By James Osborne
The Houston Chronicle, Mar. 6, 2023
WASHINGTON – Hydrogen fuel production is not significant enough to figure in any calculation of U.S. energy supplies, lagging behind even fringe technologies like using the earth’s own heat and plant debris as energy sources.
But anyone walking into the annual CERAweek by S&P Global energy conference this week might have a hard time believing it.
Conference organizers have scheduled more than three dozen events about hydrogen energy, including sessions about how to transport hydrogen overseas and whether there will be enough hydrogen fuel to go around.
“Building a low-carbon hydrogen economy requires massive investment in production technology and infrastructure. This investment could strain supplies of key ingredients, from cement to platinum group metals to renewable electricity,” one session advertised.
What’s driving the interest is not the status quo but an imagined new industry, whereby long-haul trucks, cargo ships and heavy industries that are not easily electrified adopt clean hydrogen fuel as their energy source of choice — either produced from electrolyzers powered by wind and solar farms or from natural gas with the emissions stored underground.
At present, actual hydrogen demand is largely limited to its niche use as an additive in the production of gasoline and certain chemicals — totaling 94 million metric tons last year, according to the International Energy Agency. But many analysts see that market growing exponentially in the years ahead, with S&P Global predicting demand will exceed 600 million metric tons by 2050.
Helping fuel the frenzy are a raft of government subsidies. Over the past two years, nine countries, representing 30 percent of global energy emissions, have released hydrogen energy plans in their bid to mitigate climate change.
Read the full article on The Houston Chronicle.