Color the Nation with Blue & Green “Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs”

by Duane Nichols on May 18, 2022

Some 14 sites identified for “CLEAN H2” development

Gov. Wolf says Pennsylvania Well-Positioned to be Leader in National Clean Energy Transition

Press Release from Penna. Governor, Harrisburg, PA, May 16, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today joined industry leaders and stakeholders at the Pittsburgh Manufacturing Summit to highlight his legacy of support for manufacturing in Pennsylvania and how this support plus Pennsylvania’s bounty of natural resources poises Pennsylvania to be a leader in the United States​’ transition to clean energy.

“Pennsylvania’s smoke​ and steel have helped to build many of our nation’s most iconic and ambitious projects – the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, and Hoover Dam among them,” said Gov. Wolf. “And now our industrial strength, abundant natural resources, and powerful workforce has the opportunity to lead the nation in a transition to a clean energy ecosystem including more reliance on clean hydrogen and carbon capture sequestration and storage.”

In Pennsylvania, manufacturing is big business. It employs nearly 10% of Pennsylvania’s workforce and accounts for 11.42% of economic output. Since Gov. Wolf took office in 2015 and immediately prioritized his support for an even stronger industry, the economic output of manufacturing in Pennsylvania rose from $85 billion in 2016 to more than $92 billion in 2021.

In order to ensure this key sector remains strong into the future, the Governor is working with a diverse coalition of energy, organized labor, and state and local leaders to develop the public private partnerships needed to address the challenges of decarbonization and ensure our manufacturers and industry will continue to compete in a carbon constrained 21st century economy.

Through President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), $8 billion is available to support four Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs to expand the use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector. The Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs initiative is part of the Biden Administration’s broad work to create jobs by expanding the use of clean hydrogen to accelerate the decarbonization of the industrial sector.

Gov. Wolf confirmed his intention to ensure Pennsylvania is competitive in pursuing DOE investment in a Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub earlier today. This effort will ensure the creation of clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania, while supporting the Biden Administration’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85​% by 2050.

At the Pittsburgh Manufacturing Summit today, Gov. Wolf acknowledge​d significant industry and stakeholder support and partnerships received to make Pennsylvania a leader in the development of clean hydrogen and competitive for energy related federal funding authorized under the BIL.

“The support and excitement we’ve received from the industry has been overwhelming, and it’s critical to our ability to have a seat at the table and compete for these upcoming opportunities,” said Gov. Wolf. “Bringing a Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub to the commonwealth will also bring new jobs and economic growth, it will help t​o reduce emissions, protect us from the growing dangers of climate change, and improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.”

The Department of Energy anticipates that applications for funding will open later this summer. Over the next several months, Pennsylvania will work with stakeholders to create a path to industrial sector decarbonization with an emphasis on the deployment of clean hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies and collaborate to ensure that the Department of Energy invests in Pennsylvania.


Fitzgerald Statement on Region’s Pursuit of a Clean Hydrogen Hub

PITTSBURGH – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today joined Governor Tom Wolf; Hilary Mercer, Shell’s Senior Vice President of Pennsylvania Chemicals; Darrin Kelly, President of the Allegheny Fayette Labor Council; and Matt Smith, President of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, to highlight the region’s pursuit of the opportunity to be designated as one of four Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs in the United States. The initiative is part of President Biden’s work to create jobs by expanding the use of clean hydrogen to accelerate the decarbonization of the industrial sector.

“This is an important initiative for our region that can allow us to reach our goals for energy sustainability more quickly. Western Pennsylvania already has a significant number of stakeholders who call this region home who are also invested in making improvements that create jobs, encourage manufacturing, address our supply chain, and have a better environment.

“We have been fortunate to have the federal leadership of Senator Casey, Congressman Doyle and Congressman Lamb who have all championed this effort and continued to encourage the exploration of this possibility for our region. Governor Wolf’s confirmation of his intent to ensure that we are competitive in pursuing this U.S. Department of Energy investments adds to the political will to get this done. Along with the investments by our universities in this research and commitments from labor, philanthropy, and the private sector, we are well on our way to capitalizing on this potential.

