OCED Observatory Newsletter, Issue 5: H2Hub Competition Narrows
DOE has received 79 applications for hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) funding and recommended that 33 submit a full proposal. This edition of the newsletter also includes two special sections: a review of major hydrogen investments and the outlook of European hydrogen efforts.
Large US Hydrogen-Related Projects
Reports From Nonprofits, Trade Associations, and Government
Focus on Hydrogen Projects in Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Note From the Staff
The major news this issue is that DOE received 79 applications for H2Hubs funding and recommended that 33 submit a full proposal. We list those that are publicly known in the hubs section below. With full applications due April 7, and voluminous requirements outlined in the FOA, hubs will need to work flat out to meet the deadline. Understandably, very little has emerged publicly from the potential hubs at this point, apart from announcements that they have been recommended and in some cases, mergers of applicants.
This edition of the newsletter includes two special sections: a review of major hydrogen investments (please let us know of any important recent announcements that are not included), and a collection of announcements related to the Port of Rotterdam, which clearly aims to become a major European hub for hydrogen-related activities.
Note: The ITIF Hydrogen Newsletter focuses primarily on projects and technologies that are at the demonstration stage or later. Upstream projects will be included as they mature.
Hydrogen Hub News
DOE received 79 applications. 33 have been encouraged to proceed (hubs map).
▪ ARCHES, Alliance for Reliable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (CA). Official website.
▪ ARCH2, Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (OH, KY, PA, WV).
▪ DNA H2Hub., Decarbonization Network of Appalachia (PA). Official website.
▪ GLCH, Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen (IN, OH, MI, PA).
▪ HALO (AK, LA, OK). Official website
▪ HARVEST Hydrogen Hub (KS). Official website (sort of).
▪ Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub (HI).
▪ HCH2, Horizons Clean Hydrogen Hub (Port of Corpus Christi, TX).*
▪ Heartland Hydrogen Hub (MN, MT, ND, WI).
▪ HyVelocity Hub (TX). Official website.
▪ Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (DC, MD, VA)
▪ Mid-Atlantic Clean H2 Hub (DE, NJ, PA)
▪ Mid-Continent Clean Hydrogen Hub (NE, IA, MO)
▪ Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (IL, MI). Official website.
▪ Midwestern Hydrogen Coalition (IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, OH, WI). Official website.
▪ Northeast Regional Hydrogen Hub (NY, CT, NJ, MA, RI, ME). Official website.
▪ Obsidian Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (OR, WA, ID). Official website.
▪ PNWH2. Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (OR, WA). Official website.
▪ Southeast Hydrogen Hub (KY, TN, AL, GA, SC, NC).
▪ Southwest Clean Hydrogen Innovation Network (AZ, NV).
▪ Trans Permian H2Hub (TX, NM). Official website.*
▪ WISHH. Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub (CO, NM, UT, WY). Official website.
* The H2HC and the TransPermian hubs have announceda merger. The new single hub will be led by Corpus Christi.
Additional Hydrogen Hub Notes
▪ Obsidian Renewables has been backed by trades councils in Oregon and Washington, as it has committed to using union labor. Obsidian claims to be the only proposed hub with signed trade council MOUs.
▪ EuroChem, a major European fertilizer company, claims that its partnerships with the PNWH2 and Midwest Alliance represent the only known hubs commitments to green fertilizer production.
▪ HCH2 and H2Hub have merged after the DOE backed both applications separately.
▪ Midwest Hydrogen Coalition and Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen have merged after DOE backed both applications separately.
▪ Vermont has joined the Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub.
▪ California. Los Angeles City Council has voted to move forward with an $800m plan to convert its largest baseload gas-fired power plant (the 830MW Scattergood Generating Station), to run on green hydrogen.
▪ California. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved SoCalGas’s request to track costs for advancing the first phase of the Angeles Link project.
▪ California. The City of Lancaster Planning Commission has granted final approval to SGH2 Energy Global Corp. for its carbon-neutral green hydrogen facility. The environmentally friendly hydrogen plant will highlight SGH2’s ground-breaking Solena Plasma Enhanced Gasification (SPEG) technology, which recycles mixed paper trash, allowing SPEG to produce clean, carbon-negative H2.
▪ Louisiana. Ascension Clean Energy (ACE), a joint venture led by Clean Hydrogen Works (CHW), plans a $7.5-billion project to produce 7.2 million metric tons of low-carbon ammonia annually, using Topsoe’s integrated blue hydrogen and ammonia technologies. It targets a 98 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, which will be permanently sequestered.
