This week Chris and Johan are joined by Jeffrey Goldmeer from GE Power. Jeff shares GE's vision toward a renewable future including the announcement of a new GE business unit focused on renewable energy.
Broadcasting from the commodity capital of the world, Zurich, Switzerland, this is insider's guide to energy.
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Welcome to insiders guide to energy.
I'm your host, Chris Assen, with me as co-host Johan Oberg.
You on what's going on this week?
Another great week, another energy intensive week, as always.
But so positively.
You said a great week in energy intensive if.
You were a.
Gas trader, would you be saying those?
Same things to me today.
No, but I I.
No, you're right.
But there are I once was coming to.
There are lights also in this darkness or is this tunnel as well and you know that my previous company we've recently opened up the the Big Hydro Park.
Or the hydro.
One in orthodox in in the valley of Switzerland and it's great to see all my old colleagues visiting this massive.
Was it $1.9 billion investments?
So so this I had to say.
There's good things happening as well.
Yeah, I think there's been interesting things happening.
Yeah, Unipar was an interesting news story that just went by that that's a bit different of what?
Might have been expected.
All the industry insiders probably would have predicted that was coming anyway, but it's been an interesting week.
I am excited about today's show.
Particularly we had this guest on our future energy leaders conversations.
He was talking with many Masters students on a call we had in great conversations about hydrogen and very interactive.
But I'm really excited to have him on the show in the main show because we're going to talk about some things that are happening in the markets today that are going to be interesting.
Timely with this episode this week.
I don't know.
You haven't talked to Jeff yet, do you have?
Any expectations what we're going to do today?
There's a few things.
One, I think is I think we're going to look forward to a really fascinating person in general.
Her thought leader, he runs his own podcast.
He attends a lot of.
Well, that that.
Makes him get out right off the bat, we.
Yeah, but I think that's it.
Like podcasters, 'cause.
We know you have to be bright to run a podcast.
But I have to say there's another thing.
As well and.
There's specifically towards this company.
It's one of my, you know, I wouldn't say childhood memories, but early.
Adult life memories I I moved to the US and started university and up the road from the university was the headquarters of this company back in the days and is always kind of stuck with me, of US and this company as kind of the size, the scale and the opportunities available.
And what company is this company?
It's called GE, I think.
Well, I think you and I can talk for hours.
We do anyway.
So let's bring our guest on the show and bring him into the conversation.
Jeff Goldner, welcome to the program.
Chris, Johan, thanks for having me.
So he said GE, but I'm pretty sure your GE power or something else.
So maybe it makes sense for you to tell our guests who Jeff is and where Jeff works.
So Jeff Goldmeier, I officially work in GE Gas Power.
So that's the gas turbine division of the company.
I'm based in a little town called's connected in New York, the the home of General Electric. This is the the town where Thomas Edison founded the company over 100 years ago.
Uh, so the gas turbine division, right, we supply gas turbines for, for power applications all over the world, but that's part of a larger portion of the company, it's part of our power enterprise and that's what's going to become in early 2024 what G is announced this, this new investment grade company called Gever Nova.
GE Ver Nova and so they ingest announced this or recently announced this is coming out. What what exactly is a GE vernom?
A ver Nova.
So, so the company is basically going to be split into three independent investment grade companies.
The first will be GE health.
There that's going to be spun off as of January 1st, 2023. And then GE Aerospace, our aircraft engines business is renaming themselves aerospace of a broader vision and then the portfolio of energy businesses are all going to come together under the Renova name and so that includes.
Our renewables business, our grid solutions business.
Our power business, which is all things steam and nuclear.
And so all those businesses including the gas turbine business will come together under this new, this new name Ver Nova, which is really meant to focus on right there from for green.
We're thinking about the future of energy and and Nova meaning new.
So we're really focused on this, on this new green, cleaner, decarbonized energy future.
Which was interesting 'cause.
That was my follow-up question.
What does it actually vanova means?
So, so great.
But where do you see yourself in in terms of your specific area then we talked about, we touched a little bit on the hydrogen and the gas turbines, but on a broader scale what would, where do you sit then?
Metaphysically speaking, not literally.
Uh, so again, I, I, I.
I work in the gas power business and so my role as an emergent technology leader is to really help the company think about the future and and my technical background is is a mechanical engineer by by formal education, but my technical experience and through education.
Been combustion. So I've been one of these guys in the lab, you know, burning stuff that the people you want kind of on the far end of the campus in case something goes wrong. You don't want the combustion lab, let's say, next to the president's office typically at the university.
So I've been doing combustion was part of my technical, you know, kind of career path.
So I I'm leveraging that technical knowledge around combustion of fuels to help our customers understand what are the fuels that we can use as we think about this decarbonized future.
So a lot of discussion around hydrogen.
You know, as we think about it as a 0 carbon fuel, there's a lot of chatter now growing about other what's called 0 or low carbon intensity fuels.
Whether it's a biofuel, a synthetic or renewable natural gas, there's a bunch of chatter about a mode.
So my job is really to help our customers think about this, but also fundamentally to help our leadership, right?
What's the strategic direction that GE should be taking, you know, in this space?
And then there's the larger picture as we think about hydrogen and other low carbon fuels.
What does that mean?
