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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Aug 3, 2021

SoCalGas announced its intentions to work with Sierra Northern Railway and other companies to develop and test a fuel cell locomotive engine.

'We believe hydrogen fuel cell-powered locomotives can play a significant role in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the railways that serve California’s ports and warehouses,” said SoCalGas Vice President of Clean Energy Innovations Neil Navin. “This research is just part of our efforts to lead the transition to clean fuels in California and it supports our commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations and delivery of energy by 2045.'

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 3, 2021

Wonder why SoCalGas would be sponsoring a hydrogen fuel cell Locomotive project, Charley...could that hydrogen be made from SoCalGas methane? If so, misrepresenting dirty gray hydrogen as the clean green variety would mean big profits for Sempra, Inc., the parent company of SoCalGas.

A locomotive is going to burn a lot of methane -er, I mean hydrogen, though, and a lot of extra CO2 emissions. But that's someone else's problem, right?


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 3, 2021

Sees rail could be a good niche use case for hydrogen-- while it's hard to beat the progress BEVs have made on the road, limiting the ceiling for now of any hydrogen/fuel cell cars, rail comes with very predictable patterns, large entities with whom contracts can be signed, and with direct opportunity to replace fossil fuels. 

Is there a region/company that has made the most progress taking hydrogen rail beyond pilot projects, Charley? 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 3, 2021

"...large entities with whom contracts can be signed, and with direct opportunity to replace fossil fuels."

There is no intent to "replace fossil fuels", Matt. Sempra, the holding company for SoCal Gas, San Diego Gas & Electric, and 260+ other subsidiaries, recognizes a vast opportunity to expand its $22-billion global reach by generating electricity with gas, powering locomotives with hydrogen from gas, anything else that can be deceptively - and fraudulently - advanced as an environmentally-friendly application for its climate-killing product.

The time to stop tolerating this dangerous trend passed long ago.

Charley Rattan's picture
Thank Charley for the Post!
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