WOBO thanks REUTERS Events for the link to the report by Neil Ford in respect of Solar – Hydrogen.
Utilities and developers are looking to capitalize on surging solar capacity and existing pipeline infrastructure to accelerate green hydrogen production.
Last month, the US Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative, aiming to cut the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram within a decade.
The US lags behind Europe on clean hydrogen development and the Earthshot initiative will provide funds to demonstration projects that improve technology and cut costs. DOE funding of hydrogen activities will rise 40% to $400 million in fiscal year 2022, it said.
Hydrogen can be used in industrial applications, building heating and as a vehicle fuel and has traditionally been produced from natural gas reformation. ‘Green’ hydrogen is created by using renewable energy and electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Corporate demand for green hydrogen is growing as heavy users such as chemicals companies look to curb carbon emissions. The DOE believes an 80% reduction in clean hydrogen costs could lead to a fivefold increase in demand.
Regional US green hydrogen initiatives are already underway. These include the public-private Western Green Hydrogen Initiative (WGHI) which aims to reduce regulatory and commercial barriers and scale commercial technology and includes a large number of US states and Canadian provinces.
Areas with high solar resources and a large number of potential end-users are well-placed for early green hydrogen production, experts told Reuters Events.
Industrial zones offer ready-made demand and infrastructure and green hydrogen clusters could develop on the Gulf of Mexico and around the Port of Los Angeles, where potential consumers would not require new pipeline capacity, the experts said.
The US currently consumes around 10 million tonnes per year of hydrogen. Oil refiners consume 6 million tonnes/year while 3 million tonnes/year is used for ammonia production and 1 million tonnes/year for biofuels and synthetic fuels.