Hydrogen's role in the energy transition has gained popularity as new use cases (and markets) open up, but concerns around distribution and storage have affected its real-world applications.
Hydrogen's role in the energy transition has gained popularity as new use cases (and markets) open up, but concerns around distribution and storage have affected its real-world applications.
Jared Moore joins us this week to discuss the potential for the hydrogen economy and the challenges it faces.
Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source, and can deliver or store a tremendous amount of energy. Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity, or power, and heat.
Recommended reading for hydrogen as an energy carrier
Guest Bio: Jared Moore is an independent energy consultant and Founder of TH2 Motors, a forerunner of the Thermal Hydrogen economy that will manufacture Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) range extenders for electric vehicles, enabling the *option* to charge via the grid or fuel cells which are rapidly refueled at conventional gas stations.
Jared earned his Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked as independent energy consulting since 2014 from Washington, D.C., providing technical policy analysis focusing on electricity markets and the interaction between energy sectors.
His peer-reviewed paper "Hourly modeling of Thermal Hydrogen electricity markets" was recently awarded "Paper of the Year" by Clean Energy journal.
Learn more about TH2 Motors
Connect with Jared on LinkedIn
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Olu: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the energy talk podcast. My name is Olubunmi Olajide and thank you so much for joining us again this week.
I just want to take the first minute, see a big shout out to all my fellow Chelsea fans for our victory in the champions league. Congratulations to all of us and to other football fans. I'm sorry, it wasn't your year.
Today we get back to a very deep energy topic. And I'm excited to share this episode with you because we're going to be talking about the hydrogen economy.
I'm going to be the first to admit that, although I've read quite a lot about hydrogen energy and its role in the transition. I still don't understand it too much. So hydrogen is a curious case because a lot of companies and a lot of governments have been talking about developing the technology.
But there are still very few viable use cases for hydrogen as an energy source and the reasons for that are very interesting. So hydrogen is one of the only energy sources that I think that the cost for producing it is actually more expensive than the cost for the infrastructure to actually contain it.
So it's curious, but today we're going to talk joined by an expert who definitely does know a lot about hydrogen and we're going to be asking him a lot of questions. So in case you don't know, we won't get too much into the chemistry of hydrogen, I guess- that is pretty accessible to learn about. But there are different ways to produce hydrogen and it's classified by the energy source that's used to create it.
The only two that I'd like to highlight at the beginning here before we get into the rest of the conversation is green hydrogen.
Which is generally hydrogen produced by renewable energy sources. And blue hydrogen, which is produced by natural gas as an energy source, and a lot of different conversations around how hydrogen should be integrated or if it should be integrated because hydrogen is still a molecule fuel source.
So, it still technically needs to be transported from one place to another and that goes into means of transportation and distribution.
In this episode, we talk about gas pipelines and although we don't get so much into the policy risks, I just want you to know that is a very big issue.
Not a lot of countries are looking to build out new pipeline infrastructure, especially the ones that are spanning different continents or very large ranges. There's a lot of equity issues that come up with that and we didn't have a lot of time to go into, again, the policy risk and implications.
But this is going to be a very good starting point, we try to keep the episode a bit accessible for anybody who either has read about hydrogen in the past, or you are an expert already and you want to learn about what the hydrogen economy could develop into. So I think for different levels of expertise, you definitely find something useful in this episode.
So I'm gonna cut this off right here and we're going to get into the episode and I hope you enjoyed this. Jared did a very good job and please share any feedback you have, our email will be in the show notes, that's firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love to hear from you if you have any ideas. So without any further ado let's jump right into the conversation with Jared and learn about the hydrogen economy
Jared: [00:03:13] I've been interested in energy since I was a teenager starts off with my dad. He was an eighth-grade science teacher and then 9/11 happened and energy was just in my face from a young age.
That's one of the reasons I decided to go into mechanical engineering at Rose Holman. And then after that, I was a developer for a utility-scale, solar project. Then from there, I got a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy. And then from there, I've been doing consulting independently since about 2015 from Washington DC.
