In a study commissioned by API, conducted by ICF, analysis is said to have found that uniform incentives for producing hydrogen from natural gas, electricity and other energy sources are critical to meeting the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of 50 million tonnes of clean hydrogen production by 2050.

The Potential Role of Blue Hydrogen in Low-Carbon Energy Markets in the US also predicted that if every tonne of emissions reductions were incentivised in the same way, the US hydrogen market could be three times larger by 2050, with potential to meet 15% of total end energy use.

Additionally, the report said that uniform incentives could reduce the cost of mitigating a tonne of carbon by approximately 12% annually over the study period, saving over $450bn cumulatively through 2050.

However, the API found, that investments in critical hydrogen infrastructure such as, storage, pipelines, and local distribution systems required, could exceed $400bn by 2050, seeing the construction of 67,000 miles of hydrogen transmission pipeline, 500,000 miles of customer laterals and local distribution lines, and 560 trillion Btu of underground hydrogen storage capacity.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Aaron Padilla, President of Corporate Policy at the API, said, “Our industry is committed to advancing innovative technologies like low-carbon hydrogen, which are crucial to reducing GHG emissions economy wide.

“Working together with policymakers to incentivise all forms of low-carbon hydrogen and accelerate hydrogen production through programs under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can drive down emissions while ensuring American consumers have access to the reliable energy they need.”

Blue hydrogen has been a point of contention among hydrogen industry players. With many seeing it a key solution in developing the nascent industry, while offering a climate solution, others believe it will not deliver the emissions reductions required for Net Zero Goals.

In 2021, a report, funded by the Park Foundation and Cornell University, said that blue hydrogen could produce 20% more GHGs than burning natural gas or coal for heat, stressing the need to produce green hydrogen.

Read more: Blue hydrogen could have ‘large climatic consequences’ increasing the need for green hydrogen now, says report

Using data collected from two blue hydrogen production facilities, the Energy Science & Engineering report said it had discovered that blue hydrogen’s methane emissions are the same as using grey hydrogen.


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