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Roadmap to a US Hydrogen economy

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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...

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  • Nov 7, 2019

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Fifty years after hydrogen helped put a man on the moon this current state of the market executive summary roadmap to a US hydrogen economy may interest group members.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 7, 2019

A competitive hydrogen industry will reinforce US energy leadership. The US is now the world’s largest producer of natural gas and oil, exporting to more than 35 countries. As countries around the world look to hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions, the US has an opportunity to reinforce and grow its energy leadership position and create jobs in this field. The competitive domestic supply of hydrogen will enable exports of the fuel to other markets that do not have such competitive supplies.

Haven't seen too much made about the future potential for hydrogen fuel exports-- how much does that factor into the equation of current projections for hydrogen? How quickly could the U.S. get to the point that it's creating more hydrogen then it's able/willing to use to make export necessary, or do you think exports will come before we've reached any sort of surplus?

Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Nov 7, 2019

Good point regarding exports. I do know that the UK offshore wind industry is looking into and there is dialogue between Australia and Japan over its potential.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 7, 2019

Matt, do you really think Chevron, Shell, and Southern California Gas Company, who financed this puff piece, are supporting a clean fuel?

Of course not. They realize the Roadmap to a Natural Gas Economy involves leading people who don't like to think too hard hydrogen is a clean fuel.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 7, 2019

Hydrogen can be created in clean ways and not so clean ways, that much is true. But do I think that by advancing the research and development into hydrogen energy makes progress towards clean fuels? Yes I do, and that's why I'm happy to see DOE, IEA, IRENA, and more looking into it and advancing hydrogen as a future energy source. 

Rami Reshef's picture
Rami Reshef on Nov 14, 2019

Great to see important policy proposals like the Roadmap to the US Hydrogen Economy being raised and discussed here on Energy Central! Certainly developing a hydrogen economy is a complex challenge fraught with questions like those already raised in the comments to this post  – Does it make sense to export hydrogen when in calculating the energy and financial resources that must be expended on H2 logistics and transport, the net energy gain can be less than optimal? If our objective is decarbonization and clean energy, are the use of natural gas and Power-to-Gas infrastructure legitimate steps in the transition or are they just a way to whitewash the continued use of fossil fuels?  Are traditional oil and gas producers trying to authentically achieve climate action or is it just lip service to maintain their relevance in the energy market?  How can we encourage these companies to participate as players in the transition from established brown hydrogen production methods to more innovative green hydrogen production processes?  

To reach the ambitious targets we have set to reduce global warming, we need as broad involvement as possible, public and private, investors and research tanks, traditional energy providers and new-to-market energy innovators. I am interested to hear what all the different stakeholders have to say about this roadmap – is it achievable? Will 14% U.S. renewables be sufficient to achieve global climate action targets? Will the proposed steps bring new revenues and jobs to the U.S. energy sector?  GenCell Energy is committed to making this transition happen and we are pursuing several projects to partner our fuel cells with green hydrogen producers to enable completely clean, carbon-free energy generation – the question is cost – what prices for green hydrogen can the market sustain? It is all a matter of scale – as demand grows, prices will fall and the projects will get to market. There are issues, there are barriers, there are vested interests, but there are also opportunities that we must push hard to make clean energy an economic reality.


Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Nov 14, 2019

Thanks Rami, 

Would have thought this kind of debate is exactly what Energycentral and its community of energy professionals is for.  Like everything else the bottom line will define how much progress is made, but offshore wind had both subsidy and support in the early days and appears to be flourishing. Most of the oil and gas majors are devoting increasing time and resources to hydrogen which may auger well for a nascent industry.  

Charley Rattan's picture
Thank Charley for the Post!
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