President Biden announced Friday that California is one of seven recipients of a $7 billion federal grant program to develop hydrogen hubs, with the goal of promoting clean energy and meeting climate goals. . California will receive up to $1.2 billion to develop hydrogen projects in sectors such as public transportation, port operations and heavy-duty transportation. These sectors contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the state. Governor Gavin Newsom expressed his enthusiasm, saying the Hydrogen Center will help reduce pollution, boost the clean energy economy and create jobs.
The US Regional Clean Hydrogen Centers program, administered by the US Department of Energy, received more than 30 applications. Other beneficiaries include regional hydrogen centers along the Gulf Coast, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic region, Appalachia, and the central states of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These centers cover 16 states and are expected to produce 3 million metric tons of hydrogen annually, reducing 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Hydrogen can be obtained from a variety of sources, including natural gas, nuclear energy, biomass and renewable sources such as wind and solar. When burned in a fuel cell, it produces only water or water vapor, not carbon dioxide. The California Hydrogen Center will produce hydrogen exclusively from renewable energy and biomass. However, critics have expressed concern about the energy-intensive production process of hydrogen and its potential to emit carbon dioxide.
The California hydrogen center will focus on decarbonizing power plants, ports and trucks, especially in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Scattergood generating plant, one of the oldest in the system, will be retrofitted to use hydrogen turbines. In addition, the hydrogen center will help power equipment at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to reduce smog and carbon pollution. The ultimate goal is to decarbonize the entire maritime supply chain.
California’s hydrogen-powered goals align with Governor Newsom’s ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, achieve 90% clean electricity by 2035, and ban the sale of new vehicles. of fuel by 2035. At the federal level, President Biden aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and believes that hydrogen hubs will help achieve this goal. Hydrogen can provide the energy needed for heavy manufacturing and transportation, complementing wind and solar energy.
California’s application for the federal hydrogen program was submitted through the Alliance for Clean and Renewable Energy.