The clean tech industry has evolved exponentially during the last few years, with increasing fuel options available to help meet the looming decarbonization targets being adopted around the country. One such fuel, hydrogen, is both gearing up as an in-demand zero-emission vehicle option and is equally important in cleaning up and increasing the reliability and resilience of power grids nationwide.
This June, industry stakeholders will descend upon California’s state capitol to discuss the next steps to accelerate the adoption of the policies, programs, and incentives needed to increase the production, use, and storage of hydrogen at the California Hydrogen Leadership Summit. Leaders from the energy sector, transportation industry, academia, and representatives from California state government will meet from June 19-20, 2023, at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel in Northern California.
Deemed as essential to California’s ability to meet current and upcoming emissions goals, hydrogen is seen by many as a critical tool in the fight against climate change.
“Zero-emission commercial transportation is no longer an idea or a vision for the future, it is quickly becoming a reality that we are happy to help facilitate with a variety of clean technology options,” said Amy Adams, vice president of government partnerships and funding at Cummins Inc. “While battery-electric options are being proven effective in some port, drayage, and regional haul operations, our long-haul fleet customers need the increased range and payload afforded by hydrogen. For the state’s fleet operators to get to operate successfully, we need to work together with legislators and regulators to develop incentives for the rapid deployment of a robust hydrogen fueling infrastructure.”
California has long been viewed as the leader in adopting climate change and emission reduction policies, making it no surprise that many companies are already developing projects to increase the availability of this advanced fuel.
“Whether its collaborating to produce green waste-to-hydrogen in Northern California or helping to advance the demonstration of a locomotive powered by hydrogen fuel cells, Chevron aims to build a large-scale hydrogen business that builds on our assets, capabilities and customer relationships,” said Austin Knight, vice president of Hydrogen, Chevron New Energies. “We are working with innovators, policy makers, partners and customers to help accelerate the reduction of carbon intensity in the state’s transportation and hard to abate industrial sectors.”
As fleets make the move to zero-emission vehicles to meet the recently adopted Advanced Clean Fleet Rule, utilities will be an ongoing partner in the mission to meet and exceed the expectations of this ground-breaking regulation.
“At PG&E, we believe hydrogen will play a critical role in California’s decarbonized future. That is why we are working to scale up hydrogen production and usage over the longer-term as we work every day to provide reliable gas and electric service and make upgrades and enhancements to support growing electricity demand across Northern and Central California,” said Christine Cowsert, SVP, Gas Engineering at PG&E. “As the nation’s largest dual-commodity utility, we are uniquely positioned to shape the future of the natural gas delivery system and to reimagine the electric grid — all with a continued focus on helping our customers and hometowns prosper. This includes piloting hydrogen applications as an energy storage solution, as a cleaner fuel for community-scale microgrids, and exploring the integration of hydrogen and natural gas blending as a potential pathway to decarbonization.”
While many see hydrogen as the next viable solution for eliminating transportation-related emissions, there are several other possibilities for and benefits of the fuel. Green or clean hydrogen, for example, could further cut carbon from the atmosphere in the way that renewable natural gas does.
“Green hydrogen is the Swiss-army knife of clean energy technologies and will play a vital role in economy-wide decarbonization, job creation, and energy security. Plug is building the nation’s first green hydrogen highway, with capabilities in green hydrogen generation, liquefaction, hydrogen delivery, and fuel cell and electrolyzer manufacturing,” said Don Boyajian, director of government affairs and counsel at Plug Power. “Green hydrogen is here now, and the coordinated progression of state and federal policies can help advance these efforts.”
Some utilities are already taking big steps in setting the groundwork for projects that could change the way hydrogen is viewed and utilized.
“California’s path to net zero will require a suite of tools to successfully, reliably and affordably achieve a just clean energy transition,” said Neil Navin, chief clean fuels officer for SoCalGas. “There is consensus that clean hydrogen will be one of those key tools, which is why we are moving to advance the first phase of Angeles Link, a proposed clean hydrogen pipeline system that could deliver clean, reliable, renewable energy to Southern California and help decarbonize industries and uses, such as heavy-duty transportation, that cannot be easily electrified.”
The California Hydrogen Leadership Summit is a collaboration between the California Hydrogen Business Council and Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, each with substantial experience advocating for clean hydrogen and organizing clean energy conferences.
Click here to register and learn more about the event.