Published May 23, 2022 by Laura Goldberg
With the U.S. Department of Energy set to announce plans for $8 billion in funding for clean hydrogen hubs across the country, a new report finds that Houston, long considered the “Energy Capital of the World,” is well positioned to leverage Texas’ vast energy resources to become a global clean hydrogen hub.
These energy resources include existing hydrogen production facilities and pipelines along the Gulf Coast, a base of large, sophisticated industrial energy consumers, and renewable energy assets across the state.
The report, released today by the Center for Houston’s Future, Houston as the epicenter of a global clean hydrogen hub, lays out how these assets can be leveraged to create a global clean hydrogen hub.
Find the report here.
Inspired by the unprecedented opportunity for Houston to lead the energy transition to a lowcarbon future, the report contains the most detailed assessment to date of the economic potential and environmental impact of clean hydrogen.
The report explains how clean hydrogen can be produced by adding carbon capture to current natural gas-based hydrogen plants or through electrolysis (the process that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen). Using these methods, the report shows how clean hydrogen can be an important tool in addressing climate change and reducing industrial emissions while creating high-paying jobs.
Clean hydrogen hubs are expected to emerge in regions where there is sufficient clean hydrogen supply and demand. Since the Houston region produces and consumes a third of the nation’s hydrogen and has more than 50 percent of the country’s dedicated hydrogen pipelines, the report provides a roadmap for how these assets can be utilized to accelerate a transition to clean hydrogen.
The report was created as part of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative, with input from more than 100 experts representing 70 companies and organizations along the hydrogen value chain. In addition, McKinsey and Company donated significant research and economic analyses for the report.
Among the findings in the study:
“This report gives additional weight to the already strong case that Houston is uniquely positioned to lead a transformational clean hydrogen hub with global impact,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We can also deliver economic growth, create jobs and cut emissions across Houston and the Gulf Coast, including in underserved communities.”
Governments worldwide are looking to clean hydrogen to help meet net-zero carbon emission goals. In the U.S., the Department of Energy says clean hydrogen is crucial to President Biden’s goals for a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“The Houston region has the talent, expertise and infrastructure needed to lead the global energy transition to a low-carbon world. Clean hydrogen, alongside carbon capture, use, and storage are among the key technology areas where Houston is set up to succeed and can be an example to other leading energy economies around the world,” said Bobby Tudor, chair of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative.
The report describes a vision for how the hub could hit the ambitious cost targets proposed by the DOE in its recent Energy Earthshot initiative and meet strict emissions goals set out by Congress in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The report discusses how achieving outcomes that support environmental justice, create good jobs, and incentivize US-based manufacturing are core to the vision of a successful clean hydrogen hub in the region.
"Using this roadmap as a guide and with Houston’s energy sector at the lead, we are ready to create a new clean hydrogen economy that will help fight climate change as it creates jobs and economic growth,” said Center for Houston’s Future CEO Brett Perlman. “We are more than ready, able and willing to take on these goals, as our record of overwhelming success in energy innovation and new market development shows.”
Selected key findings follow.
Vision and strategic roadmap
Impact of the Hub Across the Region and the State
“By working together now, government, industry and community leaders can make a significant impact at home and across the world that will be felt for years to come,” Perlman said.
Learn more about the Center for Houston's Future and its work in hydrogen as well as the Partnership and HETI.
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