Skip to content

⚡"Where Green Hydrogen Is Headed"

The Energy Gang

Photo by American Public Power Association / Unsplash

Host: Stephen Lacey
Guests: Janice Lin | Founder & CEO | Strategen &
Stephen Lamm | Director of Sustainability | Bloom Energy
Category: ⚡Renewable Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:37] JL: “Hydrogen is a very mature, globally traded industrial feedstock. And sadly, of the 100 million metric tons that's produced every year around the world, most of it is gray and brown, meaning it's produced from fossil fuels, either oil or natural gas. And it produces a lot of emissions. If you treat global hydrogen production as a country, it would emit more carbon than Germany. So that gives you an idea of the scale and scope and what's at stake. The good news is that hydrogen can be made from renewable resources. There's multiple feedstocks, and when we think about the colors, there's a very big rainbow of colors of hydrogen, depending on the feedstock. […] Green hydrogen is not made from fossil fuel feedstocks, and has climate integrity, meaning when you produce the hydrogen from those feedstocks, you're emitting zero […] greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.”

[3:47] SL: “When we think about green hydrogen, we're talking about electrolytic hydrogen, so using electrolyzers to produce hydrogen from water. The definition can certainly be broader […], but as an electrolyzer manufacturer, that's certainly how we think about the world, and use and use of renewable power as the power feedstock to do that. The colors to date have been very helpful, I think, in orienting the stakeholders to a relatively complex and nuanced landscape. But at the end of the day, the colors are all really meant to […] give folks an idea of the environmental profiles associated with the production pathways and the utilization pathways.”

[6:54] JL: “We need applications that can use much larger quantities. How are we going to store or what kind of storage are we going to need, when we start hitting really high penetrations of solar and wind, which is the lowest cost energy at the margin? And when we did that analysis, it became clear that the future [of] 100% clean power sector will need really bulk storage, multi day weekly, monthly seasonal storage. And after looking around, and there's a number of promising pathways that are under development, we realized, […] hydrogen storage is one way of storing that abundant renewable energy. […] So you can achieve a reliable and clean power sector that's 100% renewable with green hydrogen.

[7:53] SL: “We think about the hydrogen market in sort of four segments: transport, industrial, building heat and power, and power generation applications. When he got the hydrogen market, we can be talking about the generation of hydrogen or its utilization, in power generation, for example. […] Many of the same players that are present in both electrolysis and power generation through a fuel cell and that's in part because the technologies are very, very similar. […] And so as we think about where we're focused from an innovation perspective, it's really on addressing the issues of ramping and how to work within a context of renewable power production that's intermittent.”

[9:10] SL: “The other thing I'll say, that's interesting about the high temperature application is there's the potential for waste heat integration. And we're looking at that in the context of say, district heating or other industrial waste heat for on site applications. And then things like concentrated solar as well. So lots to be excited about from an efficiency perspective, primarily because about 80% of the cost of hydrogen is the cost of power used in the electrolyzer. So, if you can have a really high efficiency, you can bring down those costs pretty quickly.”

[11:48] JL: “To the folks that are concerned about […] green hydrogen being used as greenwashing, I would say there are definitely initiatives and projects underway where it is the furthest thing from that. And where we're looking at advancing green hydrogen production at scale, driving down cost to directly displace fossil fuels. There are some traditional fossil fuel companies that are supporting this, investing in it. And from my standpoint, that's good news. Because if these companies can find a way to create a reason to exist, that's built around a cleaner pathway forward, that's going to make progress happen faster. And the way we make sure that they do it is to ensure that progress forward has climate integrity front and center.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 26 min | 🗓️ 10/14/2021
✅ Time saved: 24 min