Cheap clean hydrogen? Not so fast, energy giants say
According to a new report led by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and sponsored by some of the nation's largest energy companies and a Bill Gates-founded group, billions of dollars in federal subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law may not make "clean" hydrogen a commercially viable fuel. The analysis disputes the premise that low-carbon hydrogen will soon be a cheap fuel source for polluting sectors and suggests that the federal government must do more to make it a viable product. The researchers assessed the cost of manufacturing hydrogen while keeping life-cycle emissions within standards. Current climate legislation limits clean hydrogen to 4 kilos of carbon emissions per kilogram. Environmental justice organizations have opposed policies that promote "blue" hydrogen, generated from natural gas and carbon capture. EFI included blue hydrogen synthesis in its relevant processes. The analysis said that tax credits would greatly reduce hydrogen prices, but they would not be enough to persuade power plants, oil refiners, ammonia and steel makers to switch to low-carbon fuels. Pipeline watchdogs warn combining hydrogen and natural gas in gas pipes would endanger public safety.