You know, as we think about how do we produce those fuels and and are there technologies that GE can bring to bear as we think about that entire value chain, just like GE for years supported the oil and gas industry, we weren't oil and gas providers, but we supported that industry with critical technology.
Is it something we would do in this?
New energy space?
So go ahead.
Would you still have would?
You still then?
Have a focus on the oil and gas as well under the VANOVA or is that in a separate area now?
So, so the traditional space around oil and gas, so you know long history, so GE had acquired an Italian company Nova Pignone years ago and then through other acquisitions we we basically had the Baker Hughes entity which included Nova, Pannonia, which really was our business arm that worked with the oil and gas industry well Baker.
Is now a separate COM.
And so, so GE really doesn't specifically support the oil and gas industry anymore, although we do throw do so through through Baker Hughes 'cause.
Many of our gas turbines are still heavily used in the oil and gas industry.
You know, we have gas turbines that are involved in LNG compression trains and so we we our technology does support it.
You know, but the question becomes, does hydrogen become, let's say, the new oil and gas in this new future?
And then how do we support that, that new growth industry?
So you're breaking.
Off into a vertical.
They've separated this this energy vertical out.
You're talking about a lot of futures here.
I notice a lot of future tense words in your, you know, does this, we're going to do this.
Where are you today on the journey?
Oh, the the.
The journey is in an awesome place.
So, you know, one of the things that that we talk about internally is is we use phrases like decade of action, but we also talk about things like steel in the ground, like what are we doing today?
That's real. That's concrete.
And so let me give you 2 examples from from just this year with our customers.
So we worked with a a customer Longridge energy there in eastern Ohio.
Their power plant is in Hannibal. OH, so it actually sits on the Ohio River, in which is the border between Ohio and West Virginia. This is a 78.
Power plants a 485 MW combined cycle power plant.
Uhm and uhm.
We we did a demonstration with this customer where we were we blended in 5% hydrogen into their existing gas turbine demonstrating that you know even on a large on.
On a large power plant you can blend hydrogen in.
And so that was a great demonstration.
They actually demonstrated that in April and they provided some information to the public.
So right, existing power plant, 5% hydromat volume. We changed nothing on the plant and and then, uh.
It's OK, we will edit this down they.
Show you moving it, they can edit the video, right?
I just hope the G.
Logo looked good in the background, so if you want to answer again or.
Whatever, sorry to distract you as join the multitask.
No, that's OK. So.
So, so two projects I want to, I want to highlight that are that are really relevant from this year.
The first is a project we did with a customer in Ohio, Long Ridge Energy Terminal.
Their power plant is on the western side of the Ohio River, which is the border between Ohio and West Virginia.
It's a 485 MW combined cycle power plant and we operated the power plant on a 5% blend of hydrogen and natural gas.
They did a public demonstration and when I say 5% by volume, I want to be clear, that's not a limit of the gas turbine. That was just, you know, a 485 MW combined cycle plant, you know, 5%.
Hydrogen is still a large amount, but that was a great demonstration.
Just announced literally hours ago is a project that we did this spring with the New York Power Authority on a a very different type of gas turbine.
This was on a A-44 MW aeroderivative, so aero derivatives for listeners who who may not be aware of it.
Think about taking the core of an aircraft.
In in this case, the core of a 747 aircraft engine. But now you don't want it to make thrust, you want it to make power.
So now you connect up the appropriate turbine equipment so that you're not generating thrust.
You you're spinning a turbine and you're connecting that to a generator.
We ran a project this summer.
That was also supported by the Electric Power Research Institute, epri.
They've got an initiative they call the low Carbon Resource initiative.
And so between GE and EPRI and New York Power Authority NYPA, we ran that gas turbine on a blend of hydrogen natural gas and we went up to just above 40% hydrogen and.
So is is that part of?
The strategy then that you see is an incremental step forward. So just reducing the amount of hydrocarbon you're burning and releasing, is that what this is doing or what are we learning by using 40% hydrogen that these will be running in hydrogen one day or that we're just less emissions?
So I think it's a combination of that. So so first of all today we couldn't do 100% hydrogen on these gas.
Ribbons, mostly because there isn't supply of hydrogen and so part of this is OK. So with the supply limits we have today, what can we do #1, and so that's that's the blended operation.
But the truth is, as we develop our infrastructure, we're not going to go from zero low carbon hydrogen to all the low carbon hydrogen we ever need.
There'll be supply limits, so we likely expect you'll see these blending operations over time as the supply of this hydrogen expands.
But there's also.
Really important learnings.
So you know, we we constantly get questions and people saying, well, hey, if you're burning hydrogen, you know in, in a laboratory in an unconstrained environment, you'll make more NOx.
And so that makes people worried.
But in this particular demonstration that we did with the New York Power Authority, we showed that not only can you run that blend of hydrogen.
We were able to to demonstrate that you could keep the NOx emissions at the permit level, which is really, really important.
So it's so we're actually getting real important technical learnings that we're sharing with the public.
It's not just doing for the sake of doing.
So if we look, I love the the two examples by the way, 'cause, I think there is a transition that we're on the way and if we can do the steps at the stake in the ground as well because we talk a lot about what will come and how we will change this.
Will actually follow up on that question and.
What will come and that?
Is if we talk about hydrogen in general.
And the cases where do you see?
Be that we have, I wouldn't say unlimited.
