Renewable Hydrogen

To achieve California’s economy-wide decarbonization goals, California must explore alter-natives to fossil fuels where electrification is not practical or cost-effective. Renewable hydrogen has the potential to fill specific niches in the transportation, electricity, and industrial sectors, and can help meet California’s growing reliability need as a form of long duration or seasonal storage for renewable energy.

Recent Developments:

Hydrogen via green electrolysis is a promising renewable energy form that can be fed into a fuel cell to power everything from small electronics to heavy-duty vehicles, and stored for long periods as a suitable battery replacement. However, as an indirect greenhouse gas, it comes with some challenges. CEERT has been working closely with other organizations in studying the potential adverse impacts of hydrogen on the environment and ways to mitigate them.

The Federal Infrastructure Bill allocates $9.5 billion for “clean hydrogen development,” with $8 billion of that for developing regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs). The remainder sets aside $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program, and $500 million to Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives. On July 27, DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office issued a Notice of Intent for potential funding toward the research, development, and demonstration of clean, affordable hydrogen and improved grid resilience. In addition, as noted in our previous Quarterly Report, the 2022-23 California Governor’s budget proposes a $100 million general fund over two years to advance the production of green hydrogen, and a tax credit, totaling $100 million per year for three years for entities developing green technologies (which includes hydrogen to reduce the use of natural gas).

Since writing an initial report summarizing the feedstocks and end-uses, current industry tracking and reporting, and the policy framework for more hydrogen opportunities, CEERT’s V. John White and Maia Leroy have been facilitating a series of calls on hydrogen, inviting members of several organizations to share their questions and findings. CEERT plans to continue these calls roughly once a month, and anyone interested in attending may reach out to Maia Leroy at maia@ceert.org.