An economy powered by hydrogen may seem like a distant dream, but the US Department of Energy is pouring millions of dollars into research and development to make it happen soon. The latest developments have all been about leveraging wind and solar energy to bring the cost of renewable hydrogen down to the point where natural gas can be taken out of the equation.
The primary source of hydrogen today is natural gas, and the market is huge. The US produces 10 million tons of hydrogen annually under the current scheme of things. New applications — including transportation and energy storage among others — could bump up demand even more in the coming years.
With that in mind, the Energy Department has just completed a $64 million round of funding for projects devoted to slashing the cost of hydrogen across the supply chain and removing gas from the supply chain. That’s bad news for the fossil gas industry.
Gas stakeholders are already reeling under threat from the building electrification movement. along with signs that their grip on the power generation sector is loosening. The ground is beginning to shake under the market for fossil-sourced plastics and other chemicals as well. Takeaway the use of gas for producing hydrogen, and gas will lose one of its main purchasers.