Building the Hydrogen Transport and Distribution Infrastructure

On September 15, 2021, Upstream, a leading source of news in the international oil and gas industry, published a story entitled “Hydrogen success must overcome transportation challenges.” Written by Russell McCulley, the publication’s Features and Technology Editor, the article declares that “whether green or blue, one of the biggest challenges for the growing ‘clean’ hydrogen business is how to transport the final product safely … without undoing many of the fuel’s emission-reduction gains in the process.” The cautionary article is surely worth a read; and is the latest example of the growing recognition by McKinsey & Company and others that the infrastructure to efficiently transport, distribute and store hydrogen represents a critical prerequisite to achieving hydrogen’s disruptive potential.

These infrastructure challenges are not newly discovered. In April 2003, Swiss scientists, B. Eliasson, U. Bossel and G. Taylor warned in their article entitled “The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright or Bleak,” that “for reasons of overall energy efficiency, packaging and transport … hydrogen may play a role as [a] local energy medium, but it may never become a globally traded energy commodity.” Overcoming the limitations described by these authors with respect to pipeline, ship, rail and truck transport of gaseous and liquified hydrogen, as well as its conversion to hydrogen carriers such as ammonia and/or mixture with methane, is what led H2 Clipper to search for a better-suited solution to transporting hydrogen.

Thanks to the early and unwavering belief of our investors in the critical importance of hydrogen to any successful plan to transition key portions of the U.S. and global economy off fossil fuel and into renewable energy, H2 Clipper has been able to invest over a decade and millions of dollars in engineering and IP (US and International patents) focusing on the core infrastructure technologies needed both to transport (500 – 6000+ miles) and distribute (0 – 250 miles) hydrogen safely and less expensively without contaminating 99.999% pure hydrogen by converting it into ammonia or blending it with natural gas.

The ability to achieve cost parity of green hydrogen with fossil fuel relies on harvesting sunlight, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy where they are in plentiful supply, and then transporting this hydrogen to where the highest demand exists for clean energy. Transportation and ‘last mile’ distribution of hydrogen from the location where it is producing to the places where it will be used are essential to enabling the predictions by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Association), Bloomberg and other top analysts that by 2050, between 14% and 25% of the primary energy mix will transition to hydrogen; and these infrastructure improvements are an important component in BloombergNEF’s estimate that $100 trillion in hydrogen investments will be required to meet net zero goals by 2050.

On September 29, 2021, Bloomberg and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) co-hosted the “H2 Road to Net Zero” conference in Milan. The video below contains several important exchanges that are relevant to this topic. This includes the opening remarks by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Secretary John Kerry (at 0:15), and panelists Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, and Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power, who provided their insights concerning four key questions.

Edited from the full video streamed live from the event. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtiyhbANMRU

1) How close are we to making the vision of hydrogen real? (at 4:00)
2) Where are we in scaling up production and reducing the costs of hydrogen? (at 8:00)

3) What are the technical challenges that still need to be addressed? (at 12:00)
4) How do we address the transport challenges of getting the product to market? (at 20:00)

Inventing the Future

We believe it is critical for the stakeholders of the hydrogen industry to work together and leverage our collective influence, skills, and areas of interest to address the critical infrastructure issues concerning how hydrogen is transported and distributed. If you and your organization share an interest in addressing these important challenges, we’d like to extend an invitation to you to connect with us as we collectively invent the future.

We look forward to connecting with you and your organization because together we are creating a revolution, not only in hydrogen production, transport and end use, but a revolution to address climate change for our mutual interest, for our children, and grandchildren as well.

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