And I really started to get into hydrogen at the beginning of 2016. So that's my background and how I got inspired to get into energy. And you know, it kind of started off with 9/11, but then global warming became a bigger and bigger issue in the 2000s and you know, I was already right there and my dad had already inspired me to really follow the energy.
So that's why I've been so passionate about it for a long time.
Olu: [00:04:06] What was significant about 2016 that really piqued your interest in hydrogen?
Jared: [00:04:10] Basically when I moved here to DC, you know, we were, at that time discovering how cheap renewables were getting, and in my consulting work, most of my clients were really curious, well, how far can we go with renewables?
And I basically found that I can't really answer the question of how far we can go with renewable energy, which produces electricity, wind, and photovoltaic power. I can't really answer that question unless I get out of the sector because the electricity sector is a minority of the energy economy.
And then if you have electrolysis increasing demand for electricity, or if you have another chemical energy carrier that might reduce electricity demand from time to time, it has a huge impact on the electricity sector. So I just started looking into the hydrogen sector and I mean, it was, it was incredible to me because there's just so much to learn.
And it does interact with the electricity sector. So I have not been bored. I mean, it's now since last summer, it's all anybody can talk about. So it's just been great and I'm, I'm happy to be here.
Olu: [00:05:18] Did you have any expectations when you started exploring hydrogen? So what were your expectations of what you would find and what were the actual realities that you found about the development of the technology?
Jared: [00:05:29] Huh? Well, great question. The expectation, I guess I had was that it would be a smaller part of the economy and that I might not find anything when I went and looking. But the reality is it's going to be a large portion of the economy. It might be a majority of the economy you know, it's very difficult to do everything with electricity because electricity is so capital intensive.
So if you have a huge electricity system that you're only using for the coldest day of the year, it's going to be a very high cost. And electricity is mostly capital costs. The energy portion of your residential electricity bill is less than half. And that's different from hydrogen, which is mostly energy costs.
But, but in that regard what surprised me is how difficult it is to store and distribute hydrogen. And that's the big challenge. So when I started this, I was thinking that hydrogen might be a supply problem, but then. Once I did more and more studying, I kind of came away with the conclusion that it's actually a distribution problem, storage, and distribution problem.
And then I thought about it even more. And I thought you know what? All of the clean energy is a storage and distribution problem. And so that's, that's where I'm at in my research. And that's why it's, it just gets more and more interesting because. No, every single detail from supply to demand has to be figured out.
And we don't have it figured out right now. And we don't have a whole lot of time. So that's why I have enthusiasm.
Olu: [00:07:03] I can imagine. And before we go into the storage and distribution, cause I imagine that that's going to be a very important topic to cover. Let's talk about the generation. So how has the generation of hydrogen different from other energy sources?
So we were familiar with, with the generation, from natural gas, you use the whole point is through the combustion process and then solar and wind. Those are renewable sources, it has to do with the sun and actually the wind turning a wind turbine. So how is hydrogen different and how does its difference really offer a different potential for the future of energy systems?
Jared: [00:07:33] Well, I'd say the main difference is that as I said before, electricity costs are capital costs when we're talking about hydrogen supply. So when we're talking about wind-solar nuclear, and to, even to some extent, natural gas, very large capital costs portion.
But when it comes to hydrogen, the fuel is a minority or the fuel dominates the costs. The capital becomes a minority of the cost. So a quick rule with natural gas reforming, for instance, you take the price of natural gas. You assume it's somewhere around 70% efficient, and then you add a small cost for the reformer.
And so a very quick and dirty estimate for the cost of hydrogen for natural gas would be about twice the cost of natural gas. And then when it comes to electrolysis, will hasn't really been figured out because we don't have the electricity sector figured out, but if it's going to be economic, then the electrolyzer can't be cost dominant.
You're going to spend most of your costs on electricity. And, you know, some people and, and just to caveat here, you know, some people are thinking, okay, we're only going to use low-cost electricity. Well, that's not going to be available most of the time. If the costs on the grid are zero. Most of the time, then the suppliers won't come to the market.
So you have to have you know, reasonably low-cost electricity in a reasonable utilization of your electrolyzer in order to get the costs down. So those are the biggest difference. And that's kind of why you know, it's kind of, it's kind of the opposite of electricity generation in a way in that it's fuel dominated.