More, more hydrogen being produced, where would you see the new applications that where where you would kind of look into, I guess there's a number of things, but where would you see the ones that really stick out and here's where where the next step will be.
Well, I think you've got a segment, you know, because there are obviously places that hydrogen could go.
You can think about transportation, you can think about flight, you could think about power or chemicals.
I think honestly the the 1st place we may see what's called low carbon hydrogen is to replace very high carbon footprint hydrogen.
So ammonia production, the oil and gas sector.
So I think that's a potential likely place to see some large volumes of hydrogen initially because frankly they're the users of it already.
But then the question becomes, OK, where would you see hydran go next?
And I think part of that answer is where does it by its way in where does it have a, a price point that's comparable to maybe the price you might see of the of the of the default?
So if it's.
If it's transportation.
Is it dumb?
You know, does it buy its way on versus gasoline or diesel or a battery?
You know in the in the power sector, right, when does it become reasonably price competitive to natural gas?
And and again you know we think about what's happening globally in terms of policy that again makes us very revelant rel.
Then, you know, just weeks ago the US government signed into law this inflation Reduction Act, which carries huge new subsidies for hydrogen.
There's the first time ever what's called 45 V it's a tax credit. It's actually a production tax credit for hydrogen if you meet all the requirements for having low carbon.
There's some other prevailing wage and other requirements, but if you meet those requirements.
For up to 10 years, you can get a tax credit of $3 a kilogram. That's about $22.00 per million BTU.
And what's even more interesting for certain entities, for the first five years, it's not just a tax credit, it's a direct pay.
Meaning even if you don't have tax equity, you know you submit your tax returns and you get a refund effectively from the US government. So this is going to put huge subsidies.
Into this space for not just the production of hydrogen, but if you take hydrogen and store it.
For use for energy, you can claim an energy storage tax credit if you are using wind because there's a wind production tax credit.
So you could use electricity that's being subsidized with a PTC.
To make low carbon hydrogen if you're doing it via electrolysis. So the US has created this scenario where there's this potential for very, very large subsidies which could drive the cost of hydrogen down.
And if you do so, do we see the adoption of hydrogen in some spaces that maybe we thought was going to take a longer timeframe and it's going to spur production?
Because there's going to be interest.
So I think we're kind of in this very interesting transition period now where people are racing to make these investments to create these this great demand.
If you and if there's demand then maybe they'll be supply.
So it's going to be very interesting.
But do you, do you see, do you see a risk in this as well?
We talked a lot about subsidies before and we got the wind market in in Europe specifically around this.
But you also see a risk that it's not clear enough and it becomes short term rather than long term.
So you build your business case around subsidies rather than a long term case and if it's UN secure, I guess that's.
Bit of a concern.
Well look I think about you know the the power industry where sometimes people are going to sign long term fuel contracts.
I think you know the, especially in the power industry, they're very sensitive to the price of fuel.
And so I think they're going to be looking at what does this mean long term?
And obviously long term is is different for different industries, but you know this tax, this tax credit has a 10 year horizon.
So you know you basically get it for 10 years.
What's interesting however?
As you look at, the specific language is.
The tax credit is available, meaning you can start claiming that tax credit up to, I think it's 2030 or 2032.
So if you build your facility in 2030 and it starts operating in 2031, you can get your tax credit, I believe for 10 years, either 5 or 10 years past that date. So this is not something that just disappears in two or three years. We're talking about it.
Used a deck.
8 and that may be enough to get the ball rolling that the costs start to come down, that even after the subsidies go away we don't just jump right back up to the level we were pre subsidy.
Because part of the issue is, is there enough manufacturing capacity for electrolyzers hat you know, is there enough hydrogen infrastructure?
And and Speaking of infrastructure.
You know what's, what's really, again, so timely. Yesterday afternoon, the US Department of Energy released the funding opportunity announcement. It's U.S. government lingo. It's basically the RFP.
For the previously announced clean or regional clean hydrogen hubs.
So the deal we're releasing that yesterday basically has started the stopwatch that people are now going to be working very specifically on the deal.
We put a new structure in place.
You have to submit a concept paper by this.
I think it's the 7th of November and then full proposals.
For that program will we do end of first quarter, beginning of second quarter next year and you know these are the hubs where people talk about $8 billion of U.S. government investment. So not only do we have these subsidies.
Which were just announced a few weeks ago, but now we've got this funding announcement tide to billions of dollars of U.S. investment in infrastructure.
So it's like I said, we're entering this really interesting transition period in this space.
So where does GE play in?
So she's been in the business, make everything from aircraft engines.
You know, as you said, you were talking about how they're repurposed.
Aircraft engines, and even in oil and other industries aircraft engines have been around for a long time as part of solutions.
Where do you fit in in the hydrogen game?
So you know, I've heard you speak hydrogen.
You've been doing hydrogen really long time, personally.
How is GE tied up for?
This so, so let's let's think about this.
As the hydrogen value chain, right?
If you're going to go make low carbon hydrogen and you want to electrolyze water well, first thing is you need a low carbon electron.
Where is that low carbon electron coming from?
Solar or wind or hydro?
So and you know, GE has a has a great renewables business, you know, we have the world's largest offshore wind turbine.
I believe it is the allied X, right?
Our prototype is out in the port of Rotterdam, so as we think about, so you need to source.
