CRES Forum Vice President of Policy and Research Richard Campbell penned the following piece for the Washington Times National Clean Energy Week Special Edition:
Hydrogen has been discussed for decades as a possible fuel source to produce cleaner, American-made energy. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) designated approximately $8 billion for the development of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs, positioning the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to notify hub applicants of awards by fall 2023. This funding and recent emphasis on hydrogen presents an exciting opportunity for electricity production, but we must go about this the right way.
For much of our modern history, electric power in the United States has mostly been generated by the combustion of coal to produce steam that drives a turbine generator. In more recent years, natural gas replaced coal due largely to the shale gas revolution, which brought more abundant, cheaper natural gas to the marketplace. Carbon dioxide emissions significantly fell as a result, and the United States has reduced emissions more than any other country in the world—more than the following five countries combined since 2000. With the electric power sector taking action to reduce emissions—and do so affordably—looking to hydrogen as a potential next step makes sense.
Since the passage of IIJA, American businesses are competing to develop these hydrogen hubs, produce hydrogen in bulk, and meet a future potential demand from clean hydrogen consumers. To be eligible for DOE funding, the hydrogen must come from low-emission sources such as nuclear or renewables using electrolyzers, or from fossil fuels utilizing carbon capture. Today, about 20 hydrogen hubs are reported to be in the final phase of consideration.
Read the full op-ed here.