A coalition of major oil and gas, power, automotive, fuel cell and hydrogen companies have set out a road map to a US hydrogen economy.
In the report, the coalition set out that with the energy system evolving across the US and its resilience and reliability becoming growing concerns, hydrogen can overcome some of the key challenges that it is facing. It stressed the time to boost support for it is now, with it critical to achieving a low-carbon energy mix owed to the way it can be broadly used across several industries. Under the coalition’s vision, hydrogen would meet 14% of US final energy demand by 2050 – equivalent to over 2,468TWh – and strengthen the US economy by supporting up to $750bn in revenue and 3.4mn jobs in the same timeframe.
It also forecast that it would be 100% domestically produced by 2050, creating a highly competitive source of domestically produced low-emission energy, lead to a 16% fall in CO2 emissions and a 36% reduction in NOx emissions.
The roadmap set out a path to a hydrogen economy where hydrogen becomes a mainstream fuel option in four key phases – 2020 to 2022; 2023 to 2025; 2026 to 2030; and post-2030. By 2030, the report envisages hydrogen being deployed at scale in the US, across regions and industries with most applications achieving cost parity with fossil fuel alternatives through sufficient pricing of externalities. For this to be realised, the report stressed industry, investors and policymakers must work together and nine key actions must happen to unlock hydrogen’s potential in the US.
These include setting dependable, technology-neutral decarbonisation goals; creating public incentives to bridge barriers to the initial market launch; supporting infrastructure development; expanding the use of hydrogen across sectors and achieving economies of scale; and including hydrogen-based options in government procurement. The other actions that must happen are supporting research, development, demonstration, and deployment; harmonising technical codes and safety standards; supporting outreach and workforce development; and reviewing energy sector regulations to ensure they account for hydrogen.