We need to source a lot of low carbon electricity and so great, well then you gotta figure out how to move that electricity.
You know, in the US we we talk about how there's really places with just amazing wind. The problem is, no one lives there because they're in these very desolated place.
Is isolated places and so we need to put in new infrastructure and you need to manage that flow of electricity.
So our grid solutions business comes into play, you know, especially if you start thinking about these scenarios maybe where you have.
You know, people talk about what will start doing offshore wind.
To make hydrogen or we're going to do you know we're going to have wind and solar in the mountains of Chile because it the the capacity factors are really high.
Well, now you have to think about microgrids or mini grids if you're going to have these wind turbines kind of sitting they're not connected to a grid.
So how do you control those systems?
So you know, I look at GE and I look at these technologies we've developed.
You know for for many, many years and and they're very applicable into some of these challenges that we're going to have in that new energy space, not just on the consumption of the hydrogen, but we've got some technologies we can help provide.
You know, you just mentioned Johann, right, the, uh, new hydroelectric dam will cheese and maybe it's the same project, you know, this new hydro, this new hydroelectric facility in Switzerland that was just inaugurated a few weeks ago, that's got you know, the GE Hydro business of our equipment.
So you know we really are are really excited about providing again key equipment into into this value chain and that's I draw this this, this similarity.
As we think about the oil and gas industry, we always think about upstream, midstream, downstream.
Well, you could think about the same thing in this new energy world of what are the upstream technologies, the midstream.
Technologies who are the end users?
And we need, you know, new technologies in those segments and and that's where I think GE can come to play with some of our great technology.
Which I think it's interesting and reading a little bit about it and also worked with GE in the past on your digital GE digital for for a few years ago.
I think it's a lot about these ecosystems and then how you build it.
And I I guess with an organization like GE, you build one is almost your internal ecosystem between the businesses 'cause they compliment.
Each other in many ways, but where do you see the biggest?
Opportunities moving forward 'cause, we're also in a transition where we're in the transformation industries.
Where do you see the green fields or the partners that you think will help you to to elevate to the next steps because GE as big it is, as much resource it has, it hasn't everything.
So we're kind of missing part of the puzzle in order to.
Take that next step.
Well, I mean, look, we are fundamentally technology providers, right?
We are not the utility, we're not the developer.
So we need.
Our commercial partners in this space, you know who's going to go build that wind Farm, who's going to go decide where it goes?
Those how do you bring all this together?
We need policymakers to create the right policies that will help this.
I mean it's the work that's being done in Europe right now and the US is fantastic. You know the challenge we see and I'll, I'll be very power specific at the moment you know customers.
Today, so let's you know, we have access to hydrogen, so we want to go put it into our turban.
Gee, you told us it's technically viable, and we'll say yes to all of that.
The problem is, today hydrogen costs multiple times what natural gas does, and the electricity markets today aren't valuing the low carbon nature of that electron.
What they're looking at is a very traditional capital market structure, electricity prices, you know, they want to drive the lowest cost of electricity into the system.
And so in this future, we need to figure out how do we at the same time have a reliable grid and sustainable grid.
You know, but by sustainable low carbon.
So how do we create the policies that drive not just the technology development but the adoption of that technology that you know?
So I think there's a lot of stuff that that goes on that's just beyond just the technology development.
We've got to have the right policy structure.
To influence and incentivize the adoption of these technologies have to have the right kind of investment in capital structure.
And got if people want to go do it and we can we can provide help to all those folks but we're not you know the prime in the.
In those examples, is.
Hydrogen ready for prime time yet?
I mean the energy density and some of the other things for some of the uses you described.
You know, I'm not expecting to hop on a hydrogen jet anytime soon.
Uhm, is it ready?
You gave some use cases where.
Yes, it brings value apparently fairly immediately.
If the cost structure were.
But infrastructure wise, development wise, are we ready to?
Use it. Oh, I I.
Think we are, if we're talking about kind of, you know, everyday societal adoption where you get out, you know, you walk out of your house and there's your fuel cell vehicle.
And you know, the Amazon truck that dropped off a package at your house was a fuel cell, you know, hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle.
And that package was delivered on a, you know, a hydrogen powered airplane.
The infrastructure doesn't exist for that large scale economic transition today.
You know, there are companies out there providing hydrogen fuel cells or electrolyzers at at, you know, not tiny scale, but you know they're supplying, you know, a fleet of vehicles or, you know, you know, vehicles for a factory installation.
We don't yet have jet engines that can run on hydrogen, you know, and it's not clear that.
What the right?
You know which segment of the flight industry, of the aviation history will use hydrogen?
It's not clear that you'll have, you know, these long haul intercontinental, you know flights, you know, think you know New York to London or you know New York to to Dubai or Delhi or London to Sydney.
It's not clear that the mass of hydrogen, all the infrastructure and exhilarates you need on the airplane to keep, maybe to have liquid hydrogen will make sense.
You know, maybe long haul flight won't ever be hydrogen, but.
I definitely think there we are starting to see those smaller use cases of hydrogen building, but part of it is you need the infrastructure.
Where does the hydrant come from?
Who's your end user?
And how do you connect A to B, right?
What's the pipe?
That's the wire.
If you know you're going to do electrolysis on site 'cause, you're going to make a hydrogen for a.
