Hydrogen has lengthy been hyped as a fuel of the future. It’s plentiful and its shatter product is water. But it and not utilizing a doubt’s most efficient today that the availability of cheap renewable vitality has allowed hydrogen to be produced competitively without the exercise of fossil fuels.
Azeem Azhar speaks with Raffi Garabedian, co-founder and CEO of Electrical Hydrogen, to explore the market opportunity and roadmap to broad adoption of “green hydrogen.”
They additionally discuss about:
What the hydrogen industry can learn from scaling renewables like solar and wind.
Why hydrogen will likely be absolute most practical in serving to to decarbonize heavy industries.
The aptitude of the exercise of hydrogen to store and transport enormous portions of renewable vitality between continents.
Enterprise Capital and Deep Decarbonisation with Shayle Kann (Exponential Seek Podcast 2022)
May possibly well well possibly Europe change Russian fuel with green hydrogen? Let’s leer at the numbers (Recharge 2022)
The Future of Hydrogen (World Vitality Agency 2020)
AZEEM AZHAR: Hi there, there. I’m Azeem Azhar, and this is the Exponential Seek podcast. Now, it used to be the first and it’s essentially the most plentiful needed to the existence of stars, planets, and lifestyles itself. Yet, hydrogen is rarely any longer featured widely in our human vitality programs, no topic many attempts over the decades. But as of late with the calls for to decarbonize our vitality system, as valuable as they are, and with fresh applied sciences utilizing down charges, it is also hydrogen’s second. Can hydrogen – let’s face it so successful in our universe thus a ways – earn its technique into our homes, industries and the financial system at wide? Raffi Garabedian is the founder and CEO of electric hydrogen who position themselves the job of growing price competitive hydrogen at scale. Now we enact exercise a pair of technical terms. I would prefer to spell them out. First is a BTU, which is a British thermal unit, the Imperial measure of thermal vitality that is customarily damaged-down in the United States. Natural fuel is most frequently damaged-down as a comparison for hydrogen. Its vitality is measured in hundreds of hundreds of Btus. At last, hydrogen is created by passing an electric fresh by blueprint of water, splitting hydrogen, the H, from the oxygen, the O. This route of is named electrolysis and like many companies, Electrical Hydrogen uses a brand fresh abilities called PEM electrolysis for its increased efficiency and abilities to greater address a diversity of operating conditions. Well, that’s satisfactory gassing for me. Let’s hurry on with the articulate. Raffi, welcome to Exponential Seek.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Thank you, Azeem. I never idea of hydrogen as a successful part, but that’s preferrred.
AZEEM AZHAR: Well, it’s obtained the absolute most practical market share. Has it no longer? By abundance. So I’m entertaining as of late, other folks are genuinely getting excited about hydrogen. Final 300 and sixty five days, the UK authorities introduced a hydrogen technique asserting this goes to unleash billions of kilos by 2030 and hundreds of jobs. And you expose heart’s contents to leer hydrogens exhibiting up in analyst experiences and in the form of discussions about what the vitality mix appears like in the near future. Why now?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Of us had been talking about hydrogen as an vitality vector, if I’m able to exercise that phrase, for a protracted time. It’s been on the roadmap. It’s been on other folks’s minds. It’s gone by blueprint of a pair of hype cycles. Even as you seen about it that technique, correct? The put there used to be stunning quite a few excitement around hydrogen, and then maybe no longer. Well from my point of leer, it’s all about economics genuinely. Now, economics underpinned with a reason to commerce, which is climate by some means. It’s mitigation of climate outcomes of burning prolific portions of fossil fuel.
AZEEM AZHAR: And the primary chemistry there for our listeners is stunning, we burn hydrogen H2. And the output, the shatter product is stunning H2O, it’s water. It’s no longer a CO2 or a more or less a methane that goes to finish up being a greenhouse fuel.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: That’s exactly correct. In essentially the most efficient develop, if you occur to oxidize hydrogen, you rating water and that’s a renewable cycle. When that you just would possibly possibly make hydrogen from water, H2O, by breaking it into O2 and H2. Now that bond breaking takes quite a few vitality, but that vitality is carried in chemical develop to 1 other location, the positioning where combustion occurs, the exercise of O2 from the air to burn the hydrogen yet again, returning water into the ambiance and releasing that vitality, or no longer decrease than most of that vitality, reduction into our vitality system. So, I’m genuinely targeted on fossil free hydrogen. One other technique to take into memoir that is renewable hydrogen. So, I stunning described the technique hydrogen would possibly additionally be made from water by including vitality in to crack the water bonds to interrupt it aside into O2 and H2. That vitality, if it comes from renewable belongings like wind and solar and hydroelectricity, then the hydrogen that outcomes would possibly additionally be called renewable hydrogen. That route of of manufacturing is neatly-kept. It’s cyclic, it’s sustainable most efficient if the vitality stepping into is renewable, but it and not utilizing a doubt has heretofore been very costly. And there are genuinely two points to the price of manufacturing of hydrogen by these technique. The technique is named electrolysis. The enter electricity and the price of the capital instruments, the package, or the plant, if you occur to will, that produces a hydrogen that does the conversion.
