A coalition of major oil & gas, power, automotive, fuel cell, and hydrogen companies have developed and released the full new report, a “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy.” The Road Map stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy system; an energy vector that can be transported and stored; and a fuel for the transportation sector, heating of buildings and providing heat and feedstock to industry.
It can reduce both carbon and local emissions, increase energy security and strengthen the economy, as well as support the deployment of renewable power generation such as wind, solar, nuclear and hydro.
Demand potential across sectors, base and ambitious cases. “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy”
This Road Map shows how critically important hydrogen is to achieve a lower-carbon energy mix, and with the right actions now, can reinforce US energy leadership and strengthen our economy by generating $140 billion per year in revenue and 700,000 jobs by 2030, and $750 billion per year in revenue and 3.4 million jobs by 2050. In addition, if the right actions are taken now a competitive hydrogen industry can meet 14 percent of US energy demand by 2050.—Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) President Morry Markowitz
Fourteen percent of US final energy demand in 2050 is estimated to be the equivalent of more the 2,468 TWh or 8.4 billion MMBTU per year.
The report was developed with input from 19 companies and organizations: Air Liquide; American Honda Motor Co., Inc; Audi; Chevron; Cummins Inc.; Daimler AG: Mercedes-Benz FuelCell GmbH/Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America; Engie; Exelon Corporation; Hyundai Motor Company; Microsoft; Nikola Motors; Nel Hydrogen; Plug Power; Power Innovations; Shell; Southern California Gas Company; Southern Company Services, Inc.; Toyota; and Xcel Energy.
Analytical support was provided by McKinsey and scientific observations and technical input was provided by the Electric Power Research Institute.
The US is already heavily engaged in the hydrogen economy with hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private investment per year; more than half the world’s fuel cell vehicles; 25,000 fuel cell material handling vehicles; more than 8,000 small scale fuel systems in 40 states; and more than 550 MW of large-scale fuel cell power installed or planned.
Clearly, the US is a major player, but to remain dominant, and meet future energy challenges, the US has to raise its game with further investments and public policies that reduce regulatory barriers, promote research, development, and deployment, and reward innovation. The report makes clear that how far we will go and how fast we get there is very much up to us, and the choices we make over the next few years.—Morry Markowitz
The report adduces a number of factors that it says positions the US to build a leading hydrogen economy:
Low-cost primary energy sources needed to produce low-carbon hydrogen, plus abundant low-cost natural gas and carbon storage capacity for hydrogen produced via natural gas reforming with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The US is home to industrial sector leaders capable of scaling a hydrogen economy.
For US transport, hydrogen is a strong low-carbon alternative.
To realize the roadmap, nine actions need to happen, the report concludes:
Set dependable, technology-neutral decarbonization goals.
Create public incentives to bridge barriers to the initial market launch.
Support infrastructure development.
Expand the use of hydrogen across sectors and achieve economies of scale.
Include hydrogen-based options in government procurement.
Support research, development, demonstration, and deployment.
Harmonize technical codes and safety standards.
Support outreach and workforce development.
Review energy sector regulations to ensure they account for hydrogen.