THP-E69: Let’s Talk Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, NASA, And The Office of Naval Research. Plus HUGE Joint Venture With Plug Power In Spain And My Take On A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Report

December 02, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 69

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 069, Plug Power with a big JV in Europe, a new report on the global hydrogen compression market. And two press releases from a company that if you haven’t heard of, you need to pay attention to all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Plug Power with a big JV in Europe, a new report on the global hydrogen compression market. And two press releases from a company that if you haven’t heard of, you need to pay attention to 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 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. So on a press release on November 3 Plug Power, which is a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the Global Green hydrogen economy, and ACCIONA Energía, a global developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects. Today announced that the companies have finalized the formation of their previously announced 50/50 joint venture incorporated as Acciona Plug.

The joint venture is headquartered in Madrid and will develop, operate and maintain green hydrogen projects throughout Spain and Portugal. Alan Ripa with a 16 year track record in executive positions in ACCIONA Energía group with his last position being chief executive supervisor at ACCIONA Energía international has been named CEO of Acciona plug. Acciona plug also plans provide storage, transportation and delivery services to its customers, initially targeting the industrial and mobility business segments, targeting hydrogen production facilities co located directly with industrial customers, and standalone plants that produce hydrogen for regional distribution. Acciona plug expects its first plants to be online in 2023. The new venture aims for substantial market share of the green hydrogen business in Spain and Portugal by 2030, with medium term plans to have over 100 tons of green hydrogen production per day.

The joint venture combines plugged powers best in class pem electrolyzer technology and Acciona energy is proven leadership in the development of renewable energy projects as a pioneer and the largest independent 100% renewable power retailer in Spain and Portugal. Plug Power is an innovator and leader in the green hydrogen economy with over 50,000 fuel cell systems deployed for emobility and is the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen globally. ACCIONA Energía is the largest 100% renewable energy company with no hydrocarbon legacy in the world, with more than 11 gigawatts of renewable energy across 16 countries. According to Andy Marsh, CEO for plug power. We quickly recognized a shared mission and approach in working with the team at Acciona energy of this year. And this joint venture was the logical next step. Our two companies are kindred spirits and envision a decarbonized future working together as Acciona plug. We will build a robust green hydrogen ecosystem that will help Europe deliver on its sustainability goals, positioning Spain and Portugal as leading global hydrogen hubs.

And in a quote from Alan Ripa, the new CEO for Acciona plug, ACCIONA Energía and plug power are putting together the capabilities needed to provide the market with reliable and competitive green hydrogen solutions. Acciona plug is the platform that will leverage ACCIONA Energía as presence and track record in renewable energy and plug power’s technology and knowledge in hydrogen sector to ramp up the deployment of green hydrogen. We’re delighted to start working with stakeholders that want to join us in this exciting journey to decarbonize the economy with renewable hydrogen. This partnership reflects the commitment of ACCIONA Energía and plug power in the fight against climate change. Acciona plug is already advancing on its ambitious goal of bringing green hydrogen to Spain and Portugal. The new venture is actively working to develop multiple plants including several 15 tonne per day green hydrogen production plants to reliably serve demand in the industrial and emerging mobility sectors. The EU and member state governments are prioritizing the green hydrogen economy in their climate and economy recovery strategies. announced in July of 2020, the European Union’s hydrogen strategy supports installing at least six gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers in the EU, and producing 1 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2024.

Spain and Portugal are set to play a leading role in the European economy pathway to decarbonisation, benefiting from the highest levels of renewable resources. The Spanish government put forth its own hydrogen roadmap in October 2020. And Portugal approved its hydrogen roadmap in August of 2020. Okay, so another big JV announcement in Europe, but there is one big red flag that I’m seeing in this JV. And that’s takeaway, how will this hydrogen be utilized and where will it be going? I’ve mentioned several times over the last few episodes about the hydrogen backbone plan in Europe, Spain is on the farthest end of this development, or at least it was when I last checked. And while this JV is important, and could have legs in the near future, it’s also important to point out that there is an oil and gas infrastructure in Spain, with hydrogen as a common focus for the industry, as well as potentially one of the most prolific gold hydrogen reserves in the world. So while there are still a lot of question marks in the air about this, and so much political play going on, it’s going to be very interesting to see how Spain positions itself as a potential leader in hydrogen for Europe. Next in a press release from report, they have announced the release of the report of hydrogen fuel cells global market report 2021 COVID-19, growth and change.

The report covers the main types of products in hydrogen fuel cells, which are polymer exchange membrane fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells, Solid oxide fuel cells, and others. Polymer exchange membrane fuel cells are a type of hydrogen fuel cell that converts the chemical energy of a fuel such as hydrogen into electricity. These hydrogen fuel cells are used in various areas including stationary, transportation, portable fuel cell vehicles, utilities for generating power and defense. The global hydrogen fuel cells market is expected to grow from 2.78 billion in 2020 to 3.85 billion in 2021. At a compound annual growth rate of 38.8%. The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal are recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which earlier led to a restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach 16 point 5 billion in 2025.