AZEEM AZHAR: And what we’ve considered over fresh years has been a dramatic decline in the price of renewable electricity from solar photovoltaic and from wind generators onshore and offshore. Then that shift has came about genuinely comparatively today, 2016, 2017, 2018. So, that speaks to the first a part of the notify. After which I train the second part is liable to be where you step in.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Yeah, that’s exactly correct Azeem. So, renewable electricity is now essentially the most affordable electric resource on this planet in so a lot of, many places. And that opens now the risk of manufacturing renewable hydrogen, fossil free hydrogen by electrolysis at a mark point that is competitive with fossil produced hydrogen. That’s a game changer, correct? Attributable to in infrastructure industries, in commodities, mark parity is what’s de facto required to incentivize a huge switch at a global scale.
AZEEM AZHAR: And other folks in general exercise colors for hydrogen. Inexperienced, blue, and gray – green being the more or less hydrogen that you just are producing, which is form of finish to finish renewable vitality; gray hydrogen being the exercise of fossil fuels to make the hydrogen; and then blue hydrogen be a more or less a form of a political compromise. The premise that you just’d exercise fossil fuels to make the hydrogen. And that you just would possibly possibly also procure the carbon dioxide that’s emitted. But if we’re brooding about the vitality transition from a more or less green point of view, a renewable point of view, a decarbonization point of view, essentially the most efficient thing that genuinely matters is green hydrogen.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Within the hydrogen geeky circles, I argue that the coloration codes are genuinely obfuscating the facts underneath, and there’s quite a few nuance. But at a high level, in relation to facilitating an general vitality transition to renewables, green hydrogen’s essentially the most efficient thing that matters.
AZEEM AZHAR: I suspect it’s purposeful for us to own close how we envisage this hydrogen in actuality being damaged-down. I’m no longer notably hot on hydrogen to vitality gentle passenger vehicles. I don’t think it’s the absolute most practical exercise case for it. I’m a ways more inquisitive about form of carbonized industry that are genuinely laborious to reach by different solutions like ammonia manufacturing or steel or fueling the genuinely, genuinely enormous, enormous issues for which we in the mean time deserve to exercise genuinely soiled, heavy diesel substrates for. But how would possibly silent we in actuality take into memoir where the hydrogen goes to be damaged-down?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: One of many complexities of hydrogen as a decarbonization pathway is that it’s a generic fuel that will additionally be damaged-down in a diversity of functions. So, I entirely accept as true with you that vehicular electrification, notably gentle accountability vehicles, there’s so noteworthy momentum around battery powered electric vehicles that that appears to be like to be the successful solution. Now, where does hydrogen match? So, there are obvious exercise conditions where hydrogen is a chemical feed stock that’s extremely laborious to interchange. So, that’s ammonia manufacturing. Ammonia is mounted nitrogen supply for so a lot of fertilizer that’s damaged-down on the earth.
AZEEM AZHAR: Synthetic ammonia as of late is produced by a quintessential industrial age route of, correct? It’s a managed explosion at several hundred atmospheres tension, several hundred degrees Celsius/Fahrenheit, engage your measure over, a catalyst Haber-Bosch route of. It’s an graceful-
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: It’s hell fire and damnation in a steel tube. It’s called the Haber-Bosch route of. It’s accomplished at big industrial scale. And the technique ammonia is produced as of late is by taking methane, cracking it into C, which in actuality turns into CO2 and is emitted into the ambiance, releasing the hydrogen. The hydrogen goes into the Haber-Bosch reactor and is catalytically transformed with nitrogen from the air into ammonia. That’s the old college route of. The hydrogen can reach from electrolytic hydrogen, can reach from green sources without the CO2 emission. And that’s a transition that’s being discussed in so a lot of points of the enviornment and is being pursued at pilot scale by the enviornment’s largest industrial ammonia producers. But different half of of the exercise for hydrogen as of late is largely in hydrocracking, refining of petrochemicals.
