18 Nov 2020

Western Green Hydrogen Initiative launched

18 Nov 2020  by Joanna Sampson   

A new coalition has been launched today aimed at accelerating green hydrogen production infrastructure in the Western US states.

Just unveiled at the virtual Green Hydrogen Visions for the West Conference, which H2 View is reporting live from, the Western Green Hydrogen Initiative (GWHI) is spearheaded by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) and the Green Hydrogen Coalition (GHC), with the support of Mitsubishi Power.

The public-private partnership will assist interested states and partners in advancing and accelerating deployment of green hydrogen infrastructure in the Western region for the benefit of the region’s economy and environment.

The initiative will include engagement of interested Western states and two Canadian provinces.

The WGHI will serve as the steering committee to assist in the development of a regional green hydrogen strategy, including the development of large scale, long-duration, green-hydrogen based renewable energy storage.

Green hydrogen is a domestically produced, carbon-free resource that can increase the West’s energy reliability and independence, and create and repurpose jobs.

Green hydrogen can help avoid uneconomic grid buildout, prevent renewable curtailment, repurpose existing infrastructure, reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution, reduce agricultural and municipal waste, and diversify fuels for multiple sectors from steel production to aviation.

Until now, green hydrogen development in the West has been minimal. However, falling costs and increased deployment of variable renewable energy generation has spurred interest in green hydrogen from diverse stakeholders including investors, utilities, and environmentalists.

To enable investments at scale, green hydrogen must be compensated for the many benefits it provides.

“States have a critical role in creating market guidance that allows green hydrogen to be appropriately valued for its many benefits,” David Terry, Executive Director at NASEO, said.

“Through the WGHI, interested Western States will be assisted in building the market fundamentals required for greater investment and a more integrated, higher-performing grid.”

Maury Galbraith, Executive Director of WIEB, observed, “As we saw this past summer, dependable dispatchable electric generating capacity is an important element of electric system reliability in the West.”

“Green hydrogen is a promising fuel source that can contribute to maintaining electric system reliability while not compromising on meeting the aggressive clean energy goals of the Western States.”

“The WGHI will provide a forum for moving forward on these important goals.”

Paul Browning, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Power Americas, added, “For the past two decades, the carbon intensity of power generation in the Western US has fallen as coal-fired power generation has been replaced by a combination of natural gas and renewables.”

“To achieve the next phase of decarbonisation in the West, we will need more renewables, energy storage, and green hydrogen.”

“We’re proud to support the Western Green Hydrogen Coalition because we believe that green hydrogen is an essential technology to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the power sector.”

Specifically, the WGHI will:

Coordinate and leverage state, federal, and industry RD&D green hydrogen investments to guide priorities and scale commercial technology options

Address regulatory, policy, and commercial barriers associated with the scaled production and use of green hydrogen

Support regional grid and gas sector modeling efforts to inform coordinated state policy actions and investment for green hydrogen utilising existing energy infrastructure

Identify education and workforce opportunities that support the transition to a local and resilient green hydrogen energy system

Assist states in developing hydrogen storage and utilisation roadmaps to advance innovation and expand opportunities for low-cost renewable energy to produce, use and store green hydrogen.

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