Agreement combines industry leadership in electrolyzer technology with proven nuclear expertise
Cranberry Township, PA and San Jose, Calif. – June 6, 2022 – Westinghouse Electric Company and Bloom Energy Corporation (NYSE:BE) today announced that they have entered into a Letter of Intent to pursue clean hydrogen production in the commercial nuclear power market. The companies are teaming to identify and implement clean hydrogen projects across the nuclear industry.
Westinghouse and Bloom Energy will jointly develop an optimized and large-scale high temperature integrated electrolysis solution for the nuclear industry. With the ability to operate 24/7 and provide high-quality steam input, nuclear plants are well-positioned to utilize electrolyzer technology and produce substantial quantities of clean hydrogen with minimal disruption to current, ongoing operations.
“Through this collaboration, we are committed to delivering an economical solution for large-scale hydrogen production in the nuclear industry, which further supports the path to net zero carbon emissions,” said Pam Cowan, Westinghouse President of Americas Operating Plant Services.
“We are proud Westinghouse has turned to Bloom and our solid oxide technology to supercharge the clean hydrogen economy,” said Rick Beuttel, vice president, hydrogen business, Bloom Energy. “Solid oxide technology is well suited for nuclear applications, efficiently harnessing steam to further improve the economics of hydrogen production. High temperature electrolysis is already garnering attention and accolades as a cost-effective and viable solution to create low-cost, clean hydrogen, which is critical to meeting aggressive decarbonization goals.”
Global demand for hydrogen and its emerging applications is projected to increase tenfold or more by 2050, surpassing the current infrastructure for producing and delivering hydrogen. As hydrogen usage expands from traditional industrial uses to the fuel of a clean future, the need to produce it in larger quantities and from low- and zero-carbon sources is clear.
The hydrogen produced in nuclear plants can be utilized to serve many industries such as renewable fuels production, oil and metals refining, ammonia synthesis, mining operations, and mobility in sectors such as heavy trucks, buses, and even air travel. The companies also are well positioned to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s developing hydrogen hubs.
Biden-Harris Administration Advances Cleaner Industrial Sector to Reduce Emissions and Reinvigorate American Manufacturing
The Department of Energy is launching major clean hydrogen initiatives of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will create jobs to expand use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.
German Hydrogen Strategy Under Fire for Sidestepping Gas
The German hydrogen strategy, which inspired the EU’s own hydrogen roadmap, has come under fire domestically for placing too much emphasis on “green” hydrogen and endangering the country’s industrial decarbonisation process. “In the next few years, the alternative is not green or blue hydrogen, but blue hydrogen or coal,” said Katharina Reichen, the CEO of a German energy company who chairs the country’s hydrogen council.
UK Hydrogen Strategy
Working with industry, our ambition is for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for use across the economy. This could produce hydrogen equivalent to the amount of gas consumed by over 3 million households in the UK each year.
The UK Government Wants up to 3m Homes to be Powered by Hydrogen by 2030, as Part of its Strategy to Move to the Low Carbon Energy Source
The UK government’s hydrogen strategy released today sets out how transport, business and construction will harness the green-friendly gas creating up to 9,000 new jobs and unlocking £4bn in investment. Government analysis suggests a third of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based. It believes this energy source could be critical to meet net-zero emission targets by 2050 and cutting emissions by 78 per cent by 2035.
World Energy Council Develops Hydrogen Demand Model
Significant divergences are emerging across countries and regions, as national hydrogen strategies reveal varying attitudes towards hydrogen’s role in energy transitions. Confusion over ‘colours’ is stifling innovation, with over-simplification and colour prejudice risking the premature exclusion of some technological routes that could potentially be more cost- and carbon-effective. Demand-centric hydrogen perspectives are needed to advance the Humanising Energy and demand-driven agendas. The hydrogen economy could stimulate job creation and economic growth, potentially helping to fulfil ‘build forward together’ ambitions post-COVID-19.