AZEEM AZHAR: But there looked as if it will likely be a few different places that that you just would possibly possibly also imagine the exercise of this. I mean, my younger other folks had been doing high college chemistry and there’s a reactivity ladder, and hydrogen is at a terribly purposeful location. So, that you just would possibly possibly also imagine the exercise of hydrogen in form of purifying ores. So, that you just would possibly possibly also exercise it doubtlessly in steel making, if it used to be cheap satisfactory.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: What you stunning acknowledged is most frequently the critical. Cheap satisfactory in the context of an global that is valuing an increasing form of decarbonization. It’s going to be extremely laborious for renewable hydrogen to be as cheap as coal in the steel manufacturing route of. But it and not utilizing a doubt would possibly additionally be doubtlessly moderately soon as cheap as gray hydrogen. So yeah, hydrogen would possibly additionally be damaged-down in an growth of functions as a chemical feed stock for the conversion to different presents.
AZEEM AZHAR: So, what’s charming about this is the critical uses that we’ve reach up with are no longer essentially vitality thus a ways. There are hydrocracking, hydrogenation, ammonia, manufacturing, steel producer, but no longer the item that if you occur to affirm hydrogen, other folks think that you just would possibly possibly burn this thing and that you just would possibly possibly combust it and that you just would possibly possibly develop warmth and that you just would possibly possibly drive issues forward. It’s a terribly legitimate, shiny dialogue in the UK in the mean time, after we take into memoir 22 million homes the exercise of methane CH4 boilers and oven hobs thinking, how will we, without district heating, without electric heating, procure that infrastructure and rating it to burn one thing that is less tainted than CH4? So, does hydrogen own an very preferrred a medium-term role in any of these functions?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Just correct framing of it, Azeem. So, we’ve been talking, as you acknowledged about the chemical exercise conditions for hydrogen, which would possibly well be obvious and up-to-the-minute. The fuel is more precious in these exercise conditions than it is to burn for BTUs as a warmth supply. But having acknowledged that, the notify that it assaults when burned as a warmth supply is most frequently a terribly enormous notify. I spent over a decade in the solar industry, building abilities for terribly, very wide-scale solar vitality plants. And naturally the notify with each solar and wind is that the resource is on hand when it’s on hand, no longer after we favor it. So this soundbite or mantra that folks like to lengthy onto, electrify all the pieces, it is sharp to us intuitively, but genuinely electrifying all the pieces most efficient helps in relation to carbon emissions, if we can electrify all the pieces with renewable vitality.
AZEEM AZHAR: But despite the incontrovertible truth that you just occur to did, despite the incontrovertible truth that you just occur to had been in a location to generate that by blueprint of a mixture of solar vitality and wind and battery storage and high voltage pronounce cables, we’re doubtlessly building one all the formula down to Morocco, which would possibly form of pipe renewable vitality up to us with minimal warmth loss and vitality loss as it travels. Even supposing we did all of that, my radiators are heated by water from a fuel boiler that combusts methane. So, we then deserve to war by blueprint of that total route of of rearchitecting 23 million homes. That’s stunning the UK. I suspect it’s obvious that electrify all the pieces doesn’t mean that’s essentially the most efficient finish point of vitality that we finish up with.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Absolutely. We use vitality in gaseous and liquid develop at a miles increased price than we use electric vitality as of late as a species on this plant. And it’s good to think we can snap our fingers and transform all of that in five years to all electric. Well, we don’t own the batteries at a mark point that makes any sense to shift the vitality from when it’s produced to when it’s valuable. And we don’t own the infrastructure in location. We’re no longer going to discontinue burning issues stunning since the mantra “electrify all the pieces” sounds attention-grabbing. We’re going to support on burning issues. And the query is rarely any longer how will we discontinue doing this? How will we enact it in a neatly-kept, sustainable formula? Hydrogen offers that likelihood.
AZEEM AZHAR: So, what we’re suggesting is that you just own got got a form of starting enter of neatly-kept electricity from geothermal and nuclear fission and maybe fusion and solar and wind etc is a mixture over the next thirty or forty years. And a few conditions we can store that in a battery. In numerous conditions, we fire it by blueprint of an electrolyzer and we make some hydrogen. In numerous conditions, we would possibly then procure that hydrogen and flip it real into a synthetic fuel.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: All of these exercise conditions you’re describing, Azeem, are proper and up-to-the-minute exercise conditions for renewable hydrogen that I imagine we can observe in the next decade.
