors, as this is not just a big deal for them, but also for the fuel cell trucking industry. But really what I would like to see from this announcement further on down the line would be for China’s steel industry to convert to hydrogen for their heat sourcing needs.
Now what this press release also mentions is the development of hydrogen in China. So if they do begin to develop hydrogen there, as well as continue to import it from the various locations that they’re currently talking about importing it from, they should have enough hydrogen on site to make that transition and make it cheaply.
Now 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 thehydrogenpodcast.com. 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 didn’t 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 www.thehydrogenpodcast.com. Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.