As economy-wide decarbonization mandates proliferate across the globe, clean hydrogen (H2) is emerging as an attractive low-carbon alternative fuel and energy carrier with many potential applications. While governmental support and technological innovations are spurring investments across the hydrogen economy, some key issues – including the current high cost of H2 relative to alternatives and the proper accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the H2 supply chain – must be addressed before widespread adoption is feasible.
Through a new interactive resource, energy experts from The Brattle Group highlight the challenges and opportunities associated with the hydrogen economy and its role in a decarbonized future. The microsite provides an overview of the hydrogen supply chain (including production, transportation, storage, distribution, and end use), regulatory policies in the US and internationally, and pricing and commercial agreements.
The site also features a new report summarizing and providing key observations about the US Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program (H2Hubs) and the seven hubs selected to kickstart the program. With $8 billion in federal funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $40 billion in additional private funding, H2Hubs is designed to build regional networks of hydrogen ecosystems – consisting of producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure – to accelerate the use of hydrogen throughout the country.
Some observations from the report include:
- Based on disclosed production estimates, H2Hubs will increase the H2 production in US from 10 million metric tons per year (mtpy) to over 30 million mtpy by 2045
- Meeting expected green hydrogen production levels in California alone will require approximately 291 GW of new renewable generation – 3.5 times the state’s current installed generation capacity and 12 times the current installed solar and wind capacity
- To minimize community impacts and reduce the cost of delivered H2, the hubs intend to build new pure H2 pipeline backbones using existing right-of-ways; however, clarification on state and federal regulation of H2 pipelines will be required
- With the exception of three gas utility blending projects, nearly all disclosed H2Hubs projects are focused on serving hard-to-abate industries, such as heavy-duty transport, industrial demand, chemicals, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and marine (port operations, e-Methanol fuel)
The presentation, “DOE Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program (H2Hubs),” includes a profile of each of the seven selected hubs that will kickstart the program, including the amounts and types of hydrogen each is expected to produce, targeted end-use sectors, existing and planned infrastructure, projected emission reductions, and other community benefits such as job creation.
To learn more about the emissions, technological, regulatory, and economic opportunities and challenges that come with the rapidly involving hydrogen industry, feel free to contact the experts listed on the hydrogen microsite. For questions about the H2Hubs report, please reach out to the contacts to the right.