“There is a significant amount of work that will need done with all partners collaborating to outline what this region’s proposal will look like, but that’s what we do best here. We roll up our sleeves; we get to work; and we work together to solve this region’s biggest challenges.”

# # #

See Also: Large-Scale Storage of Hydrogen, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 44, Issue 23, 3 May 2019, Pages 11901-11919.

ABSTRACT ~ The large-scale storage of hydrogen plays a fundamental role in a potential future hydrogen economy. Although the storage of gaseous hydrogen in salt caverns already is used on a full industrial scale, the approach is not applicable in all regions due to varying geological conditions. Therefore, other storage methods are necessary. In this Article, options for the large-scale storage of hydrogen are reviewed and compared based on fundamental thermodynamic and engineering aspects. The application of certain storage technologies, such as liquid hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, and dibenzyltoluene, is found to be advantageous in terms of storage density, cost of storage, and safety. The variable costs for these high-density storage technologies are largely associated with a high electricity demand for the storage process or with a high heat demand for the hydrogen release process. If hydrogen is produced via electrolysis and stored during times of low electricity prices in an industrial setting, these variable costs may be tolerable.

DISCUSSION ~ As seen in this Article, there currently exists no hydrogen storage technology without shortcomings, i.e., there is presently no “perfect” hydrogen storage technology. There exist relatively few purely technical barriers for several of the considered technologies; nevertheless, the added cost of the storage technologies is a concern. The cost of hydrogen storage is made up of three main parts: the costs of constructing the storage facility, the costs of the utilities needed to operate the facility, and the costs to maintain the facility.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian Palmer May 18, 2022 at 8:44 am

Is Elon Musk Right Or Wrong To Dismiss Hydrogen Use For Low-Carbon Energy Storage?

From Ian Palmer, Forbes, May 15, 2022

The context is transitioning from fossil energy to renewables. One key aspect of this is transport via gasoline or diesel vehicles and its transition to electric motors driven by batteries or hydrogen. The fossil fuel industry should be concerned about the efficiency and cost of sustainable transport, because that will determine the speed of the transition which will likely affect the decline of oil production and perhaps the oil and gas industry itself.

Elon Musk knows batteries. He builds them: to propel cars and trucks, at one bookend, to grid-scale behemoths that store and stabilize electrical power for hundreds of homes and commercial enterprises, at the other bookend.

Last week, May 12, 2022, Musk said hydrogen “is the most dumb thing I could possibly imagine for energy storage.” This is not the first time, as Musk has made similar negative comments in past years. A few years ago, Musk told reporters that hydrogen fuel cells were “extremely silly.”

The dumb hydrogen storage comment was a sweeping statement. Was Musk referring to grid-scale storage of electricity? Or to storage in electric vehicles — EVs such as cars trucks and buses? Or both?

Let’s take a deeper look at applications of hydrogen energy and its role in storing electricity as opposed to batteries.

>>>> ……….. >>>>


SkyTruth Update May 18, 2022 at 8:59 am

PA Permit Violation Issued to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny County
Description: Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 5/13/2022 to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny county. 78a57(a) – CONTROL, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF PRODUCTION FLUIDS – Operator failed to collect brine and other fluids produced during operation of the well in a tank, series of tanks, or other device approved by the Department for subsequent disposal or reuse.
Incident Date/Time: 2022-05-13 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

PA Permit Violation Issued to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny County
Description: Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 5/13/2022 to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny county. SWMA 301 – MANAGEMENT OF RESIDUAL WASTE – Person operated a residual waste processing or disposal facility without obtaining a permit for such facility from DEP. Person stored, transported, processed, or disposed of residual waste inconsistent with or unauthorized by the rules and regulations of DEP.
Incident Date/Time: 2022-05-13 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

PA Permit Violation Issued to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny County
Description: Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 5/13/2022 to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny county. 78a54 – GENERAL REQUIREMENTS – Operator failed to control and dispose of fluids, residual waste and drill cuttings, including tophole water, brines, drilling fluids, drilling muds, stimulation fluids, well servicing fluids, oil, and production fluids in a manner that prevents pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth and in accordance with 25 Pa. Code §§ 78a.55 – 78a.58 and 78a.60 – 78a.63.
Incident Date/Time: 2022-05-13 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