And then at the same time when it comes to electricity, you know, we're looking for low electricity prices and on the, you know, we're talking about electricity generation suppliers want high electricity prices, you know, scarcity prices. So it's, it's a different world.
Olu: [00:09:31] Very interesting. One thing that I know many people might have seen either is from the headlines or just from different research papers is the color system that's used to identify how hydrogen is actually produced.
And how does that really play into this conversation as well?
Jared: [00:09:44] Well, it's interesting. You say that because last week so I was talking to somebody about hydrogen and pretty quickly we just started using the terms, green, blue, you know, the whole, the whole gamut. So I guess it's helpful once you memorize what they stand for.
So green hydrogen being hydrogen from electrolysis. Gray being hydrogen from natural gas, which is the vast majority of hydrogen right now, then blue would be hydrogen from natural gas to CCS. I think black means coal and maybe pink means nuclear. I'm sorry if I messed that up. And I think turquoise means pyrolysis of natural gas.
So there's this whole color spectrum. You know, at first, I didn't really care for it, but now, you know, it's going to make it easier when we talk about it over and over and over again, which we will. And, you know, cause you just go up there and you say, okay, this is going to be green hydrogen, and you don't have to say, okay, this is hydrogen from renewable-based electrolysis.
And it just makes it so much faster. But it's just one of those things for the people that know, I guess it's, it kind of adds to their job security. That's kind of the joke in the industry and you have all these. Really complicated terms. So it's going to take some time for people to learn it, but I think once people learn and make communication faster,
Olu: [00:11:00] why do these distinctions matter and why is there such a huge cause of debate?
Jared: [00:11:05] I guess they matter because to the people that they matter to cause a lot of people to have different reasons for coming into hydrogen. If you go to one of the DOE meetings here, it's quite interesting. The perspectives that people come from you know, green hydrogen first for many people is the only type of hydrogen.
And they're coming to the meeting saying. We're using hydrogen because we have to stop our use of fossil fuels altogether. And you know, on the other hand, I guess gray is not the coolest color ever. It's not sounding as good. And that kind of differentiates natural gas, having the emissions and then blue is, is good.
Right? Blue you know, that's the other color of the earth, green and blue. So the pale blue dot. So I guess that's a better thing. And I don't know, to what extent there has been a controversy. I haven't been to any debate where people like debate the colors, but I think that it's a way of people identifying what they're for.
And I wish I had a chart in front of me, but I think pink stands for nuclear and I'm pretty sure nuclear did not sign that. So when people come, people come to people come to hydrogen from really different perspectives. So that kind of helps them label themselves, I guess.
Olu: [00:12:16] let's go to the distributed storage that you mentioned and the potential that hydrogen tends to play in that space.
So a with renewables, a lot of the problems that are renewable, especially from the large-scale utility perspective is how to integrate it into existing grids, without any problems and to do that seamlessly. And that has been a very interesting Problem for lots of people that have been excited to solve for the past few years, but how does the hydrogen come into the mix, and how does it really either change things will complement this particular conversation?
Jared: [00:12:46] Well, it's a very good question. Basically when it comes to green hydrogen, see, now we're doing it. The most cost-effective hydrogen is opposite from demand, in both space and time. So you have to get the lowest price of electricity. Well, that means you have to get away from demand and renewables are already helping with that because the most cost-effective sources are normally away from the coasts.
And they're normally seasonally opposite from demand. So in the United States, at least wind and solar tend to oversupply in the early spring. And then there tends to be a lull in supplier or excessive demand for electricity and in late summer, the air conditioning demand and then during the dead of winter, we have these huge multi-week storms where the sun is nowhere to be found and wind comes and goes.
Generally when picks up more in the winter, but it's not a perfect relationship, with cold temperatures. So green, hydrogen, or hydrogen from electrolysis has an issue that it's, it's going to be away from demand and then we're going to have to store it somehow for a long period of time. And then we're going to have to distribute it a long distance.
