Green Hydrogen Presents Opportunities

                                                                        Green Hydrogen Presents Opportunities

In this series, we introduced the development of green hydrogen as an energy source and discussed some of the challenges to a green hydrogen, carbon-free future. When reading about the development of green hydrogen and the possible benefits it may hold for our society, one almost feels they are watching Star Trek’s  Enterprise cross galaxies powered by a stable relationship between matter and anti-matter.

In many ways, green hydrogen presents similar opportunities, whether it be powering vehicles, producing electricity or replacing fossil fuels in processes such as refining, Iron, steel and chemical manufacturing.

Even now, our world relies heavily upon hydrogen. Green hydrogen is merely hydrogen produced by non-fossil means. Already, oil companies (Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, etc.) and gas manufacturers (Air Products, Air Liquide, Linde, etc.), alongside renewable developers – such as Plug Power and offshore wind developer Orsted – see green hydrogen as a significant emerging market.

The development of green hydrogen will drive technological advancements and innovations in various sectors. Green hydrogen will need new production, storage, transportation and distribution infrastructures requiring major investment in capital and human resources. Consider that green hydrogen production is dependent upon renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydropower. Thus, the development of effective energy storage, for both gas and liquid forms, will be necessary as well as new pipelines to transport from new production facilities.

The Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provided the Department of Energy the authority to offer grants, rebates, and other cooperative agreements to companies wishing to enter the green hydrogen market. Immediately following its passage, companies like Cummins announced that they would begin manufacturing electrolyzers which are necessary to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Other manufacturers are also gearing up.

Some of the projects has been following include:

  • California – Southern California Gas & San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Florida – Florida Power & Light
  • New Jersey – JERA Americas & New Jersey Resources Group
  • New York – NRG, Danskammer & JERA Americas
  • North Carolina – Dominion Energy
  • Ohio- New Fortress Energy
  • South Carolina – Duke Energy Carolinas
  • Southeast – Southern Company
  • Texas – Entergy
  • Utah – Intermountain Power Project
  • Virginia – BalicoLLC/Mitsubishi Power and Dominion Energy

Though these projects involve existing utilities, independent firms have also entered the market in 2023:

  • Arizona – Air Products / Casa Granda
  • Georgia – Plug Power / Kingsland
  • Illinois – Invenergy
  • Louisiana – Plug Power & Olin JV
  • Louisiana – CF Industries/ThyssenKrupp – Donaldsonville

The injection of federal incentives into the development of green hydrogen is spurring investment by the private sector. This combined money is funding the research and development of new technologies, new manufacturing processes, new supply chains and in many instances the development of new materials and equipment. These projects will require individuals with unique skill sets augmenting a traditional engineering and construction workforce.

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