▪ Louisiana. The “Magnolia Power Generating Station” has broken ground in Plaquemine, LA. The $750 million power station is expected to power more than half a million rural homes per year. The site is expected to be operational by 2025.
▪ Missouri. BayoTech has expanded its hydrogen distribution network into the St. Louis, Missouri, area in collaboration with Ranken Technical College
▪ New York. The New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) Scoping Plan framework for the net-zero by 2050 transition plan was approved by the Climate Action Council.
▪ Texas. Linde announced that it will invest $1.8bn in a new blue hydrogen plant in Texas, to supply both H2 and nitrogen to OCI’s blue ammonia plant.
▪ New Jersey. Recently enacted legislation known as the Low Embodied Carbon Concrete Leadership Act (LECCLA) (S-287) offers tax incentives for producers who supply state projects with concrete containing reduced quantities of embodied carbon. Producers whose product contains less embodied carbon than the baseline will be eligible for corporation business tax (CBT) credits of up to 8 percent of the total cost of the contract.
Large US Hydrogen-Related Projects
▪ Air Liquide will supply the liquefaction equipment for Woodside’s envisioned H2OK hydrogen project in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Two plants (30 tonnes/day each) will liquefy green hydrogen for storage, loading, and delivery to consumers. An initial 290 MW facility can expand to 550 MW and 180 t/d.
▪ TECO 2030 announced the first fuel cell stack created specifically for heavy-duty and marine applications. The FCM400 (Fuel Cell Module 400 kW) will be built and tested by TECO 2030 in the summer of 2023 at the AVL site in Graz, Austria.
▪ Nexo, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle from Hyundai Motor Company, sold more than 10,000 units globally for the first time—58 percent of the total global market of 18,457 units, up more than 100 percent year on year.
▪ DOE will provide $750 million to lower the cost of hydrogen technologies for heavy-truck fuel cells, hydrogen delivery, and storage.
▪ DOE issued a $3.5 billion/5 year FOA for four regional Direct Air Capture (DAC) Hubs to accelerate the demonstration of commercial-scale process, transport, geologic storage, and conversion of CO2 from the atmosphere. The Bilateral Infrastructure Law (BIL) directs DOE to select at least two hubs—to the “maximum extent possible”—for development in “economically distressed communities” with large coal, oil, or natural gas resources.
▪ DOE issued a $47 million FOA in funding for RD&D of affordable clean hydrogen technologies that can advance the Department’s Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per kilogram within a decade.
▪ DOE has given $7.4 million to seven projects to create infrastructure plans for hydrogen corridors and medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across 23 states.
Other Relevant US Policy
▪ A collection of bills reintroduced March 2 by Senators Coons and Cornyn aim to support hydrogen technologies for emissions reduction.
▪ Four U.S. federal agencies (EPA, DOE, DOT, and HUD) announced a decarbonization roadmap for transportation: The U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization.
▪ The Biden administration will provide $50 million in grants for states to speed up the permitting process of underground injection for carbon capture and sequestration projects.
International activity continues to ramp up, as demonstrated in the numerous activities around the port of Rotterdam (see special section at the end of the newsletter).
▪ Australia. Iberdrola Australia has partnered with hydrogen developer ABEL Energy on a $1.1 bn green hydrogen and green methanol project at Bell Bay, in northern Tasmania. Primary target is maritime uses.
▪ Australia. Plug Power has abandoned a planned collaboration with Fortescue Metals Group to build an electrolyzer manufacturing plant. Fortescue still plans to go ahead.
▪ Brazil. Brazilian chemical manufacturer Unigel will invest $1.5 bn for green hydrogen production in Bahia. Production will ramp up to 100,000 tons of clean H2 by 2027, along with 600,000 tons of ammonia.
▪ Spain. Enagás Renovables and Naturgy will build a renewable hydrogen production plant with a 280 megawatt electrolyzer on the property of the La Robla coal-fired power station in Leon.
▪ Canada. After receiving environmental approval, EverWind Fuels Co. is building a $6 billion facility in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, set to produce up to 1.1 million metric tonnes of green hydrogen and clean ammonia per year.
▪ Germany. Air Liquide completed a hydrogen pipeline to Thyssenkrupp Steel in Duisburg.
▪ India / UAE. India and the UAE have agreed on the production of green hydrogen and an undersea cable linking India and the UAE.
▪ India. India has approved a $2.15 billion incentive program (including green H2) aimed at reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
▪ Italy. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan has announced €450 million for green hydrogen valleys in deserted industrial zones, particularly in Southern Italy.