EIB Signs Advisory Agreement with Hydrogen Europe
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Hydrogen Europe, an umbrella association representing European industry, research, and national and regional associations in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, today signed an agreement for consultancy services. Under the agreement, the EU bank will provide financing advisory support for hydrogen projects introduced by Hydrogen Europe. Furthermore, it will cooperate on market development initiatives and conduct joint market outreach. Finally, the agreement will help to develop dedicated EIB financing products for green hydrogen.
EU Outlines New Hydrogen Transport Targets
The European Commission has announced more measures to support the development of green hydrogen as part of a wider package of reforms aimed at reducing emissions by 55pc below 1990 levels by 2030. The EU already has a hydrogen strategy aiming for 40GW of installed electrolyser capacity by 2030. The impact assessment for the new package of measures estimates this will cost €22bn/yr ($26bn/yr) in the 2021-2030 period. But among the revisions to the EU legal framework proposed by the Commission—which it says are consistent with the goals of the hydrogen strategy—are targets that hydrogen and synthetic fuels form at least 2.6pc of transport fuel use by 2030.
Total Hydrogen Investment in Projects Along the Whole Value Chain Amounts to an Estimated $500bn Before 2030
Globally, 131 large-scale hydrogen projects have been announced since February 2021, taking the total to 359 projects that will produce 10mn t/yr by 2030, according to the latest Hydrogen Insights Update from the Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led initiative. The world’s hydrogen demand needs to hit 212 mn t/yr for the goals of the Paris Agreement to be achieved, according to separate modelling by the IEA.
Not Even Carbon at 200 Euros Can Make Green Hydrogen Competitive
To make the average renewable hydrogen project competitive with a fossil alternative will require annual subsidies of as much as 24 billion euros.
As the US Begins to Craft a Hydrogen Strategy, Europe’s Experience Could Offer Valuable Lessons
Experts see multiple ways in which green hydrogen — produced by powering an electrolyzer with renewable energy — could help drive the clean energy transition. It could use up excess renewables that would otherwise be curtailed, provide carbon-free electricity using fuel cells and decarbonize hard-to-electrify sectors. Hydrogen can also be stored for long periods of time, meaning it could serve as a form of seasonal energy storage.
Porthos CCS Project: Industry Targets €2 Billion in Dutch Subsidies
Port of Rotterdam CO₂ Transport Hub and Offshore Storage (Porthos) project is on schedule to store an annual amount of 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from the industry in empty gas fields beneath the North Sea as from 2024.
Why Hydrogen Is the Hottest Thing in Green Energy
The European Union has set the most ambitious goal: building electrolyzers that are capable of converting 40 gigawatts of renewable electricity into hydrogen by 2030. It’s made hydrogen a central component of its Green Deal plan, envisaging as much as 470 billion euros ($560 billion) of public and private investments by 2050. China plans to have 1 million vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells on its roads by the end of 2030. The value of its hydrogen production could reach 1 trillion yuan ($155 billion) by 2025. Australia will invest $214 million to speed development of four hydrogen hubs with 26 gigawatts of capacity. Japan, where Toyota Motor Corp. has invested heavily in fuel cell technology, is the world leader in hydrogen refueling stations, while South Korea is building fueling and other infrastructure in six cities where it hopes to make hydrogen the main energy source by 2025. The U.S. had 6,500 fuel cell electric cars on the road in 2019 — the world’s largest fleet. President Joe Biden’s administration has set a goal of reducing the cost of renewable hydrogen by 80% by 2030.
US DOE Secretary Granholm Launches Hydrogen Energy Earthshot to Accelerate Breakthroughs Toward a Net-Zero Economy
The first Energy Earthshot—Hydrogen Shot—seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram in one decade. Achieving these targets will help America tackle the climate crisis, and more quickly reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while creating good-paying, union jobs and growing the economy.