You know, small fleet of fuel cell powered vehicle.
OK, you can have an electrolyzer on site, but do you have the right power transmission capacity coming into your site?
Do you have access to all the water that you need for that, how you're storing the hydrogen?
So we're not quite there yet, but you know, this is kind of a crawl, walk, run and we're not running, you know, somebody argue or not.
Walking yet, but I'm OK with that 'cause.
We're really starting to figure out what it takes to build this, so we're early in that.
But part of this we've got to go do and doing means we're learning and we're figuring out what we don't know yet.
And that's OK, 'cause there's engineers and technologists.
We'll go, we'll find the challenge, and we'll we'll come up with answers.
So speaking one of the challenges that come to mind you, you talked about having offshore wind and being in the wind industry where, where perhaps you would.
Have water and electricity that's renewable.
What kind of solutions are you seeing to transport the hydrogen?
Is it hydrogen?
Is it in another gas that you're transporting?
What are you doing?
Or what are you thinking the future of moving hydrogen around is like?
Or are we seeing it?
You know, just, you know, replacing bunker fuel 'cause it happens to be made at the water, I mean.
You know, a lot of this will depend on the distance you're talking about.
You know you're making the hydrogen at point A, and you want it at point B.
Was point B around the corner?
Is it, you know, a couple 100 miles away or is it, you know, thousands of miles away?
And I think that the answer depends on which of those scenarios.
We're talking about if it's.
I've made it and I'm going to use it again locally.
I'll probably just compress this, uh, gas 'cause, that's, that's, that's, you know, it takes energy, but OK.
If I want to go store it for long periods of time or I'm moving at long distances, I I might think about.
Cooling it cryogenically and compressing it.
It's it takes a lot of energy to do that. It it takes roughly about a for every kilogram of hydrogen you'd compress to a liquid, you consume roughly like the equivalent of a third of its heating value, because you've got to get it down to minus 250 degrees C.
You know, for the non-technical people I remind them that's 20 degrees above the temperature of space. It's 20 degrees above absolute 0.
You know, it's really freaking cold, so it takes a lot of work to do that and it doesn't always make sense.
But if you're going to transport it very long distances, that's where people first started.
Hey, let's move it as a cryogenic liquid 'cause you get high energy density.
When people start looking at the costs of compressing it and keep it compressed and obviously there's loss from boil off this when folks start saying, well what are the other kind of energy dense?
Molecules with hydrogen.
Now of course, one of the greatest, most used energy dense molecules with hydrogen, methane.
But we want to move away from hydrocarbons.
OK, so what's the next alternative?
And this is where you hear people talking about ammonia.
Ammonia is NH3, so it's carbon free.
Something like 20 million tons of ammonia are are shipped around the world today. That's like 20% of the world's total ammonia production.
So we know to make.
Ammonia know to transport ammonia it condenses it minus 33 degrees C so.
You know, much warmer than hydrogen.
Actually even much warmer than LNG.
And so, you know the the marine industry is very interested in ammonia because they've got to move away from bunker fuel.
And, you know, the question becomes off the, uh, if if the marine industry moves away from bunker fuel and goes to ammonia and they're going to use it, well, doesn't it make it that much easier just to start moving hydrogen as ammonia around the world?
So I think the answer to your question, you know, how do you move it really depends on on where is it going, how far.
But that long distance shipping of of fuels, you think about Japan, right, they import coal and LNG and and their national plans are like, well, we have to move away from that.
So they're now taking what is the the, the, the carbon free molecule they'll import that's, you know, said hydrogen isn't ammonia.
And so there's a lot of thought happening.
Around the world in this space.
But it feels.
Which which is great of course and I think this is part of the the the whole thing and we we discussed on this show earlier as well in terms of the marine industry and especially the freight or frightened in in in terms of marines where you actually have the basis, it's a little bit easier than to build it.
But we're also coming across, we're approaching 2030, we're approaching 2050. All these goals is supposed to be that inflation act is coming with quite steep and hefty targets in terms of timelines and.
It feels like.
The technology in in.
Theory could be there, but there's a lot of different steps, so.
Is this testing and testing and probably not, or is it viable to actually make it because transport is a big storage and transport are the big kind of things?
And I think you're going to start hearing more about the transport and storage piece.
Because regardless of of how we go through the energy transition, whether we're talking about electricity, whether we're talking a molecule.
You know, we need to invest in infrastructure significantly around the world.
You know, you think about how much renewable electricity has to be added to our grid collectively.
You know, we need new infrastructure to move that electricity.
You know, in the US, the Midwest ISO, their board just approved something like a $10 billion investment over the next. I forget how many years it is.
For recognition that they need to increase their ability to move this electricity from where it's being generated to the demand centers and and do so intelligently and and and, you know, with reliably.
So I think the infrastructure piece of this should not be discounted.
It's I think really the pacing portion of this because.
Now if you start talking, let's do, let's make hydrogen, but using carbon capture or I'm going to use carbon capture in the steel industry, well, OK, you need to move that CO2 somewhere, so you need that infrastructure of moving the CO2.
So I think regardless of which path when you go down in this future of energy, whether it's hydrogen or.
CCS, or electricity, or combinations of those.
We need that new infrastructure.
You know, I I remind people that the electric grid that that many of us live with today in the US and Europe, you know, developed over the last century.
