On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) released its latest report, The Future of Hydrogen in the United States: Views from Industry, Market Innovators, and Investors, and rolled out its findings at Climate Week NYC, where contributors to the study and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) engaged with New York stakeholders in the hydrogen market.
After opening remarks from EFI founder and CEO Ernest Moniz on how the report provides a necessary assessment of the current state of the hydrogen market Stephen Comello, a contributing author and Director of the Energy Business Innovations focus area at Stanford University, explained how the study is an exploratory analysis informed by over seventy anonymous interviews with industry leaders, investors, and market specialists in hydrogen.
Following Comello, Jen DiStefano, project manager at EFI, discussed key takeaways from the report’s nineteen findings across three themes:
1. There is interest in hydrogen from nearly every sector of the economy.
2. Many companies are repurposing existing assets to expedite the process and decrease cost.
3. Recent policy work, like the infrastructure reconciliation bill, has sparked significant interest in hydrogen.
DiStefano explained that companies are exploring hydrogen opportunities beyond their own sectors, demonstrating growing interest in the market. Furthermore, DiStefano noted that regional hubs are a key area of focus for investors.
We found that establishing an emissions reduction or a decarbonization goal often set companies on the path to then explore hydrogen as a decarbonization tool and ultimately potentially participate in a clean hydrogen market.Jen DiStefano
And for good reason. Hydrogen is likely to play a pivotal role in helping the world reach bold emissions targets. “We found that establishing an emissions reduction or a decarbonization goal often set companies on the path to then explore hydrogen as a decarbonization tool and ultimately potentially participate in a clean hydrogen market,” said DiStefano.
After the report presentation, John Lochner, Vice President of Innovation at NYSERDA, moderated a panel of key New York stakeholders in the hydrogen market on their ongoing hydrogen activity and the challenges to and opportunities for expanding the New York market in the future. These industry leaders highlighted the importance of cross-sector partnerships and a holistic value chain approach to unlock the full potential for clean hydrogen, predicting that it will expand globally. Although some companies are currently researching and utilizing clean hydrogen, the panelists explained how current associated costs, technology, and policy pose significant roadblocks for future development. Addressing these issues proactively and capitalizing on current infrastructure may be key.
Despite these challenges, the panelists discussed how customers currently drive market opportunities. Panelist Albert Burgunder, the U.S. Director of Clean Hydrogen at Linde PLC, urged that hydrogen be socialized as a fuel to help citizens understand its efficiency and climate-positive characteristics.
Alex Kizer, EFI’s Senior Vice President of Research and Analysis, concluded the event noting EFI’s interest in continuing clean hydrogen research. The latest EFI report, The Future of Hydrogen in the United States: Views from Industry, Market Innovators, and Investors, is the first in the series From Kilograms to Gigatons: Pathways for Hydrogen Market Formation in the United States, which aims to build on this study and develop a deeper understanding of policy opportunities for further hydrogen development in the U.S.
- Ernest J. Moniz, Founder & CEO, EFI
- Alex Kizer, Senior Vice President of Research and Analysis, EFI
- Stephen Comello, Director of the Energy Business Innovations Focus Area, Stanford University
- Jen DiStefano, Project Manager, EFI
- John Lochner, Vice President of Innovation, NYSERDA
- Andy Marsh, President and CEO, Plug Power Inc.
- Albert Burgunder, U.S. Director of Clean Hydrogen, Linde PLC
- Chris Raup, Director of State Regulatory Affairs, Con Edison
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