▪ Netherlands. The Dutch Government announced €783.5 million in subsidies for seven green hydrogen electrolyzer projects, (3 in Rotterdam), with a combined capacity of 1.5GW
▪ Norway. Equinor pulled out of the Barents Blue ammonia project in Norway. Two of the three development partners have now pulled out, currently leaving no CCUS operator.
▪ Romania. Romanian authorities canceled a tender for 12 hydrogen trains and associated H2 supply after receiving no bids.
▪ Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia announces $266bn clean energy plan.
▪ Spain. Disfrimur and Scale Gas (an affiliate of Enagás), are collaborating to launch hydrogen trucks and a new hydrogen station network in Spain.
▪ Spain, Portugal, France. Presidents Pedro Sánchez, Emmanuel Macron, and António Costa announced plans to establish hydrogen connectivity between the Iberian Peninsula and France, a pipeline aiming to carry two million tons of hydrogen annually.
▪ Sweden. Ørsted has acquired the remaining 55 percent stake in the 50,000 tonnes/year FlagshipONE e-methanol project focus on the world's shipping industry. Onsite construction will start in 2023 and the project will be operational in 2025.
▪ Greenland. 1.5 GW of renewable energy from a new wind farm will power H2Carrier’s P2XFloater, a floating vessel for manufacturing hydrogen and green ammonia.
▪ Australia. The Australian government is funding a $100m FEED study analyzing options for developing the Port of Newcastle as a center for green hydrogen development.
▪ Australia. South Australia will support construction of the world’s largest hydrogen power station, fed by a 250-MW electrolysis facility costing $415m, using excess renewable energy from the grid to produce hydrogen for on-site storage. The stored H2 will return power to the grid in evenings or during the winter.
▪ Australia. South Australia is expected to begin exporting hydrogen created using renewable energy by the end of the year.
▪ The European Commission unveiled plans to offer green hydrogen producers in Europe a "fixed premium" per kg—the first time the bloc has committed to subsidize domestic production in this way—as part of a massive package of temporary measures that aim to "level the playing field" with the U.S. However, The European Commission’s (EC) failure to finalize rules governing green hydrogen production has led a frustrated legislator to cancel crucial talks on the EU’s flagship renewable energy law, potentially derailing the bloc’s entire legislative program for renewable energy.
▪ The European Commission has set out rules for defining what counts as renewable hydrogen in the EU.
▪ EU agrees to the world’s largest carbon border tax.
▪ Electric truck maker Nikola Corp. will sell up to 75 Tre hydrogen-powered trucks over three years to fuel-cell technology developer Plug Power Inc. Plug Power will attach its liquid hydrogen tankers to Nikola’s trucks, to transport green hydrogen fuel across North America.
▪ Plug Power will provide a liquefaction system for Nikola’s hydrogen hub project in Buckeye, Arizona, which will produce 30 metric tons per day of the gas initially and scale up to 150 metric tons per day.
▪ H100 Fife in Levenmouth Scotland will offer hydrogen for heating and cooking to up to 300 homes. It is a test of both end-use and the distribution system via pipeline.
▪ Commercial Vehicle Demonstrations Project in Alberta, Canada offers commercial the opportunity to test Class 8 hydrogen-fueled vehicles in day-to-day operations.
▪ Following successful, taxi tests, Universal Hydrogen’s hydrogen plane has been granted an experimental special airworthiness certificate from the FAA, permitting the first flight for the H2-powered regional aircraft.
▪ The HDD55 HevenDrones hydrogen-fueled drone can fly for up to 100 minutes and carry a maximum payload of 7 kilograms.
▪ Engineering firm FEV (a subsidiary of NGV Powertrain) unveiled a retrofit hydrogen engine, transforming existing engines (based on a block from the FTP Industrial Group). The FTP engine currently powers thousands of buses.
▪ Aberdeen City Council in Scotland has awarded ULEMCo a fleet-wide contract for its hydrogen dual-fuel utility vehicle conversions, supporting the largest fleet of hydrogen vehicles in the UK.
▪ Netze BW, will soon launch distribution of a 30 percent “green” energy blend to homes and a test site in the southwestern town of Oehringen.
▪ ZeroAvia has signed a hydrogen fuel collaboration agreement with Shell, the Hague Innovation Airport (RHIA), and Rotterdam City, targeting demonstration flights to European destinations by end-2024, anticipating commercial passenger flights by end-2025.
▪ Alstom will operate a hydrogen-powered passenger train in Canada this summer making Quebec the first region in the Americas to operate a green hydrogen train.
▪ 130 new hydrogen refueling stations opened worldwide in 2022, for a total of 814 open stations.