At a compound annual growth rate of 43.8%. The hydrogen fuel cell market consists of sales of hydrogen fuel cells that use the chemical energy of hydrogen to produce electricity. A hydrogen fuel cell is a device that converts hydrogen into clean energy and electricity by a chemical reaction and the byproducts of this chemical reaction are electricity, water and heat. Asia Pacific was the largest region and hydrogen fuel cell market in 2020, North America was the second largest market in the hydrogen fuel cell market at the same time. The predicted surge in demand for fuel cell electric vehicles leads to increased demand for hydrogen fuel cells. For example, according to the passenger hydrogen fuel cell vehicles report, the sales of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles reached 27,500 in 2020. Moreover, the sales of passenger fuel cell vehicles reached 8500 in 2020, the highest annual sales compared to any of previous years. Rising sales in fuel cell electric vehicles demonstrate the growing demand for fuel cell electric vehicles, thereby contributing to the growth of the hydrogen fuel cell market. The companies in the hydrogen fuel cell market are developing new technologies to reduce the weight, manufacturing costs and component requirements of hydrogen fuel cells. Advances in technology improve the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells.

For example, in July of 2021 Hyzon Motors, a US based manufacturer of commercial vehicles, powered by zero emission hydrogen fuel cells, announced a new commercial vehicle that could reduce the weight and manufacturing costs of a commercial vehicle powered by Hyzon’s hydrogen fuel. The systems metal structure is integrated with its lightweight composite materials, and this revolutionary technology. And in April of 2021, Alstom, a France based company engaged in developing and marketing global solutions that provide the sustainable foundations for the future of transportation acquired Helion Hydrogen Power for an undisclosed amount. Through this acquisition, Alstom expands his portfolio of innovative and competitive solution products and strengthens his expertise in sustainable intelligent mobility. So very interesting report from report And I have had several talks in recent weeks with CEOs and other industry leaders in hydrogen regarding the fuel cell market, and just how prolific hydrogen fuel cells will be in personal transportation in the next 15 to 20 years. I still maintain that hydrogen fuel cells are a much better way of electrifying personal transportation than batteries.

And while I don’t disagree that batteries make for a great car, the logistics around the battery production looks like a losing battle. And lastly, I’d like to cover a couple of press releases from a company that you probably have never heard of, but I guarantee needs to be on your radar. The company is Infinity Fuel. The company’s been around For almost 20 years and has been intensely focused on military and space fuel cell experience, designing the next generation of air independent fuel cells, and regenerative fuel cells. With the support of NASA and several other US government agencies, they’ve achieved key breakthroughs in fuel cell design that has significantly reduced the complexity of these systems and dramatically improved performance and reliability. In a press release on August 10, Blue Origin flew first crewed mission to space and back demonstrating this capability for safe reliable human spaceflight. On an upcoming unmanned New Shepard launch infinity fuel cell and hydrogen inks advanced non flow through fuel cell technology will follow that path, becoming the first fuel cell to launch into space aboard a commercial space vehicle. Under a NASA infinity tipping point cooperative agreement contract initiated in 2020. Infinity is on track to launch a board New Shepard class vehicle in 2022.

This launch will demonstrate the capability of its advanced non flow through proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology to survive the rigors of launch and operation in a weightless environment. This will also mark the first spaceflight of a fuel cell since the retirement of the NASA shuttle orbiter and the first spaceflight of an NFTPEM fuel cell since the Gemini Program infinity CEO and founder Bill Smith, who we will have on the show in the next coming months, commented fuel cells powered Gemini, Apollo and the space shuttle. The upcoming flight aboard New Shepard marks the return of fuel cell technology to space and is an important step forward in restoring fuel cell power capability to NASA’s toolbox for space Power Solutions. Also released from infinity fuel. In a press release on November 30. Infinity fuel cell and hydrogen Inc receives a $900,000 add on to existing project from Axiom Space.

The money is earmarked to produce a full scale prototype of a specific infinity technology that has been under development for axiom since last year, infinity continues to be a supplier of choice for its various patented and proprietary technologies applicable to electrolyzer and air independent fuel cells for zero gravity applications in space. Infinity air independent fuel cell design is also applicable for underwater use, and is currently being tested for such an a contract with the Office of Naval Research. Now I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Bill Smith, about their operations. And while I’m sure it’s easy for a lot of my listeners, to hear about new projects and new ventures with rose colored glasses, this company is legit, and is pushing the hydrogen fuel cell market farther into the future than any other company I have come across. So keep an eye out for when our interview launches. And I’ll also make sure to report any news coming from this organization.

Well, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come and visit me at Or you can always email me at 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 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.