How Japan’s Big Bet on Hydrogen Could Revolutionize the Energy Market
Japan is realizing it can’t achieve its goal of zero emissions by 2050 with renewable sources like solar and wind alone. Hydrogen emits water vapor when used, rather than greenhouse gases seen as the main causes of global warming like carbon dioxide. It can be used to replace fossil fuels in industries where renewables don’t work as well.
US Department of Energy Roadmap to a US Hydrogen Economy
By 2030, the hydrogen economy in the US could generate an estimated $140 billion per year in revenue and support 700,000 total jobs across the hydrogen value chain. By 2050, it could drive growth by generating about $750 billion per year in revenue and a cumulative 3.4 million jobs.
ACORN Project in Scotland
The Acorn Hydrogen Project, located in North East Scotland is an Advanced Reforming Process, with Johnson Matthey Low Carbon Hydrogen (LCH) technology at its core. This will deliver an energy and cost-efficient process for hydrogen production from North Sea Gas, whilst capturing and sequestering CO2 emissions to prevent climate change. Clean hydrogen will be blended into the National Transmission System (NTS) or used in the region for decarbonising heat and industry. The plant could be on stream before the end of 2025.
The HyNet Low Carbon Hydrogen Project
The development and deployment of a 100kNm3/hr hydrogen production and supply facility to be sited at Essar Oil’s Stanlow refinery utilizing Johnson Matthey’s LCH technology which includes carbon capture. It will represent the first deployment of a technology proven in other sectors to the production of clean hydrogen and will achieve this at scale, at a higher efficiency than other reforming technologies and with a very high carbon capture rate. It will, therefore, deliver low-cost, low carbon bulk hydrogen.
South Korea National Hydrogen Roadmap
The plan is to increase the production of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles and expand the supply of fuel cells. It also seeks to increase the cumulative total of fuel cell vehicles to 6.2million by 2040. The ultimate goal is
to create a hydrogen ecosystem and seeks to raise the number of hydrogen refueling stations to 1,200 in total from just 13 today. The SK government projects that the plan would drive the price downward further when it keeps increasing the hydrogen supply by 2040.
European Hydrogen Backbone
A vision for a truly European undertaking, connecting hydrogen supply and demand from north to south and west to east. Analyzing this for ten European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland), we see a network gradually emerging from the mid-2020s onwards. This leads to an initial 6,800 km pipeline network by 2030, connecting hydrogen valleys. The planning for this first phase should start in the early 2020s. In a second and third phase, the infrastructure further expands by 2035 and stretches into all directions by 2040 with a length almost 23,000 km.
The US Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Released the H2@Scale Vision
In the H2@Scale vision, hydrogen would act as an energy infrastructure complementing the electric grid, as well as play a larger role in the industrial and transport sectors. Today, the U.S. demand for hydrogen is 10 million metric tons annually. It is primarily used in the industrial sector for oil refining, fertilizer manufacturing, and chemical production. New uses for hydrogen that were evaluated in the report include steelmaking, synthetic fuels, energy storage, injection into the natural gas system, and fuel cell vehicles. The study characterized the economic potential of hydrogen consumption in current and emerging sectors, given R&D advances, and varying prices of natural gas and electricity. By 2050, the study estimates that U.S. demand for hydrogen could increase to 22–41 million metric tons/year.
China Looking to Establish a ‘Hydrogen Society’
During the summer, China’s Science and Technology Minister, Wan Gang, called for China to “look into establishing a hydrogen society”. Given the Minister made a similar call two decades ago on vehicle electrification, which played a role in China’s current market dominance, close attention is being payed.
China is aggressively driving hydrogen and fuel cell development, and is on track to outpace development in the EU and U.S. with a focus on hydrogen busses and trucks. In the first seven months of 2019, installed capacity of hydrogen fuel cells has increased six-fold.
While some major oil and gas corporates are waiting on the side lines for more sure signs of government support, early-stage local and external innovators have mobilized across the country.
