THP-E84: Green Hydrogen Could Disrupt Global Trade. Also, SSE Thermal And Equinor Are Awarded A Key Contract. Plus, Let’s Chat Briefly About Green Hydrogen Storage

January 24, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 84

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 084, Green hydrogen could disrupt global trade. The SSE thermal and Equinor Aldbrough project is moving forward. And we have a new interview coming up all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Green hydrogen could disrupt global trade. The SSE thermal and equinor Aldbrough project is moving forward. And we have a new interview coming up 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 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.

Before we start today’s podcast, I want to let everyone know that our next special interview will be released on Tuesday, January 25. I had a chance to interview Bill Smith from Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen and this is absolutely a podcast you won’t want to miss. Bill is a treasure trove of experience in the hydrogen industry and is a fascinating individual. His company is producing game changing hydrogen technology for NASA, and they’re planning to commercialize some of their technology soon. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say anything, but there might be a crowdfund or equity raise soon, so keep an eye out. Mark your calendars for the 25th this interview left me speechless.

Okay. In an article and PV magazine, Marija Maisch writes green hydrogen could disrupt global trade and bilateral energy relations. rapid growth of the global hydrogen economy can bring significant geo economic and geopolitical shifts, disrupting global trade and bilateral energy relations. This according to the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA already today over 30 countries and regions are planning for active commerce heralding a considerable growth in cross border hydrogen trade. The Agency estimates that over 30% of hydrogen could be traded across borders by 2050. Higher share the natural gas today, according to its latest analysis geopolitics of the energy transformation, the hydrogen factor, hydrogen is set to change the geography of energy, trade and regionalize energy relations with the emergence of new centers of geopolitical influence built on the production and use of hydrogen as traditional oil and gas trade declines. Net Energy importers such as Chile, Morocco and Namibia are emerging as green hydrogen exporters, while hydrocarbon exporters such as Australia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are increasingly considering clean hydrogen to diversify their economies. Some countries that expect to become importers are ready deploying dedicated hydrogen diplomacy such as Japan and Germany.

In a quote from my arena, as more players and new cases of net importers and exporters emerge on the world stage, hydrogen trade is unlikely to become weaponized and cartel-alized. In contrast to the geopolitical influence of oil and gas, however, the hydrogen business will be more competitive and less lucrative than oil and gas. According to Irena hydrogen is set to cover up to 12% of global energy use by 2050, driven by the climate urgency and country’s commitments to net zero. In a quote from Francesco La Camera, the director general of Irina, hydrogen is clearly writing the renewable energy revolution with green hydrogen emerging as a game changer for achieving climate neutrality without compromising industrial growth and social development. But hydrogen is not a new oil, and the transition is not a fuel replacement, but a shift to a new system with political, technical, environmental and economic disruptions.

In terms of the supply demand ratio, the technical potential for hydrogen production significantly exceeds the estimated global demand. Therefore realizing the potential of regions like Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and Oceania could limit the risk of export concentration, but many countries will need technology transfers infrastructure and investment at scale. The report sees the 2020s as a big race for technology leadership, as costs are likely to fall sharply with learning and scaling up of needed infrastructure. But demand is expected to only take off in the mid 2030s. By that time, green hydrogen will cost compete with hydrocarbon hydrogen globally. This according to Irina, but this is also poised to happen even earlier in countries like China, Brazil and India. Green hydrogen was already affordable in Europe during the 2021 spike in natural gas prices. Further the manufacturing of equipment like electrolyzers and fuel cells could drive business in the coming years. In fact, estimates point to a 50 to $60 billion market potential for electrolyzers and a 21 to $25 billion market for fuel cells. By the middle of the century. China, Japan and Europe have already developed a head start in their production arena notes, but innovation and emerging technologies will shape the current manufacturing landscape further.

Okay, so some further news on the geopolitics that hydrogen is influencing and impacting not just today, but in the near future. And while this article focuses on Green hydrogen, all technologies will come into play in this environment. And another factor that’s going to impact global trade of energy and hydrogen is storage, not just compression versus liquefaction, but also underground storage where the best potential sites to store hydrogen underground while lowering the risk of mechanization of the gas. Next in a press release, SSE thermal and equinor have awarded key contracts. For Aldbrough hydrogen project, SSC thermal and equinor have awarded two key contracts for work on the proposed hydrogen storage facility at Aldbrough, reinforcing their commitment to kick starting a low carbon hydrogen economy in the region. Engineering Company Atkins and sustainability consulting Environmental Resources Management ERM have been awarded major contracts representing an important milestone in progress and the proposed development of one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

The Aldbrough hydrogen storage project is a collaboration between SSC thermal and equinor, which plans to store low carbon hydrogen either within the existing natural gas storage facility or at a new hydrogen storage site adjacent to the Aldbrough gas storage facility in East Yorkshire. This could be an operation by early 2028. With an initial expected capacity of at least 320 gigawatt hours, which is enough to power over 860 Hydrogen buses a year Albero hydrogen storage would be a critical asset and helping the UK meet its low carbon hydrogen ambitions. Atkins has been awarded the contract to conduct a feasibility study to assess the design of the hydrogen storage caverns at aldborough. As well as the corresponding pipeline to transport hydrogen to and from the proposed new number low carbon pipelines being developed as part of a low carbon Humber Consortium.

The outcome of the assessment will provide the foundation for the next phase of scoping work as the project matures. The contract also includes the option for subsequent pre front end engineering design or pre feed work. ERM’s contract covers the environmental health safety and permitting aspects of the scheme, which are vital to developing Equinor’s future quote hydrogen to Humber H2H ambitions and enabling flexibility in the regional hydrogen production usage and storage value chain. hydrogen storage will be pivotal in creating a large scale hydrogen economy in the UK, allowing cost effective balancing of hydrogen production and supply. hydrogen storage will support fuel switching in many sectors including flexible power generation, alongside intermittent renewables, industrial use and heat. It will also support optimal production of both blue and green hydrogen production. As the hydrogen economy grows, providing backup were large proportions of energy are produced from renewable power. The contract awards demonstrate the importance of the upper region in the future hydrogen economy equinor, which operate hydrogen carbon capture and renewables projects across Europe have an ambition to reach 1.8 gigawatts of hydrogen production in the Humber, over a third of the government’s UK wide target by 2030.

Recently announced plans to assess hydrogen town trials in northern Lincolnshire and its partnership with SSE thermal and the number includes both Aldbrough hydrogen storage and the world’s first 100% Hydrogen power station at Keadby. Equinor’s flagship H2H Saltend project, which will produce low carbon hydrogen to help decarbonise and fuel switch the Saltend Chemicals Park. Currently one of the region’s most carbon intensive sites is the Kickstarter project for a wider hydrogen economy and the H2H Saltend scheme will be submitted to the second phase of the government’s cluster sequencing process later this month. Okay, some more progress are on the Humber site, which is quickly developing in one of the biggest hydrogen hubs in the world. And as this project moves from a feasibility study into a pre feed stage, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more hydrogen investments being made in the region. But what this project also does is key in on something that a lot of people around hydrogen could be overlooking right now. And that’s storage. In my review of the previous article. I also talked about storage.

Now while the importance of storage is not as drastic for hydrocarbon derived hydrogen, mainly because it’s easier to produce on demand. It is much more critical when it comes to renewable energy derived hydrogen or green hydrogen. And this is mainly because the hydrogen is made during off peak hours and needs to be stored for when the demand rises. And that’s one of the reasons why this feasibility study being conducted by Atkins is so critical.

Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come visit me on my website 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.