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How can Big Oil and a Hydrogen Guy agree?

Updated: Feb 26

It's not every day that a hydrogen guy agrees with big oil. BP released their 2023 Energy Report and I’m shocked to find that we are of one mind in many instances. They forecast that hydrogen could be the source for 10% of the total global energy consumption by 2050.

BP sees a niche for hydrogen adoption in medium and heavy-duty trucks. This is where I firmly believe we can clean up the environment without negatively impacting economics or performance. Keep in mind that a hydrogen fuel cell truck is an electric truck without excess batteries and long charging times. This makes FCEV trucks especially beneficial for high use operations.

It will take investments in infrastructure and electric truck adoption, but hydrogen fuel cell trucks can replace diesel. This will also eradicate the biproduct NOx that are a serious health risk. The economics will work when the price of hydrogen comes down and the required infrastructure is deployed. The total cost of ownership of electric trucks is already well understood.

BP also forecasts relatively high demand in shipping and the industrial sector (cement, steel, ammonia etc.). I only believe this is a viable segment if the hydrogen is truly green. I’m very skeptical of the effectiveness of carbon capture with blue hydrogen. I agree that hydrogen for heating is a losing proposition as the economics are just too difficult to justify compared to Natural Gas. BP also points to the efficiency of newer heat pumps as an alternative to natural gas for heating.

I’m skeptical of the adoption rate in aviation however there are many supporters so I may be proven wrong. As for passenger cars, I’m firmly in the EV corner for the majority of consumers.

The biggest surprise of the report is that BP and I are in the same camp on many subjects. They clearly agree with the ANDnotOR approach. Apparently, I shouldn’t prejudge Big Oil without doing my own research.

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