So some people are saying, you know, this is widely known. Some people are saying, well, what we're going to do is we're going to build a large copper grid and then do the electrolysis closer to demand. But still, you know, you're having a seasonal oversupply of electricity. So you're not going to want to store hydrogen close to demand for a season.
You have to find a salt cavern. So all of these costs add up and. Just to give you a sense of the costs that we're talking about here. You know, if, if green hydrogen wants to compete with, with gray or blue hydrogen from natural gas, it's got to get down to the one to $2 per kilogram costs on a supply.
That's the supply cost, the wholesale cost when it comes to distribution, the lowest cost that I've seen is about $4 per kilogram at the gas station.
So that's why, you know, I've been somewhat surprised when we're talking about $4 at the gas station, and we're only talking about less than two for supply. That's quantitatively telling you this is mostly a distribution problem. And that's, you know, I was warned from the very beginning. Hydrogen's not a supply problem, it's a distribution problem.
And you know, some people, they've been around long enough that they remember the last hydrogen hype cycle. And I was reading this article the other day. You know, I was very much discouraged from going into hydrogen in 2016 very much so and I was just reading this article or date and I'll share it with you.
Someone said that hydrogen was like a zombie. They said, no matter how many times you kill this thing, it just keeps coming back to life and haunting you and you cannot possibly get rid of it. So anyway, when I read that, even though I'm a hydrogen advocate of sorts I just couldn't help, but laugh because you know, it, it is, it has come back several times and people have very strong feelings about it. And sometimes people that have looked into the details are less enthusiastic.
Olu: [00:15:59] We're getting to those details very quickly now, but one thing I wanted to ask and I've seen this in a few articles that talked about hydrogen, potentially using the natural gas infrastructure.
Cause when you look at it from a, obviously, there are lots of differences here, but you know, to try to transfer molecules out over large distances. And there's been a lot of pushback against building a new pipeline system, how does that really play out? Is that something that you've, you've also read about or you've seen, or you had conversations about?
Jared: [00:16:25] Yeah. You know, there are some people in hydrogen that envision using the existing natural gas pipelines for hydrogen it kind of makes a big difference. What kind of pipelines you're talking about? In the UK, for instance, they have pipelines and I think the PVC pipelines or something, and they are capable of handling the hydrogen at the distributed level.
At the transmission level. Basically what you have to do is retrofit the natural gas pipeline somehow from the inside in order to basically make the leakage rate lower and allow it to handle the hydrogen cause there's a hydrogen embrittlement problem as well. So so, so that means that in some instances, in theory, you could use the natural gas distribution system all the way from supply to demand.
But in other instances, some people, you know, in the United States, we don't have those kinds of natural gas pipelines everywhere. So some people are saying we're going to have to retrofit the distribution pipelines. And so it's a problem, you know, both depending upon how far you're going and what kind of system you have in place and what kind of, what kind of costs you're willing to pay.
Even if you had a perfect pipeline, hydrogen being so small, it's very costly to move long distances. You're probably not going to move it. More than several hundred miles. Before, you know, you start talking about having a huge cost premium. So you know, the idea of it being produced in, you know, the middle of the country and then being like somewhere like in the Great Plains, which is where we have all this excess wind and then it is piped all the way to the coast.
I think. I don't think most people would go along with that in the industry. I think they would say, well, that's just going to be too expensive. So there's the possibility of using the existing system. It's not going to be easy. You might have to be fortunate in what kind of system you already have in place.
And then there's also the problem at the point of distribution. Know, do we have to do much, you know, for the natural gas burners to make them compatible with hydrogen, because hydrogen, doesn't have the exact same flame properties. So these are the details that are, are not yet figured out that are very challenging in, in this transition.
Olu: [00:18:37] I feel we've been, we've been a the prompts a bit negative. So let, let's go into the practical sides of this. What are the use cases? And what's, what is the potential for hydrogen that is causing all this attention and it's causing all these conversations to be had in it. So what is really driving this and what are the future and potential current use cases for hydrogen as an energy source?
Jared: [00:18:58] Well, I'd say there are two things driving it. One is global decarbonization and I feel like, you know, we've been blessed to have low-cost, renewable energy resources. So I think it goes, I think it's been concluded pretty much everywhere that renewables is going to have some, some appreciable contribution to grids everywhere.