PA Permit Violation Issued to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny County
Description: Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 5/13/2022 to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny county. CSL 402(b) – POTENTIAL POLLUTION – Conducting an activity regulated by a permit issued pursuant to Section 402 of The Clean Streams Law to prevent the potential of pollution to waters of the Commonwealth without a permit or contrary to a permit issued under that authority by the Department.
Incident Date/Time: 2022-05-13 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

PA Permit Violation Issued to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny County
Description: Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 5/13/2022 to EQT PROD CO in Forward Twp, Allegheny county. 91.34(A) – ACTIVITIES UTILIZING POLLUTANTS – Failure to take necessary measures to prevent the substances from directly or indirectly reaching waters of this Commonwealth, through accident, carelessness, maliciousness, hazards of weather or from another cause.
Incident Date/Time: 2022-05-13 00:00:00
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Michael Mazengarb May 18, 2022 at 11:25 pm

Hydrogen not a practical option for household energy use—

From the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA),

A major international energy body has warned that efforts to blend hydrogen into mains gas supplies could be costly and impractical, and push up household energy costs for minimal emissions reductions.

The new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warns that blending hydrogen in mains gas networks is a complicated way of cutting household emissions and would likely cost more than $US500 per tonne of emissions abated.

The findings suggest that the use of hydrogen in residential appliances like stove-tops and water heating would be prohibitively expensive, and electrification could serve as a cheaper path to cutting emissions. While the exact abatement cost would depend both on the cost to produce hydrogen and the prevailing market price for fossil gas, even dramatic reductions in the cost of hydrogen would still likely see the effective abatement cost exceed $US200 per tonne.

“Blending leads to limited CO2 benefits and to a large increase in energy cost,” the IRENA report says. “This translates into a very high cost of mitigating the GHG emissions of natural gas. Given the current production cost for renewable hydrogen, the cost may be above US$500/tCO2 for most gas prices.”

The findings suggest that hydrogen may never be able to play a major role in the decarbonisation of residential energy use, given technical limitations on the amount of hydrogen that can be blended in the mains gas supply and the comparatively higher costs.

Several Australian gas suppliers are currently trialing small volumes of hydrogen blending to demonstrate that existing gas infrastructure can be adapted for zero emissions energy supplies. But critics of such trials have argued that hydrogen blending has minimal potential to cut emissions, and they are largely being undertaken as a way of delaying the phase out of fossil gas use altogether.

[Michael Mazengarb]

More: Costly and impractical: IRENA warns against hydrogen blending in gas networks


Tara Patel May 24, 2022 at 9:03 pm

Renault Plans Family Car That Runs on Electricity and Hydrogen

From an Article by Tara Patel, Bloomberg News, May 19, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Renault SA is developing a family-sized passenger car that will run on electricity for short drives and hydrogen for longer trips as part of the company’s push into fuel-cell technology.

Dubbed Scenic Vision, the vehicle will have a carbon footprint that’s 75% lower than that of a conventional EV because it uses mostly recycled materials and a smaller battery, Renault said Thursday. The company plans to put the hybrid powertrain into vehicles from around 2030, a spokesperson said.

Chief Executive Officer Luca de Meo is rolling out more battery-powered models and aims to catch up with rivals in the popular sport utility vehicle segment. He has pledged a fresh lineup as part of a turnaround made more challenging by Renault’s costly pullout from Russia.

High Costs — Still, the hydrogen push makes Renault an outlier among carmakers as the technology is still hampered by high costs and a lack of fueling infrastructure. Across all automakers, hydrogen-powered vehicles are forecast to account for just 0.1% of global production by 2029, according to research released Wednesday from climate think tank InfluenceMap.

Toyota Motor Corp. remains the biggest proponent of hydrogen, which only emits water vapor, though the world’s biggest carmaker has changed tack with plans to add battery-electric models to keep pace with the rest of the industry. BMW AG has said the technology could become an alternative for larger vehicles.

Renault said about 70% of the Scenic Vision’s materials will be recycled, including a floor made from old plastic pipes and milk containers and a fuel cell membrane using platinum from discarded catalytic converters. The car’s exterior design will mimic an all-electric model scheduled to hit the market in 2024.


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