California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to develop a new Hydrogen Market Development Strategy, aimed at building the state’s clean hydrogen market, in order to establish California as a U.S. hydrogen hub, and to help achieve its decarbonization goals.
Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.
The development of clean hydrogen capacity, such as green hydrogen, which uses renewable energy to power the process to extract hydrogen from other materials, will require massive investments in areas including infrastructure, electrolysis, transport and storage.
Newsom’s announcement follows the Biden administration’s release in June of the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, aimed at significantly ramping the production, use and distribution of low carbon hydrogen for use in energy intensive industries and including a goal to scale U.S. clean hydrogen production and use to 10 million metric tonnes by 2030, and as much as 50 million tonnes by 2050.
The U.S.’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8 billion for the development of clean hydrogen hubs to create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure, aimed at reducing emissions in the transport and industrial sectors. According to Newsom’s office’s statement, the state’s new strategy aims to support California’s efforts to compete to become one of the federally funded hydrogen hubs.
The statement added that the strategy also aims to expand the market for clean and renewable hydrogen, one of the keys to achieving California’s climate goals targeting a clean electricity grid, net zero carbon emissions, and a significant reduction in air pollution.
“California is all in on clean, renewable hydrogen – an essential aspect of how we’ll power our future and cut pollution. This strategy will lay out the pathway for building a robust hydrogen market to help us fully embrace this source of clean energy.”
According to the Governor’s office, the new initiative will create a market development strategy focused on leveraging clean hydrogen to accelerate clean energy deployment and decarbonize California’s transportation and industrial sectors. Newsom has directed the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to develop the strategy, in consultation with state agencies including the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, and the California Public Utilities Commission, and to clearly define each agency’s roles and responsibilities, and to identify shared strategies, including financing models, permitting modifications and procurement initiatives, to deliver projects.
In a letter to GO-Biz Director Dee Dee Myers directing the strategy’s development, Newsom said:
“Scaling this in California isn’t just about addressing the climate crisis – it’s also about creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and cleaning the air in our communities. It’s about continuing to lead our country forward, building on our success in the zero-emission vehicle and clean electricity markets.”