AZEEM AZHAR: Let’s rating to maybe some basics sooner than we bustle too a ways sooner than ourselves around how would possibly silent we take into memoir and perceive hydrogen? I suspect that listeners will likely be aware of what does a gallon of fuel enact? What’s a kilowatt hour?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Let me overview hydrogen to natural fuel. MMBtu is the frequent measure of natural fuel warmth price. We take into memoir an MMBtu here in the US, maybe that’s worth around $4. The identical mark for hydrogen is one thing around 70, 65 cents per kilogram. That’s about the conversion off the tip of my head.
AZEEM AZHAR: So, you’d pronounce the hydrogen is cheaper than natural fuel? I didn’t quite remember the fact that.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: No, no, no. That’s the price at which hydrogen would become-
AZEEM AZHAR: Oh, I observe.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Parity from a thermal basis. So this is the attention-grabbing thing about vitality, each hydrogen natural fuel and electricity’s price is locationally dependent. And in actuality that’s one of many towering strengths of fuels versus electric generation. Fuels would possibly additionally be saved and moved. So, we own now a robust financial system in so a lot of points of the enviornment exporting natural fuel and different petrochemicals or fossil fuels to points of the enviornment where there’s inhabitants density, the need for vitality and no indigenous resource. That’s very, very laborious to attain with wires. You talked about undersea cables to rating admission to Moroccan sunshine as an vitality supply for Sizable Britain. That is also a greatly costly proposition to undertake. And the capital price of creating these forms of infrastructure is by some means born by the consumers of that vitality. How will we enact it as of late? We liquefy natural fuel, and we ship it all all over the enviornment. Or we procure oil and ship it all all over the enviornment. Locational arbitrage of the fuel resource is an extremely delicate notify to resolve different than providing an alternative fuel that will additionally be transported and moved around. So, one of many genuinely big transformational exercise conditions for renewable hydrogen is most frequently the intercontinental transport of vitality. What it boils all the formula down to is gaining access to solar and wind and hydro, where they are plentiful and transferring that vitality in a saved develop chemically to places where it’s valuable.
AZEEM AZHAR: And enact you imagine that that storage develop is liquid hydrogen, which is, I’m going to exercise Celsius, -252? That’s moderately frigid. It’s noteworthy less warm than electrifying natural fuel. Or would you pronounce that you just ship this as a more or less liquified ammonia or enact you develop a more or less synthetic methane that is also a more or less neatly-kept carbon cycled methane that that you just would possibly possibly also then exercise the existing infrastructure?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: So, liquefying hydrogen is extremely vitality intensive, and much of that vitality is misplaced in the technique of liquefying it and then re-evaporating it real into a purposeful gaseous develop that will additionally be burned or damaged-down. This is opinion since the techno-economics are in actuality no longer entirely obvious. And there’s proper debate in the engineering and scientific community as to which pathway by some means goes to rating essentially the most sense. And frankly, we will experiment with a pair of pathways to compete them in opposition to one one other to leer what genuinely is the lowest price absolute most practical develop of storage and transport. So, liquefaction is problematic. Storing liquid hydrogen at these extremely low temperatures is additionally delicate, essentially since it’s laborious to support frigid. And when it warms up it evaporates and that evaporation is misplaced hydrogen or in different terms misplaced vitality. So, inefficiency in the system. Now ammonia is a total different thing. Ammonia is most frequently very easy and financial to make, and it’s rather easy to liquefy, store and transport. Within the farm belt in the US, there are enormous, enormous storage facilities, enormous tanks. They leer like water tanks from the originate air that are filled with anhydrous ammonia that’s cryogenic. So, we know how to enact this. Having acknowledged all of that, anhydrous ammonia is poisonous. So, each has its mavens and its cons. And relying on the appliance, the exercise case, we would possibly observe one or different resolve. There are additionally rising applied sciences. So, there are these items called liquid organic hydrogen carriers, which would possibly well be molecules that will additionally be hydrogenated and dehydrogenated with rather low vitality enter or rather runt vitality loss in the technique. So, think of these as recoverable fuels. It’s a liquid that stunning adjustments articulate and either absorbs or releases hydrogen. That’s a truly, very promising blueprint that I’m by some means quite optimistic about.
