CERAWeek shifted focus to hydrogen, with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) providing a $3/kg tax credit for green hydrogen production. More than a dozen presentations had hydrogen in their titles, with the potential of renaming the event Hydrogen Week. Attendance reflected the shift.
Quotes from leaders: Andy Marsh (Plug Power President & CEO): “We must succeed this time, as support is astronomical.” Sanjiv Lamba (Linde CEO) criticized “rainbow colors of hydrogen” as “misleading & misguided.” S&P Global reported gray hydrogen at $1.27/gallon in Dec, but it was $13.79/kg in CA due to cold Dec & rising natural gas costs.
Bill Vass (Amazon VP of Engineering) said hydrogen needs to be cheaper than diesel for Amazon. Andrew Flanagan (RWE Clean Energy Chief Development Officer) said “buy American” provisions of the IRA have “created a lot of concern” in Europe but “will force change & industry will have to adapt.”
Bill Newsom (President & CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas) voted for the power sector as the first landing spot for increased hydrogen supplies from the IRA. He called it “a race” due to the Rockies & West Coast’s significant share of renewables. Newsom added that hydrogen exports would be an important opportunity for other nations trying to decarbonize.
On the same panel, Justin Bird (CEO of Sempra Infrastructure) compared the potential growth in hydrogen to the success of LNG, calling it a “bigger opportunity.” Last year, Newsom’s company received a $500+ million loan to build a green hydrogen production facility in Utah.
States could provide procurement pools to increase demand, creating a “clean energy arms race” between countries. Solar producer Sunnova noted other countries are so worried about it that they have a suite of proposals to counter it.
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