And as I was saying back in 2016, it's just a matter of how much. So with that figured out, the question then comes to, well, what about the rest of the economy? And then I think that leads into the second part as to why people are enthusiastic about it is because renewable energy prices have dropped so low.
I mean, unbelievably well, I was in the renewable energy industry. So now that they're this low and now the battery prices are extremely low and that's related to electrolyzers because that's showing us that if we scale a cell technology that we can bring down costs significantly. So that's why green hydrogen is, is right in the mix now and being competitive by the end of this decade. And maybe even well before that. So that's kind of the reason why I think that you know, this all started up again and I think it's for good reason.
Olu: [00:20:16] And let's talk about you personally and then the work you're doing. So after you learned about the dangers of this zombie, as you put it what, what has kept you working on this particular space and what currently are you working on now?
Jared: [00:20:28] Well since 2016, I've been working on this economy named the thermal hydrogen economy.
So yeah, another name for hydrogen now. The name basically kind of stands for thermodynamic hydrocarbons, and it's an economy-wide concept and basically I'm doing two things. I'm creating oxygen in a creative way or supplying oxygen in a creative way. And then along the way from supply all the way to demand, utilizing heat sources in a creative way.
And That's basically coming together to create hydrogen carriers that are liquid and enabling hydrogen to be distributed from supply to demand without actually using pure hydrogen itself. And basically, fossil fuels are integrated into this economy. They are both a supplier and hydrogen carrier, and that's why oxygen, the pure oxygen component is so important.
Because the pure oxygen supply allows us to use fossil fuels in a way that only creates ready to sequester CO2. So it doesn't require carbon capture in their traditional sense and to go deeper into that definition or, or the detail their oxygen in the atmospheres is largely diluted with nitrogen.
Our, our atmosphere is 98% nitrogen. So we combust the fossil fuel with atmospheric oxygen. Most of the byproducts are nitrogen. So that means that we have to do a process called carbon capture because the CO2 is diluted with that nitrogen. So carbon capture is the vast, vast majority of the cost of carbon capture and sequestration, which is the acronym for emissions-free fossil fuels.
So this economy that I've engineered doesn't require carbon capture, which means it integrates fossil fuels, emissions-free without the largest costs. And then it doesn't require pure hydrogen storage and distribution, which means it's reducing the cost of, you know, what I've been describing as a large cost.
I engineered the economy so that I could make hydrogen at the point of distribution. If required, but you know, that's just going to be more costs. So that's, that's what I've been working on and that's my vision is, is a liquid fuel economy. That's a fossil fuel and yet emissions-free.
I'm working now on getting a seed fund for the first subsidiary, which I named TH2 motors which will develop portable, solid oxide, fuel cells.
Olu: [00:22:59] Let's try to break this down, the first thing that I have to ask is which, which is a popular retort. When people talk about stuff like this, does this promote the fossil fuel industry and is how closely related are, is your plants to the all-in gas industry is, is it very tightly linked, or is it something that the model can be applied to different forms of energy generation let's say nuclear or, or the renewable space.
Jared: [00:23:21] Okay. Great question. Thanks for asking. Well, the inspiration for the economy is renewable energy because that's, what's going to create the first source of hydrogen and oxygen.
And because that's what enables and economic electrolysis and nuclear is included in that too, because if we can get nuclear costs down, nuclear can further make electrolysis more economic it's called heat-assisted electrolysis. And also when renewables are not present, nuclear can be there to provide more electricity to the grid.
And from there, the byproducts of electrolysis travel to the reformer and that's where fossil fuels are integrated in order to make hydrogen carriers, methanol, and ammonia. So it's really an economy that uses teamwork amongst all the energy suppliers in order to make an emissions-free economy.