It it just did not pop out of the ground ten years ago, so we should not expect that the new infrastructure will be here tomorrow.
It will take a decade or two to transition there, but we've got to create the baby steps.
And figure out what the foundations for that will be.
So as a, as a European and and not.
Specifically clued up on everything on the US, any part. It's essentially something we build a grid and same thing in Europe, usually from governments and from fundings for from cities and and and the innovation was around it with with private corporations etc. Who will build the infrastructure because we've had them to show many times about storage.
We've had about all the innovation technologies, we had about all the different ways of addressing the energy transition, but it comes down to many, many times around if and when we have the equipment, the right infrastructure.
But I still haven't heard.
Who's going to build the infrastructure?
At least let me speak to, I think on the energy storage piece.
I think it's going to be the same industry that's done it so far.
I mean it's going to be the power industry.
You know, you look at California, California I forget you know has, has has a significant amount of energy storage that's but added to the grid in the last few years.
Uhm, that's private industry, you know, because they see a need for it.
And yes, is there potentially some some sponsorship or subsidy provided by the government, but who's actually, you know, shovel in the ground, breaking the ground, building it, it's private industry.
So I think.
At least on the storage piece, that's what we're going to continue to see.
Now in the transmission side, it gets, it does get a little more complicated because.
Now you've got you've got the ISO's, but they don't actually own the equipment.
It gets a little more complicated and not an area I have have have great expertise in, but on the storage side I definitely see that folks are thinking about.
You know especially with because the electricity providers are being asked to think about well if your asset goes down how you provide in that or you know other alternatives to supporting your adding these renewables.
I can think about what's happening in the UK and similarly right in the UK there's conversations about, well, if you're adding all these renewables.
You know, you know, is someone putting a central storage system in, or are you being asked, not you personally?
You hunt, but right.
Are the developers for these wind farms being asked to basically create the redundancy?
You know, that backs up their own wind?
So I I.
Think there's a lot of discussion about what it's going to be, but what I don't think we're seeing globally is that the governments are owning that.
Energy storage is going to.
The developer utility, you know, the private industry to really to build that capacity.
So despite whoever is going to build it, let's talk about the storage.
What does that mean at scale with hydrogen?
And help me understand, I don't know hydrogen well, so I'm asking kind of silly questions, but you talk about storage and you mentioned it in early in the conversation as well.
So if I'm.
Let's say one of our listeners, I'm a power company like Johan talked about, you know in a in a large power company where he came from.
How do I do grid scale storage and what?
Does hydrogen could do for me there?
So, so let me talk about kind of at least in my mind how I envision hydrogen potentially being used in, in this net 02050 kind of scenario that we think about globally.
So imagine a world that's got a very large amount of renewables, 8090%. Pick your favorite number.
But there'll be periods where, for whatever reason, there isn't a lot of wind.
There isn't a lot of of sun.
Obviously there are parts of the world in the extreme latitudes, right?
You know, N northern sun, the hemispheres, we're part of the year.
There just isn't a lot of sun, you know?
I live in upstate New York and you know, December and January can be very dark, cloudy months.
Not necessarily the best place for solar.
But you know what happens during those periods where you have an extended kind of wind or solar drought?
You know, if it's a couple hours, you know, batteries will cover that load.
That's not a problem, but you still need big batteries, 'cause.
Now you're not talking about our houses or the school we're talking about, you know, Paris.
London, Rome, kind of scale.
You know, pumped Hydro is a great, you know, energy storage system that gets you large volume because now your capacity is really just a function of how big your reservoir is.
But, you know, ultimately, you know what really concerns me?
In these scenarios is what happens when you have, let's say 4 to 5 days of of an extreme scenario where there's really not any renewables.
Your batteries will be completely discharged.
As much pumped Hydro is there in the world today, it's a fraction of what demand of electricity would be.
So what do you do?
So to me, this is where molecules come in.
Molecules provides you with long term storage.
You know molecules don't break down.
So whether you think you have your molecules hydrogen or ammonia or ethanol or methanol or today our largest energy storage system is methane, right?
We have methane stored all over the world.
But now imagine.
You have a molecule and when you have these periods of extended, you know, kind of renewable strouts, you can open the valve in your storage reservoir and now that molecule flows to your, to your, to your turbines or your fuel cell.
The question just becomes OK, what scale do you need that to be?
And you know we think about for natural gas we have cavern based storage you know, which provides you massive amounts of storage and I think you know we have to have to think about if we're going to use hydrogen are the molecules as energy storage.
To use, you know, two or three times a year, for those four or five days when you just don't have enough renewables, you need large scale storage.
Again, there are some benefits to moving hydrogen to a liquid, whether it's hygiene as as a as a cryogenically cooled liquid or ammonia or something else, because then you get great energy density.
But there's some companies out there that that do cabin based storage. The the industrial gas companies down in the US Gulf Coast, they actually store hydrogen in caverns.
Because if they're a production facility, right, they're under contract to provide hydrogen to folks if their production facility.
Really goes down, either for planned or unplanned maintenance.
They still have to provide that hydrogen, so they use that.
They, I think they have ever read somewhere, you know, one of the industrial gas companies has like 30 days of hydrogen stored in an underground cavern to provide to their customers should their plant go down.
