Hydrogen Economy

What Could A China Hydrogen Advantage Be Worth
August 15, 2023
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C-MACC Hydrogen Weekly Update 7

What Could A China Hydrogen Advantage Be Worth

Upcoming session led by C-MACC at the World Chemical Forum – September 12-14.

We invite you to register for the event and join our hydrogen panel session “The Role of Hydrogen in Decarbonizing Chemicals” on September 14th at 3:00 pm. Please contact Graham Copley to learn more.

We have chosen this panel quite deliberately as we wanted perspectives from different angles:

  • Bloom Energy produces what are by far the most power-efficient electrolyzers today. Still, their capital costs are high, and it is clear from Bloom’s earnings calls that more discussions are going on than contracts being signed today. Rick joined Bloom a couple of years ago after a long career at Air Products, more recently in new projects development, including hydrogen.
  • Chart Industries is a specialist in hydrogen equipment and handling. It expanded its footprint meaningfully this year through the acquisition of Howden and holds the position of the best-performing stock in the broad hydrogen and industrial gas space year to date. Bob will be able to help us understand the current market and where developments are moving forward.
  • Benjamin brings an entirely different perspective, as GCS is likely first in line for a Class 6 injection well permit in Louisiana for carbon sequestration. The company has a partnership with Climeworks for a possible project in Louisiana and was a likely beneficiary of the Biden DAC grant announced last week. Benjamin and his team have talked to everyone looking for sequestration in the region during the previous two years and can speak directly to the CCS challenges in the US.
  • Gevo is a buyer/producer of hydrogen for its Net-Zero SAF projects and will help us understand the challenges with getting all the pieces in place – including the power and the constant supply of either renewable energy or hydrogen or both – i.e., what do you store?

Sign up for the conference – it will be money well spent.

Key Points

  • China has cheap solar panels and electrolyzers and low–cost hydropower already directed toward green hydrogen production. In all our work to date, China is the low-cost producer.
  • Regulatory challenges that beset Europe and the US do not challenge China, and the country can move faster – China could have a million tons of green hydrogen before the rest of the world combined does
  • But is it worth anything, and is it any sort of competitive advantage? How eager will the rest of the world be to buy “greener” goods from China given the challenges of auditing the green claims?
  • This is very unclear, and as long as the motivation within China is self-sufficiency around energy and doing the right thing optically for its population, then we could see development accelerate.
  • It may help with downstream export markets for China if local companies can produce goods that remain competitively priced globally but also have a green production label.

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