That is extremely Resilient and reliable and yet emissions-free and they all have different three energy suppliers, renewables, nuclear, and fossil fuels. They're all completely different. They all have different strengths and weaknesses. And so I'm trying to bring them together so that the sum or the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Olu: [00:24:40] Yeah. Yeah. And let's just talk about how it's going to play out in everyday life. So just for the regular listener how, how is this going to affect their everyday lives and what, what is going to be different for them in terms of their energy use is the end is going to be changing or is it going to be a complete overhaul of how we currently our relationship with energy?
Jared: [00:24:58] The whole idea is that it's not gonna affect your life at all in any way. So starting with your house instead of burning natural gas, you would then burn ammonia and ammonia is NH3 instead of CH4. So the emissions from that would be nitrogen and water.
And that's going to have a slightly higher cost, but at the same time, because ammonia can be stored as a liquid, it's going to be less volatile. So that would be how it would change your home or maybe how it would change the things you buy that depend upon the heat of combustion. Now, the other hydrogen carrier methanol would fuel these small solid oxide fuel cells.
And these solid oxide, fuel snows, basically are range extenders for battery electric vehicles. So the other difference in your life is that you will have the option to charge your car with grid-based electricity, because you're going to have some medium-sized battery there, something like 25-kilowatt hours, and that equates to about 75 miles of range or around that, I think it's like a hundred-kilometers, something like that.
But anyway this solid oxide fuel, so only engaged when your battery's low. And then when you run out of fuel and your battery's low, you can just go back to the gas station and refuel. And the trick here is that you know, the methanol has a carbon molecule in it. It's going to produce CO2, but that's where this pure oxygen trick comes in because it's going to create ready to sequester CO2 because only oxygen crosses an electrolyte.
So it just creates carbonated water. We're going to vent the water. We're going to keep the CO2 stored onboard in the car in the CO2, go back to the gas station. And then from there, it goes back to the methanol truck, and then from there, it goes back towards CO2 sequestration infrastructure. So the effect on consumers is going to be very minimal. It's, in my opinion, it's going to be nothing more than cleaner air and more reliable energy because the ammonia's easier to store the natural gas and then the methanol provides distributed electricity. So if you have something going on in the power system, like what happened in Texas last month, everybody is going to have these small fuel cell generators.
They're going to provide distributed electricity to keep the grid resilient. So, so the big, you know, I know this is a lot of technical information, but the big takeaway that I would tell to consumers is it's going to improve the energy system. But the one thing, you know, the one way we have to change our thinking is that CO2 is basically the new garbage.
Now two centuries ago, we had this huge challenge that we had to deal with our human waste. Last century, we had to deal with trash and horse manure. Well, we use the automobile for that. Well, now we're dumping our CO2. We're using the atmospheres as our dump basically, well, this is basically going to change that so that we're using CO2 or we're producing CO2, but we're, we're producing it in a way that's ready to sequester and then it's going to be piped underground for at least thousands of years.
So and, and stay underground for thousands a year, just, just as in the same way that fossil fuels stay the ground unless we go mine them. So, so that's the biggest change for consumers. And I realize it's not the, it's not the sexiest solution. But I think it'll do for this century, you know, we're kind of running out of time here.
And you know we will continue to have chances to improve the economy, you know, as time goes on, we don't want to F you know, we got to leave something. We've got to leave a problem for the next century to figure out. So you know, it's, there's, there are still ways to improve it. But as far as I'm concerned is to be a huge, huge step in the right direction for our energy system.
Olu: [00:28:52] Yeah, what needs to happen in the next few years to make what you just talked about reality in terms of technology, the price going down and also from the policy landscape is what kind of support will this kind of idea need and where is that right now and what, what actually needs to happen for this to become a reality?
Jared: [00:29:09] Okay. So the main thing that needs to happen is needing to get the cost of the solid oxide, fuel cells down. Once that happens we already have in the United States, you already have ethanol gas stations. So that's the transition fuel. Once, you know, I've shown that this vehicle can be economic, then we can start distributing methanol to gas stations.
And methanol is it's already a, a $30 billion market right now. So we are very good at making methanol already. So we can, we can get methanol to gas stations. It's a very popular field. The Indy 500 use run on ethanol. So there would be the demand for the transportation side and how we would change the way gas stations would operate.