Now, not everyone going to have that geology, but there'll be places.
Around the world where you can do that, there are companies they're exploring that geology.
There are companies looking at how could you create, you know, small scale hydrogen storage.
So maybe at any individual power plant you could have kind of a couple days of hydrogen stored.
But yeah, it I, I think we have to think about, you know, long duration energy storage and that's how I think of hydrogen is a molecule, right.
It gives us the ability to do those things, you know, where, where batteries just couldn't do it.
So do you see hydrogen as a fuel cell or something like that at the home generator?
So instead of having a propane or diesel generator to back up my house in upstate New York when a snowstorm rolls?
Through or something like that.
Am I going to have a little hydrogen storage on my property?
I I don't know, but I mean you think about California that is, you know, talking about basically outlawing, you know, even small combustion engines for, you know, for for lawn maintenance.
So I definitely think that you know if you're in the business of of of providing you know small scale, you know backup generators for folks homes.
You know, is that going to be a high, some sort of hydrogen tank next to a fuel cell in the future?
You know, unless it's, you know, unless you've got a a lot of solar on your property and you've got a battery and you've got enough, you know, days of battery power stored up.
But yeah, I think, you know, those are some of the models you have to think through if you're, you know, thinking about institutions that have critical need for 24/7 power hospitals and.
In other places you know what is going to be the backup power that they're going to rely upon.
Is it going to be, you know, a tank of fuel with a fuel cell?
Is it a battery?
Is it some combination of?
Those, but, you know, this is the kind of thinking that we're going to need in the future.
But you know, today, again, we're just trying to figure out what are.
The basic building.
Blocks we need for all these systems.
But this is all happening at once, so, at least for me, it's.
Really exciting 'cause we're.
We're all kind of kind of plowing new ground.
Together, So what?
About transportation so, so.
What I've heard is industry pundits talk about trucking and in large, large transportation, maybe as a hydrogen play, less so, you know, taking my Tesla away or something like that.
What were your thoughts on transportation?
So, so my thoughts have been have been educated by guests I've had on my podcast, but not being an expert of transportation myself, we've had conversations with JB Hunt, who's the one of the largest transportation companies in the US.
We had conversations with Proterra, which is an electric bus company as well as a National Grid and.
At least the sense I get is.
For personal home use kind of vehicles, Eves or hybrids are probably going to make a lot of sense.
It's when you start to get to large vehicles where the mass of the battery starts to impact the amount of cargo you can carry.
So if you're a long haul.
Trucking, you know, what I've read is that at some point, you know, batteries get so large that you're now sacrificing.
A significant percentage of your cargo.
And obviously you know the the mass of the stuff they carry is is how they get paid.
The other challenge that that the industry is worried about, from what I can tell is is charging time.
So if you've got a long haul EV.
You know how long it's going to take you to recharge?
That is it.
Maybe you can do a quick charge and less than that.
But if you're a fuel cell vehicle, you you pull up to the pump and you know 15 minutes later and you you're recharged for another couple 100 miles.
So I think there's a lot of ongoing questions in the industry about.
You know, either kind of swimlanes if you will, there are places where eaves are really going to do a much better job than this than than hydrogen and vice versa.
But either way, again, you think about the infrastructure. If you're thinking about, you know, you're in the long haul shipping business and you've got trucks, whether the crossing Continental Europe or the crossing continental US.
What does that future filling station look like?
Are you going to have to be someplace that you know today you pull it in, maybe there's there's conventional gasoline and then maybe there's there's diesel, but in the future is there going to be some sort of, you know, one side will be EV stations and on the other side will be hydrogen stations?
So we'll see.
And I think that's, I think that's something we've heard as well from some of our other guests and and it's also something that I believe in and that is.
Sometimes you hear this.
I wouldn't say a battle, but the the differences of opinions between us kind of in the energy industry, OK?
Now, is the TV is going to be on batteries or it's going to be on this whereas?
Literally, we're a supplier to.
To the guys who actually the OEM's who decides this and I think that's where, where something at least I hear where we lose the discussion sometimes because we think that the technology that we have is the best one, whereas the OEM's will look at the entire cycle of this, OK, So what is the cost, what is the for this? So it's it's quite interesting.
And and I I think I, I, I what I heard and I agree with this.
I think the smaller ones are almost game over.
If you have a EV, it's going to be a battery or a hybrid one, but once it comes up to the large one especially, then coming out on on C as well in terms of Marines and large trucks, I think that's.
Or we what we heard around where when it comes to to that when when you were working on on these forward thinking how much work do you do with the OEM's and also the ones that in terms of buildings or in terms of in small appliances. How's that relationship?
You know for us our relationship with GE is really with those people who are buying our equipment and putting the electricity out on the grid.
So you know we no longer have the appliance business, although the the name still there.
But you know, ultimately our relationship is with those people who are by buying our electrical equipment or generating equipment and putting electrons on the grid, you know, and so it's really interesting, you know, we think about these models, is the power of the future going to be large centralized power stations, is it going to be smaller stations?
We're really excited about our next generation nuclear plant.
These small modular nuclear plants, which would be about 300 megawatts to do. Imagine these being in places where they're going to support, you know, whether it's these fueling stations.
Or you know, you're going to need maybe more distributed electricity.