Reports From Nonprofits, Trade Associations, and Government
▪ NREL report argues that existing gas network may not safely handle the blending of hydrogen and methane. Blending hydrogen into the gas network could affect the molecular structure of plastic gas pipes and could nearly double the volume of leakage.
▪ International Energy Agency (IEA) released the Energy Technology Perspective 2023 Study. Inter alia, it concludes that ammonia is the cheapest way to ship hydrogen, followed by liquid organic hydrogen carrier. Transporting liquified H2 will be significantly more expensive.
▪ NREL announced new Hydrogen Analysis Lite Production (H2A-Lite) model, an expansion of the Hydrogen Analysis (H2A) production models and case studies, designed for conducting in-depth techno-economic analysis of hydrogen production paths.
▪ The Energy Future Initiative released a detailed Action Plan for spurring hydrogen demand.
Investment in Hydrogen
Investments in hydrogen are growing rapidly. Note that ACES and Monolith raised significant capital after receiving DOE-LPO loan commitments, which appear to have catalyzed the additional funding. Private capital invested in hydrogen-related firms increased by more than 50 percent year-on-year in 2022—up from $3.6bn in 2021 to $5.7bn in the first 11 months of 2022 (Pitchbook).
Notable hydrogen-related investments from the past year (over $100m, ordered by size) include:
▪ $890m. SPIC Hydrogen Energy, a subsidiary of giant state-owned Chinese State Power Investment Corporation of China received a total of $890m in funding from various Chinese investment groups for hydrogen fuel cell development.
▪ $650m. ACES Delta, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Power Americas and Magnum Development, raised $650m for the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in Utah, which will employ 220MW of wind- and solar-powered electrolyzers to produce 36,500 tonnes of renewable H2 per year. It also received a $504.4m conditional loan from DOE-LPO in April 2022.
▪ $300m. Nebraska-based Monolith, a turquoise hydrogen developer, raised $300m in July 2022 from BlackRock and other investors (including Mitsubishi). Turquoise hydrogen is created by burning natural gas in the absence of air, producing solid carbon as a by-product rather than carbon dioxide. Monolith also received a $1bn loan guarantee from DOE-LPO in January 2022.
▪ $260m. The Chilean company Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF)—a partnership between Enel Chile and local energy companies AME and ENAP—raised $260m from Baker Hughes, Porsche and others in April 2022, for the production of green hydrogen and derivatives in southern Chile. HIF produced its first liters of synthetic fuel in December 2022 and is aiming to produce methanol, carbon-neutral gasoline and carbon-neutral liquefied gas.
▪ $227m. Hy2gen, a German green hydrogen developer, raised $227m in February 2022 in an investment by Hy24, a pure-play hydrogen investment company, Technip, and others, which at the time, was called the world’s largest private investment in green hydrogen. The company is planning to build plants in countries such as France, Norway, Canada, Germany, and the United States to produce green hydrogen-based fuels for aviation, shipping, land transport, and industrial applications.
▪ $223m. German electrolyzer manufacturer Sunfire raised $223m in June 2022 from Danish offshore wind-focused renewables investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Swiss environmental and social impact investor BlueEarth Capital and New York-based Carbon Direct Capital Management. The deal gave Sunfire—which makes alkaline and solid-oxide electrolyzers—a total market valuation of $1.7bn.
▪ $198m. US electrolyzer maker Electric Hydrogen raised $198m in June 2022, in a funding round joined by corporate heavyweights such as Amazon, Equinor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Honeywell, in addition to existing backers such as the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Electric Hydrogen is led by former First Solar and Tesla executives and targets industrial-scale production of 100MW-plus electrolysis units.
▪ $148m. Chinese fuel cell company Sinosynergy raised $148m from Chinese investors before applying for listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange in November 2022. The company produces fuel cell systems for buses, trucks and storage, as well as refueling systems.
▪ $132m. Germany’s H2 Mobility Deutschland raised $132m in April 2022 from hydrogen investor Hy24, as well as existing high-profile shareholders such as Air Liquide, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Shell, and Total. The company is Europe’s largest operator of hydrogen refueling stations, according to its website, thanks to its German network.
▪ $129m. Belgian “green gas” developer Tree Energy Solutions raised $129m in October 2022 from Fortescue Future Industries, the Australian green hydrogen developer, for the Wilhelmshaven Green Energy Hub on Germany’s northwest coast.
