Report: Texas is the best place to lead hydrogen economy
as the experts say
All signs point to Texas leading the development of a hydrogen market, says one new report out of Rice University.
The Baker Institute for Public Policy released a new report this week about the hydrogen economy and the role Texas will play in it. According to the experts, Texas’ legacy energy industry — as well as its geology — makes it an ideal hub for hydrogen as an energy source. Ken Medlock, senior director of the Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies, and Shih Yu (Elsie) Hung, research manager at the center, wrote the report.
“Texas is in a very advantageous position to play a leading role in driving hydrogen market growth, but the evolution of policy and market structure will dictate whether or not this comes to pass,” write the co-authors.
Medlock and Hung make the case for hydrogen's impact on the energy transition in the report.
“It can be produced in a number of different ways — including steam-methane reforming, electrolysis and pyrolysis — so it can leverage a variety of comparative advantages across regions,” they write.
The report explains that — with the state's existing and robust oil and gas infrastructure — Texas is the best spot to affordably develop hydrogen while managing economic challenges. Plus, Texas's coastal geology is an advantageous spot for storage and transport.
One factor to be determined, write the authors, is whether or not the policy will support the industry's growth.
“(Hydrogen’s) expansion as an energy carrier beyond its traditional uses in industrial applications will depend heavily on significant investment in infrastructure and well-designed market structures with appropriate regulatory architectures,” they write. “A lack of either will risk coordination failure along hydrogen supply chains and, thus, threaten to derail any momentum that may currently be building.”
GTI Energy and The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation funded this report.
Last summer, the Center for Houston's Future reported how Houston-based assets can be leveraged to lead a global clean hydrogen innovation. The Houston region already produces and consumes a third of the nation’s hydrogen, according to the report, and has more than 50 percent of the country’s dedicated hydrogen pipelines. These assets can be utilized to accelerate a transition to clean hydrogen, and the report lays out how.
"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,” says 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.”