So we're really interested, but and we're talking with folks as we think about, you know, this new model of electricity production and how much of that is going to be renewables versus how much that's going to be a molecule.
You know, and and we really think of this as a portfolio solution.
There's not one technology.
It's going to be turbines, it's going to be, you know, wind, it's going to be nuclear, it's going to be energy storage.
We're going to need all of this to.
Solve this problem together.
Recently I read that the US government had awarded some contracts for power in space.
Have you guys started thinking about that?
Are you part of these initiatives?
No, we are literally.
Our feet are planted firmly on the ground, Fritz.
I'm trying to figure out who it is that's doing it because there was a contract for power on the moon that that I saw go out from the US government.
No, no, my feet are firmly planted on terrestrial power generation.
Sorry, can't help you there.
Be there, right.
So going back, 'cause, as we come to close on the program, you tell us pretty exciting news.
So there's a new vertical coming out, so geez, reinventing itself to to the today's market, right?
That's kind of what I heard you say.
It's more of a greener new green new I guess is your.
You're your word.
Segment, you've got a vertical that handles it.
You just mentioned in your kind of segment, you know the different verticals there?
Uhm, and and you talked about there the timing seems to be pretty good with government policy that this administration got signed and got out.
That's saying, hey, there's a bunch of incentive for years to come to make hydrogen and other renewables in in good.
Where are your.
Customers in North America along the journey, right 'cause they have these assets they built in the old model, which means you build an asset and you have your plant forever.
Well, virtual power plants, solar and all that's distributed and the ROI on them can't be a 30 year plant investment.
It's a very short.
So where's the industry on this transition?
For for the big the ISO's and the power producers and the folks that have legacy infrastructure or the big nuclear plants, not the modular stuff that we're.
Talking about now.
You know, I'll speak to the gas turbine segment 'cause, that's really the customer base I know well.
And you know for many customers who have installed gas turbines that are operating, you know the questions that we guess regular what are the technologies we can help bring to bear that will help them decarbonize those assets so they can keep running supporting the grid.
Supporting the customers, but do so with with, you know.
A lower carbon intent.
City and you know the answer that we keep providing them is really twofold.
It's you know we could think about as we've talked a lot about the pre combustion you know fuels like hydrogen or you know we're doing a lot of work with customers around carbon capture.
You know, what does it take to install a carbon capture system on the back end of a gas turbine?
Again, talking about making.
Real, we've got a project funded by the US Department of Energy where we're in the midst of a front end engineering design study, a feed study looking specifically at what it would take to retrofit a carbon capture system on an existing operating combined cycle plant and we're working with Southern Company on that. So we're really engaged with the customers about you know.
What are their goals?
When do they want to decarbonize?
What technologies make the most sense given their portfolio?
So and again, there's there's a portfolio of technology options.
It's not just one that there's this range and we're working with our customers and for some customers they think hydrogen makes more sense.
For some customers they're more interested in carbon capture.
It depends on where they are, you know, kind of, you know, relative to let's say availability of renewables or availability of of geologic.
Space for for carbon sequestration, but you know we're really focused on engaging with our customers, developing those technology solutions to provide to them.
So it's really exciting, but you know very, very active space.
Which I think is great, and I when what?
I heard you saying what?
I really like is that?
We're seeing the energy industry in the transformation and then when we started off the show, we had a lot of guests on we kind of by the mindset it's it's going to change, but it's going to be in the same format.
But what you're saying here is it's changing, but it's.
In multiple, so you might have a storage on this one, you might have hydrogen on this one.
You have a small turbine on the.
So I think this is the kind of.
The idea of the whole transformation and I think where we will see more and it's especially in the next coming years now with the investments in the US on the subsidies to see all of these different areas where the proof points will be.
And I think that's going to be extremely interesting because there's so many different areas that we're covering and I think this will be a proof point as well.
So I I.
Really think that was a good take away, but great.
The feedback I really appreciate having you on.
Yeah, Jeff, thank you so.
Much thank you, GE, for letting you come on.
Thank you personally for coming on.
And I'd be remiss because I know you mentioned at the beginning.
We mentioned you're a podcaster.
You have a podcast.
We support fellow energy podcasts and renewable and sustainable podcasts, so maybe just a quick tell us about your podcast for a couple seconds and how people find you.
The podcast is called cutting carbon.
You can find it on any of your favorite platforms, whether it be Amazon, iTunes, Spotify.
By we're actually in the process of recording our sixth season. We focus on topics around the energy transition. We intentionally focus our discussions with experts, but we want the conversation to be non-technical. We want to reach an audience who wants to learn more about geologic carbon sequestration or aviation. But.
Don't have the technical background, so we really are intending the conversations to be at a level where you don't have to have a, you know, a high level engineering education to do this.
And we've been lucky.
We've talked about all sorts of topics.
Again, it's called cutting carbon.
Look for season six, probably in the late October or November timeframe.
We're going to talk infrastructure in this season. Each season's had a theme, so we've talked about policy and non gas turbine technologies and gas German technologies.
So it's it's been a lot of fun and I appreciate being able to plug the podcast.
Of course, we'll thank you again for being on the podcast.
It's always a pleasure to talk to you.
I look forward to bringing you back and having you at some of our events because I've just enjoyed getting to know you in the last few events that we've done together.
So thank you again.
My pleasure. Thank you both.
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