H2

Updates

December 16, 2020: Sempra testing whether hydrogen can be transported using the natural gas pipeline grid.

November 24, 2020, from a reader, with minimal editing: Some data points ...

  • As per a comment from the Seeking Alpha post [if the link is broken, an alternate link] Norwegian based Nel Hydrogen is the world's leader in manufacturing electrolyzers and growing rapidly.
  • The Long Ridge Energy Terminal - now under construction in Ohio - is the world's first power plant designed to run on a blend of hydrogen and natural gass. Initially starting at 1% hydrogen, expectations are to increase amount  to 20% with the  balance being natural gas.
  • The GE turbines used at Long Ridge are the common HA7 models which can burn up to 20% hydrogen and 100% with some modifications.
  • Some of the transportation issues revolving around piping/railing/trucking hydrogen seem to be able to be  somewhat ameliorated by shipping ammonia/hydrogen blends. (Not too sure about the accuracy of this statenmnt).
  • The (seemingly) ethics challenged Nikola Motor Company is teaming up with Nel to provide a US nationwide hydrogen distribution system which  produces hydrogen primarily through wind and/or solar powered electricity for the electrolysis process. Nikola plans on offering future customers 1 million miles free fuel (!!!) with the leasing of each of their Class 8 trucks.

All in all, some sharp people see a way forward for hydrogen to be produced at a threshold level ($1/kg?) where commercial applications make financial sense.

This is an interesting and rapidly evolving field that may dovetail in with natgas uses, renewable energy advocates, and - ultimately - cold hard cash advantages.

Background

RBN Energy: making sense of the hydrogen buzz. Archived. From November 13, 2020.

Everywhere you look these days, someone is talking about hydrogen and, if you’re not well-versed in emerging technologies aimed at reducing carbon, you may not know what any of it means. A quick internet search isn’t much help either, as you will likely get lost quickly in discussions of fuel cell efficiency and electrolysis technology developments, not to mention the various “colors” of hydrogen and the myriad of ways it can be stored and transported. Don’t bother turning to your traditional green energy gurus either, as hydrogen is just one of many competing approaches to reducing the world’s carbon footprint, and electric vehicle folks like Elon Musk aren’t big fans. All the same, hydrogen news and investment plans seem to proliferate daily, and understanding this fuel — which, by the way, is not new to the energy space — seems prudent. At least that’s our view, which is why we today start a series to help us hydrocarbon experts unravel the mysteries behind the recent hydrogen ruckus.

To be honest, when we started looking into the subject of hydrogen for a blog, it seemed like a fringe subject. Our assumption was the topic likely merited some analysis but could probably be filed away with other various “industry-changing” topics that buzz through the markets every now and then. We also thought it would be pretty quick and easy to get the low-down on the key ingredient in stars. After all, what is there to know really? Isn’t hydrogen just an element that makes our classic hydrocarbons so full of energy? Well, turns out we were wrong, at least in part. Nothing about the current hydrogen buzz is simple and the topic is far from straightforward to get your mind around. That said, with a little time spent you can see that the basic elements of using H2 as an energy source are in many ways not all that far removed from some familiar topics many of us have mastered in understanding the traditional hydrocarbon value chain. Regarding whether or not the hydrogen chatter is just a fad, time will tell. However, it does seem like supply and demand fundamentals may be converging in a way that may ultimately cement hydrogen’s role in the domestic energy market.

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