AZEEM AZHAR: There are some real articulate approaches as neatly that are rising. There’s a British firm, H2GO Energy, as an illustration, taking part in around with real articulate approaches as neatly with identical route of, correct?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: That’s exactly correct. And yet again, I suspect there’s going to be a robust rivals between applied sciences, that will by some means outcome in low-price approaches for storage and transport of hydrogen. It turns out lengthy distance, high quantity transport of hydrogen is extremely cheap. There are various existing hydrogen pipelines as of late, which customarily connect an industrial facility like a gray hydrogen manufacturing plant, it’s called a steam methane reformer, to an ammonia plant, a Haber-Bosch plant, or a petrochemical refinery. And there are many places on the earth where these facilities more or less coexist and are linked by a total bunch of miles of hydrogen pipeline. That pipeline, for all intents and functions, looks and functions stunning like a natural fuel pipeline and has a identical price structure. So, very, very cheaper to pass fuel that technique.
AZEEM AZHAR: As soon as it’s built clearly. And all of the underlying property householders own signed off on their land, transit by blueprint of their land and-
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Attention-grabbing point, Azeem. It turns out building pipelines is less problematic, even from a NIMBY point of view and an environmental point of view than building electric transmission cables. So I’m a getting greater electrical engineer. It used to be very laborious for me to essentially admit this to myself. But after we did the learn, I was quite convinced that pipelines resolve in the transport of bulk vitality over lengthy distances. And in addition they resolve by a lengthy shot.
AZEEM AZHAR: So, let’s discuss about your blueprint as neatly, which has to be pushed by charges. So I suspect a quantity that’s in general thrown around for hydrogen to become price competitive with form of different picks is $1 to $2 per kilogram of hydrogen. Is that roughly where we ought to be aiming for?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: After I started in solar in 2008, there used to be a pipe dream to rating to $1 a watt constructed plant price. Now in preferrred resource locations had been doubtlessly all the formula down to 60 cents a watt and the vitality that outcomes from these facilities charges under $20 a megawatt, under 2 cents a kilowatt in the US. So extra special transformation that every body outcomes from industrial scale studying. Now let’s discuss about what we’re evaluating hydrogen charges to. If we imagine that there might be a danger to resolve vis a vis anthropogenic climate commerce, that’s pushed by CO2 emissions from combusting fossil fuels, then we doubtlessly imagine in the momentum we’re seeing politically around decarbonization. Which suggests either a mark on carbon emissions or mandates for the procure and sequestration of carbon.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: If we overlay that on top of the price of natural fuel, the identical price that hydrogen has to attain to be thermally identical in price to natural fuel, relying on where you on are on the earth, it falls somewhere in the fluctuate you quoted. $1 a kilo to $2 a kilo. So if we rating all the formula down to that $1 to $2 a kilo, we await on the techno-economics that there will likely be a huge inflection point in the adoption of renewable hydrogen as a replacement to the fossil resource.
AZEEM AZHAR: And naturally, the next query is, where are we as of late? And where are you from that quantity?
It is miles dependent upon the price of electricity, but electrolyzers as of late, that’s the instruments that makes the conversion, electrolyzers as of late are extremely costly. I’ll quote a quantity stunning to position a quantity available. They price on the remark of a $1000 a kilowatt to develop. So, that’s all the hardware and the labor and installation and commissioning of a plant to present the conversion. Now the largest plants on the earth are on the remark of 10 to 20 megawatts in scale. And a conventional electrolyzer is on the remark of 1 megawatt in scale or less, a total bunch of kilowatts even.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: So, this takes me reduction to the early days of wind and solar. Wind generators had been extremely little. They weren’t very ambiance friendly, identical with solar panels. Like a flash forward to where we’re as of late. Wind generators are multi megawatt in scale. Solar panels are extremely ambiance friendly and intensely low-price and quite wide, physically. That’s the transition we’re ready for in electrolysis as neatly. And at Electrical Hydrogen, we imagine deeply in the idea that price drives adoption in infrastructure and vitality. So, if that’s your mentality, you seen about utilizing charges because enhance is most frequently the needed part to decarbonization. We’ve to grow to valuable scale.
