15 Jun 2022

Hydrogen Will Give U.S. Natgas Pipes New Life in Carbon-Free World

15 Jun 2022  by   

Neil Navin, Vice President of Clean Energy Innovations at Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) speaks at the Global Energy Transition 2022 conference in New York City, New York, U.S., June 14, 2022. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Natural gas companies plan to use hydrogen and renewable natural gas (RNG) made from landfills or agricultural waste to extend the life of existing pipelines in a future carbon-free world, energy executives said at the Reuters Global Energy Transition conference on Tuesday.

"About two years ago, we took a look (to determine) the place for a gas utility in California" as the state becomes carbon neutral by 2045, said Neil Navin, vice president for clean energy innovations at Southern California Gas (SoCalGas).

SoCalGas, the biggest U.S. natural gas utility, determined a decarbonized gas system "is the most resilient, reliable and cheapest way to balance the value of renewables," Navin said.

"As we build out more renewables ... we see significant opportunity to harvest curtailed power," Navin said, noting California sometimes produces too much renewable power and must turn it off.

SoCalGas, a unit of California energy company Sempra Energy, wants to turn some of that wasted renewable power into hydrogen that can be transported through its gas pipes.

In addition to its existing gas pipes, SoCalGas proposed the Angeles Link pipeline to transport green hydrogen into the Los Angeles basin.

UK energy company National Grid PLC plans to use hydrogen and RNG as part of its plan to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

Ben Wilson, chief strategy and external affairs officer at National Grid, said the company plans to use offshore wind to produce green hydrogen during overnight hours.

SoCalGas and National Grid both said it would help if states adopt renewable fuel standards that would require utilities to buy a certain amount of renewable gas to encourage energy firms to produce more of it.

A renewable gas standard would be similar to renewable portfolio standards in several states, which resulted in construction of more wind and solar power plants.


More News