To the Chinese government, hydrogen offers way towards meeting climate and pollution goals without increasing reliance on imported fuels. It also opens a new avenue for developing clean technology manufactured goods for export. The country hopes that hydrogen will account for 10% of the Chinese energy system by 2040.
The New Oil: Green Hydrogen from the Arabian Gulf
The Middle East has presented several world-record-breaking solar energy plants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. The GCC has the lowest cost solar electricity in the world. The Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will house the DEWA III 800MW solar PV plant, which will produce electricity at 2.99 $ct/kWh, immediately followed by the 1.2GW Sweihan solar PV project in Abu Dhabi, which will produce electricity at 2.42 $ct/kWh. The 300MW Sakaka project in Saudi Arabia was even cheaper at 2.34 $ct/kWh. The lowest bid for the Sakaka came in at 1.79 $ct/kWh but was reportedly disqualified for proposing to use less proven bifacial solar modules. Nonetheless, this shows that even lower prices are possible. Given solar PV’s continuous and spectacular price reduction over the last years, future solar PV projects can generate daytime solar electricity at 1.5 $ct/kWh.
To produce 1 kg of hydrogen requires 50kWh of electricity and since solar energy could cost 3 $ct/kWh in the Gulf, the energy cost to produce hydrogen is 1.5 $/kg. An electrolyser costs approximately $600,000 per MW but is projected to cost $400,000 in a few years from now. Assuming 8,000 annual full load hours, a 1MW electrolyser coupled to a solar system would produce 160,000 kg of H2 per year. Assuming a 10-year life and linear depreciation, this would add 0.25 $/kg to the cost of the hydrogen. The overall cost of green hydrogen made from sunshine and water in the Gulf could be as low as 1.75 $/kg.
Saudi Arabia Plans on Producing Green Hydrogen from Renewables
On the edge of the Saudi Arabian desert beside the Red Sea, a futuristic city called Neom is due to be built. The $500bn (£380bn) city – complete with flying taxis and robotic domestic help – is planned to become home to a million people. And what energy product will be used both to power this city and sell to the world? Not oil. Instead, Saudi Arabia is banking on a different fuel – green hydrogen. This carbon-free fuel made is from water by using renewably produced electricity to split hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules.
This summer, a large US gas company, Air Products & Chemicals, announced that as part of Neom it has been building a green hydrogen plant in Saudi Arabia for the past four years. The plant is powered by four gigawatts of electricity from wind and solar projects that sprawl across the desert. It claims to be the world’s largest green hydrogen project – and more Saudi plants are on the drawing board.
Russia Plans to Export Hydrogen to Asia
In a recent online interview with Nikkei, Russian Deputy Minister of Energy Pavel Sorokin unveiled a new government policy to export 2 million tons of hydrogen by 2035.
Sorokin cited Asian countries, including Japan, China and South Korea, as well as European countries, including Germany and France, as promising export destinations.
Sorokin stressed that cutting transportation costs and safe transit will be the biggest challenge for Russia’s hydrogen exports. He said Russia was considering mixing hydrogen into existing gas pipelines for Europe and transporting hydrogen by ship to Japan and other Asian countries.
Japan was the First Country to Adopt a “Basic Hydrogen Strategy” in 2017
This strategy primarily aims to achieve cost parity with competing fuels such as gasoline in the transportation sector or liquefied natural gas (LNG) in power generation and covers the entire supply chain from production to downstream market applications.
To this end, the government already six years ago began investing in R&D and providing, including support for low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen production, an expansion of the hydrogen infrastructure for import and transport abroad within Japan, and an increase of hydrogen use in various areas such as mobility, cogeneration of power and heat, as well as power generation.”
The plan is for a nationwide hydrogen market approaching $4 trillion by 2030.
The roadmap 2030 goals include 800,000 fuel cell vehicles, 1,200 buses, supported by 900 refueling stations.