AZEEM AZHAR: Reveal is additionally the driving force of declining charges. Attributable to what enhance lets in you to enact is to generate studying produce. I exercise the example of lockdown bread baking. When we went into lockdown, other folks obtained into bread baking. The first loaf of sourdough we made took ages, tasted dreadful, and there used to be mess all over the kitchen. By the point we obtained to the fourth or the eighth loaf, we had been genuinely dab fingers and substantial, substantial ambiance friendly. And after we leer at a bunch of applied sciences which own gone from costly and uncommon to cheap and ubiquitous photovoltaic cells, semiconductors, silicon chips, they’ve had wide studying outcomes. Now I’m more or less serious about what the studying outcomes leer like in Electrical Hydrogen.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Azeem, let’s exercise your baking metaphor. I admire it so a lot. I’m additionally a COVID baker. Even as you overview two bakers, two home bakers, the one who bothers to read so a lot on the get hold of, maybe buys a e book or two and watches a bunch of YouTube videos and then gets started baking. Let’s overview that baker to 1 other one who stunning starts attempting it. Are they going to own the identical studying price? Seemingly no longer. Seemingly the baker who takes their time to think it by blueprint of and starts with a more strong baking abilities goes to enact so a lot greater. Now, from the standpoint of an industrial R&D operation, we don’t take into memoir studying rates at all. We take into memoir discrete projects which own techno-financial revenue. And so what are we doing? We’re reimagining reconstructing electrolysis with an sight in direction of utilizing two parameters. One is scale. We imagine that electrolysis has to occur at a noteworthy bigger scale of throughput than it is in the mean time being accomplished at. And two, price. Now price implies two issues. It implies utilizing successfully that very, very low-price renewable resource, which is inherently intermittent and low capacity ingredient. So, it’s most efficient fresh a chunk of the time at some point soon of the day, and it has an inclination to reach and hurry rather mercurial, either due to clouds or due to wind. And the second a part of price, clearly, is the capital price of the instruments, which has to enact with its scale and its throughput. So, these are the factors we’re targeted on.
AZEEM AZHAR: You talked about needing to drive scale as what you mean, throughput, and to drive charges down, and I’m serious about what you mean by scale. So, I form of imagine, and I maybe I’ve obtained this contaminated, there are vats of water and there is some more or less membrane that gets fresh passed by blueprint of it – and that’s where the electrolysis happens. And you’ve obtained a chunk tube that gets to top the fuel off, and you then separate it by form of density at the tip. So, if you occur to affirm scale, enact you mean bigger and bigger sheets of where this electrolysis happens? So, bigger and bigger tanks? What’s it if you occur to affirm scale?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: So, if you occur to suspect a few panel electrolyzer, the broad ones are about the size of a little refrigerator. That’s the electrochemical unit itself. It’s a bunch of membranes stacked up on top of every different. A form of costly presents hurry into this. Now that you just would possibly possibly procure the formula of stunning looking out for to rating that bigger physically. The price goes up with the quantity of presents and manufacturing inputs that are required, and that’s how you attain increased throughput. So, that’s no longer necessarily a large price reduction blueprint. You will more than likely be in a location to try and rating the presents themselves cheaper, but at some point soon you rating all the formula down to more or less commodity enviornment fabric charges, which would possibly well be very laborious to drive. And essentially, in my estimation, we’re looking out at a interval coming up here of decades of rising commodity charges, no longer declining commodity charges. Even as you procure that identical physical unit, but you put more vitality into it and make more hydrogen out of it consequently, that is also a noteworthy decrease, effective price thing. Even supposing the item itself has the identical mark. You’re getting so a lot more productivity out of it. That what I mean by throughput. So that’s the absolute most practical technique in our leer to drive reduction in price, but it and not utilizing a doubt additionally drives rating bigger in scale. Which technique that identical refrigerator dimension unit would possibly make, let’s stunning throw out a quantity, it would possibly make 5 or 10 instances more hydrogen than the identical as of late.
AZEEM AZHAR: Enticing.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Why is that critical?
AZEEM AZHAR: Certain. Why is that critical? The object that strikes me as of late about the form of hydrogen market is that it’s so little. It feels to me like issues would be very bespoke, whereas most issues that rating to scale – there’s some modularization, there’s some standardization. I mean, can the hydrogen industry rating to form of a product mentality in relation to the manufacturing of the fuel?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Well, initially, you’re absolutely correct. The industry has been a little enviornment of interest industry with a large vision. Now, all of a surprising, as a result of political will to tackle climate commerce and the need for an vitality transition, the opportunity has exploded orders of magnitude in scale. And so the abilities and the companies that make it deserve to adapt in the event that they favor to be relevant in that fresh position of functions.