Focus on Hydrogen Projects in Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands—and Rotterdam in particular—is rapidly becoming a center for hydrogen-related activity in Europe. Multiple projects span the sector, focusing primarily on production (mostly using wind from the North Sea), import and storage, transportation (especially new pipelines), and mobility.
▪ AirLiquide will use renewable electricity from Hollandse Kust Zuid, a North Sea windpark, for its activities in The Netherlands.
▪ AVR’s e-thor project will demonstrate the business case for the combined production of hydrogen and oxygen and the utilization of residual heat. An initial 5 MW electrolyzer will leverage SOEC technology—with possible upscaling to 100 MW.
▪ Battolyser is building a €100 million 1Gw combined battery/electrolyzer plant. Operational in Q3 2024, and employing 700, it generates H2 from renewable sources and provide energy to the grid during periods of low renewables production.
▪ Connecting offshore wind energy. 7.4 GW of wind farms on the North Sea to be connected to the Port of Rotterdam by 2030.
▪ Conversiepark Maasvlakt converts offshore wind power into hydrogen which is transported to users via pipeline. The conversion park will also host other hydrogen projects.
▪ H2-Fifty. BP, Nouryon and the Port of Rotterdam are exploring option to make green hydrogen for BP’s refinery. H2-Fifty is expected to produce 20,000-30,000 tons of green hydrogen annually, to be used BP’s largest European refinery for desulphurization, replacing grey hydrogen.
▪ MultiPHLY will deploy the world's first high-temperature electrolyzer system in multi-megawatt-scale (~2.4 MW) at Neste’s renewable products refinery, demonstrating the local production of green hydrogen for the refinery.
▪ Shell Holland Hydrogen 1. On the conversion park in the port of Rotterdam, Shell plans a 200 MW facility for electrolysis. Electrolyzers have been ordered.
▪ Uniper’s Maasvlakte hydrogen plant will operate at 100mw capacity by 2025, and could expand to 500mw.
Import Facilities and Storage
▪ ACE Terminal. Gasunie, HES International and Vopak will develop an ammonia import terminal, for using ammonia as a green hydrogen carrier. The terminal has direct access from the North Sea, and connects to end-users in Rotterdam and to Gasunie's pipeline infrastructure.
▪ Global Energy Storage (GES) acquired a substantial part of the Stargate Terminal from Gunvor. GES is planning tank storage for “low carbon products,” such as biofuels, hydrogen, and hydrogen carriers such as ammonia.
▪ Import Terminal For Green Ammonia. OCI N.V. has approved phase 1 of its ammonia import terminal expansion project. Throughput capacity will increase from the current c.400,000 t/yr to more than 3m t/yr, via low-cost upgrades to OCI’s existing infrastructure. Phase 1 investment is estimated at below $20 million, with completion expected in 2023. A basic engineering assessment has been completed for Phase 2, covering the construction of a new world-scale ammonia tank at the terminal and the scale-up in jetty infrastructure.
▪ Koole, Chiyoda, Mitsubishi agreed to study the feasibility of commercial-scale import of hydrogen from overseas sources to one of Koole’s Rotterdam terminals, using Chiyoda’s proven hydrogen storage and transportation technology SPERAHydrogen.
▪ Koole and Horisant Energi. Horisont Koole will collaborate on a terminal and storage facility to handle clean ammonia and CO2. The project includes tank storage, multi-modal connections, and access to at least two deep-sea jetties.
▪ Vopak. Tank storage company Vopak and German hydrogen company Hydrogenious agreed a joint venture in the storage, transport, and supply of hydrogen via hydrogen carrier benzyltoluene. Through LOHC Logistix, the companies will build a plant in Rotterdam that can initially decouple 1.5 tonnes of hydrogen per day from this carrier.
▪ Delta Corridor is a €1 billion project to construct four new pipelines between Rotterdam, Chemelot industrial site, and North Rhine-Westphalia for the transport of C4-LPG, propylene, hydrogen, and CO₂.
▪ hyTransPort.RTM. The Port of Rotterdam Authority and Gasunie are developing a new €100 35km million hydrogen pipeline to form the backbone of future hydrogen infrastructure, with operations planned for Q2 2024.
▪ Clean Hydrogen and Road Transport Project (CH2aRT) is a collaboration between Air Products and Schenk Tanktransport to deploy hydrogen trucks while building the largest public hydrogen refueling station in the Netherlands.
▪ HyTrucks is a multicompany initiative to deploy 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks between Antwerpen, Duisburg, and Rotterdam, using 25 hydrogen filling stations. Founding partners include the Port of Rotterdam, Port of Antwerp, Duisport, Air Liquide, and DATS 24.