But then we'd have to then come back from demand all the way to supply. And then that's when the difficult part comes in when we have to transition pipelines from natural gas to ammonia and you know, it's possible to do it's much, it's much easier than hydrogen because ammonia if it's distributed as a liquid, then it's, it's not going to be leaky as, as much at all.
So that's how we get started, but ultimately I think the biggest thing that needs to happen is we need to build a transmission pipeline system for sin, gas, oxygen, and CO2. And so I'm hoping that this will all be privately financed and you know, it's my job to advance the technology for solid oxide fuel cells.
And then advance ammonia. And then once the demand is there, then it'll be a lot easier to get financing for these enormous pipelines that I'm talking about, which will cross continents. You know I mainly focused on the United States because that's where I'm from. And I think that's the area I'm going to develop first, but I've made a global vision where I think pipelines would be best suited, which is basically from renewables towards the cheapest fossils.
So that's going to be the final step in building these pipelines. And then from there, you know, it will have renewable-dominated grids. We'll have volatile electricity prices that will enable electrolyzers to thrive and then we'll have the pipelines, right they're ready to buy both byproducts from the electrolyzers hydrogen and oxygen.
So as far as the policy side is concerned you know, I'm, I'm not really into policy. I'm hoping to get this done a hundred percent privately on a strictly voluntary basis. So I know it sounds very idealistic but that's my goal and you know, we've got several decades to do it and I think thermodynamics is on my side.
So I think there's also an appetite to clean up our energy system as well. So I'm not saying I wouldn't accept help in the policy world, but I'm not I'm not looking for it. I'm looking to get this done on a strictly voluntary basis and basically to take responsibility and get this done in a, in a private way.
And a very cooperative way. I'm not, this is a global, yeah, it's, it's, it's a global project. So the only chance we have in getting costs down is by making sure we work with the most cost-effective suppliers globally. So that's the other reason why to keep this on in the business is that we don't need nations competing with one another.
We need businesses working with one another. And so that's, that's part of my perspective as to why I want to get this done voluntarily from a private perspective.
Olu: [00:32:39] Hmm that's that actually is very ambitious. I was going to say
Jared: [00:32:42] I realized that
Olu: [00:32:43] It is, it is very ambitious. I just, I just had to say that.
Okay. Just as a final closing point when you first started in, in the hydrogen space and when you just got learning about the hydrogen economy, if you had to go back and you had to tell yourself, what are the key points to look at as to what, to, where to start when it comes to learning, what are the key points to look at to just measure growth in this sector?
Jared: [00:33:06] Hmm. Well, as far as what to start learning, you know, there's a lot of chemistry to learn and there are different ways to produce hydrogen, which we've already talked about. But the main thing that I would tell myself is when it comes to implementation, you have to start with demand. You can't only be concerned with supply.
So that's what makes it difficult. You
have to learn about supply. But you just, can't only look at that because then you'll be producing hydrogen in Kansas and you won't have a buyer. So that's the one thing I've learned over the past four years that I would really pass on is that you have to start with demand, which is what makes us so difficult.
That's why it's been you know, for other people, very, very discouraging. Because it's a huge, huge gap to bridge the storage and distribution and, and finding a buyer who scales. So so, you know, it's, I mean, hydrogen's just ambitious, to begin with. I realize I'm more ambitious and idealistic than most, but you have to start with demand because you have to have a buyer for your hydrogen and that's, that's, that's just what makes it so difficult.
Olu: [00:34:11] Thank you so much for joining us this week on the podcast. I hope you had a great time learning about the hydrogen economy from Jared. I know this is a bit more technical than the episodes we've had recently.
We have a series coming up, this is the most ambitious series that we've worked on on the podcast.
And it's going to cover the African renewable energy industry. So we're going to be speaking with a bunch of investors and CEOs of Africa's largest energy companies and learn about what the potential for renewable energy is for the continent and the players that are really driving it forward and the challenges they're facing to set up their companies and to access financing.
So really looking forward to that, and I hope you join us for that. It's going to be eight weeks, eight episodes of truly insightful conversations. And I can't wait to share that with you. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I will see you next time on the energy talk podcast have a wonderful day Bye bye now