AZEEM AZHAR: The hydrogen market as of late is rarely any longer genuinely enormous market. It’s decrease than $150 billion a 300 and sixty five days, relying on who you seen. It’s going to deserve to grow ten instances, thirty instances over the next twenty or thirty years, and I’m serious about how you enter that market. What policy makers in general discuss about, they beautiful think that we’ve obtained to drive down the price. If we drive down the price, then magically form it and to allow them to reach. And I ponder, is it satisfactory to stunning rating the price down practically? You is also having to form this. You would possibly deserve to form a firm or enact you deserve to additionally stimulate assign aside a question to? Are there risks in having a market that is stunning supply pushed if you occur to’re making a wager that assign aside a question to will stunning form of articulate up on Thursday morning to procure all this fuel off your fingers?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: A Cardinal rule in manufacturing companies is to no longer form it and hope that they’ll reach. That’s a route to stress. It’s absolutely serious to stimulate assign aside a question to. Now price has a terribly critical role to play in stimulating assign aside a question to. But what we’re procuring for and hoping for is a leveling of the taking part in field. Vitality writ wide, and notably fossil vitality, it’s an industry that’s pushed largely by national and global policy and politics, and by blueprint of very, very complicated circuitous web of flows of capital and additionally guidelines. The fossil industry advantages greatly in relation to its deployability and its price structure. We deserve to level that taking part in field before all the pieces. And we own now to internalize the price of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. That in and of itself will stimulate wide assign aside a question to.
AZEEM AZHAR: I additionally shock about many engineering enhancements that emerge. They in general own a route real into a market that will additionally be at the high finish. So, the very, very irritating user. Clayton Christensen who wrote the Innovator’s Predicament, one of his examples clearly, is in electric art furnaces for making steel, which would possibly no longer compete with the high finish of steel, essentially the most successful steel, which used to be surgical steel. But as the abilities obtained greater and cheaper, by some means this started from a bridgehead of a rather undesirable market and stunning turn into a large market. Is there some dynamic within the renewable hydrogen market that also can leer like that? That that you just would possibly possibly earn a bridgehead market where that you just would possibly possibly in actuality compete on whatever basis is rarely any longer absolutely functioning, like the first mini mills, but that as the abilities improves, matures, charges reach down, scale goes up, you’ll be in a location to procure more of these exercise conditions. Or does that more or less disruption model no longer work here?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: I mean, it’s a generalized model that’s labored in quite a few places and doubtlessly works here. But the satan’s in the particulars. So, there’s a infamous US firm, Go Energy, that is powering Ford trucks with hydrogen. Attention-grabbing alternate. It is miles also that market that helps the industry hurry from zero to 1. It would possibly even additionally be a unnecessary finish. It would possibly even additionally be a distraction. After I pronounce the devils in the particulars, what I mean is whether or no longer or no longer the product that’s being developed, there has a roadmap to then scale into the markets that we’ve been talking about, the exercise conditions that are noteworthy, noteworthy bigger. But it and not utilizing a doubt’s a truly delicate pathway since the product requirements, the product market match is largely very, very different. So we’re attacking the notify head on. And rather then procuring for a bridgehead market, we’re procuring for purchasers who own an inner and an intrinsic motivation to decarbonize very delicate exercise conditions.
AZEEM AZHAR: Would it seem to me like the natural places to open would be these other folks who in actuality use hydrogen in wide portions from soiled sources? So in fertilizers and chemical compounds.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: It’s such an arresting topic. And it’s so evident to head there without prolong. You talked about the hydrogen market. It’s no longer in actuality a market. There’s in actuality no commodity desk for hydrogen. It’s no longer a freely traded commodity. It’s customarily a bilateral or unilateral own affiliation. Breaking into that industry has obvious structural challenges, each correct and alternate challenges that also can rating it… it appears to be like like an evident location to open. It would possibly even in actuality be a truly laborious location to open. We’re exploring these opportunities, but I would pronounce the acknowledge correct now, isn’t evident. It’s additionally critical to indicate that the pressures to decarbonize these industries, either the intrinsic or extrinsic pressures are no longer as severe as they are in different exercise conditions and functions.
AZEEM AZHAR: I’m serious about what you seen the contribution over the next decades of hydrogen would be to the decarbonization fling. Is it that we’re at the stage where we stunning don’t know what works so we favor a portfolio of instruments and we is also in a location to rating there without hydrogen? Or is it that it’s going to essentially be absolutely needed and a part of the combination? And if it’s the latter, how noteworthy a part of the combination?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: We’ve been the exercise of quite a few vitality for the last few hundred years as a species on this planet. We’ve no longer, in these a total bunch of years, stumbled on one blueprint to consolidate and harmonize our vitality enter to a single supply. We’ve many, many various sources of vitality and sources of chemical precursors that we exercise in other places and functions because they work greater. So, to think that stunning because we want to articulate “electrify all the pieces” it would possibly silent occur, I suspect is a chunk bit naive. There are issues that will additionally be electrified successfully with renewable vitality. There are issues that would possibly’t be. And the issues that would possibly’t be are a large, in my estimation, 50% or more of the vitality system as a total. That’s where hydrogen I suspect can play and doubtlessly would possibly silent play. So, to position a scale on that likelihood globally, we’re talking about tens of terrawatts of identical producing capacity or the conversion to chemical develop, whether or no longer it’s hydrogen or one of the most downstream downhill styles of renewable fuels that is also more transportable and storable.
AZEEM AZHAR: And I suspect we would possibly silent stunning scope what, what tens of terrawatts technique. What does that mean relative to US vitality electricity exercise?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: So, if we take into memoir solar as an industry, the worldwide manufacturing capacity of solar modules, which is the serious a part of the solar price chain, without which that you just would possibly possibly’t form a solar plant, is stunning over 200 gigawatts a 300 and sixty five days. The flexibility globally to rating wind generators is one thing south of that. Renewable vitality writ wide would possibly additionally be deployed globally, one thing south of 400 gigawatts a 300 and sixty five days.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Now an infinite share of that deployment will hurry straight to the electric grid, pronounce electrification. So, most efficient a little a part of it might possibly by some means be bypassed or utilized in electrolysis for the manufacturing of hydrogen. So, to take into memoir the scale of the notify appropriately, we own now to additionally discuss about the scale of the vitality resource going into it. And we own now to discuss about rising the scale of that vitality resource. After I take into memoir solar, the constraint to adoption is the infrastructure needed to integrate that solar onto the grid and to pass it to where it’s valuable when it’s valuable. Batteries are substantial costly. They’re going to reside substantial costly from a grid point of view for the foreseeable future. And wires are genuinely laborious to form and expensive to form. So, essentially, for that reason my companions and I obtained into the hydrogen alternate in the first location. We came at it from the attitude of how will we steal the constraints on deploying more solar and more wind so as that we can pass by blueprint of the decarbonization fling faster than we’re as of late. And in actuality hydrogen offers doubtlessly that pathway by lifting the constraint of grid integration from the renewable industry.
AZEEM AZHAR: When we take into memoir our listeners, they’re doubtlessly listening to this thinking, will they ever contact hydrogen? Will we ever deserve to know, care, perceive about hydrogen, or will all of this preferrred work genuinely occur stunning in the reduction of the scenes, practically a clear and seamless technique for us?
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: One of many challenges in building a alternate like ours at Electrical Hydrogen is that capturing the imagination of lay other folks, other folks who aren’t in the renewable industry in the vitality alternate is extremely laborious because we don’t contact these items. Most other folks don’t know where their electricity comes from, and don’t genuinely care to know. In an identical vogue, most other folks don’t know or care to know where the nitrogen is mounted to make the food that we use. These develop of projects are deep within the industrial basement of society. It’s our job to procure a leer at to elevate these discussions and rating them more accessible and rating them more attention-grabbing if we can, to other folks.
AZEEM AZHAR: I suspect it’s genuinely critical. Loads has been taken as a right, no longer stunning in industrial programs and vitality programs, but in so a lot of, many various solutions, over the last forty, fifty, sixty, seventy years. The advent of mass manufacturing and consumerism intended that we didn’t deserve to own close how our meats obtained on the desk and the absolute most practical blueprint the sunshine bulb activates and what are the decisions that are taken. And essentially, I suspect curiously, it’s quite disenfranchising for of us, if that is so. And I would hope this podcast will procure the time to own close what in actuality goes into making that sandwich. So, Raffi Garabedian, thank you so noteworthy for giving me your time as of late.
RAFFI GARABEDIAN: Azeem, thank you for the opportunity and for the genuinely thoughtful questions. This used to be substantial enjoyable.
AZEEM AZHAR: I am hoping you loved that dialog. Have confidence a study our podcast feeds for varied discussions with other folks like Troels Schonfeldt. Founding father of a nuclear fission firm, Seaborg and Nick Hawker, the founder of First Gentle Fusion, a fusion firm. As of late’s episode used to be produced by Fred Casella and Marija Gavrilov and researched by Chantel Smith. Our sound editor is Bojan Sabioncello. Exponential Seek is a producing E to the Pi i Plus One, Restricted.