Smart Energy Voices- Episode 35

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 35

The Future of Green Hydrogen

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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host John Failla talks with Janice Lin, the Founder and President of the Green Hydrogen Coalition. She has over 20 years of experience in clean energy strategy and market development. Her visionary leadership and passion for green hydrogen is inspiring change in the energy industry. Listen as Janice shares her mission for the green energy transition. 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Janice Lin's role at Strategen and Green Hydrogen [01:52]
  • Why is hydrogen so important right now? [4:56]
  • How should hydrogen be used? [09:19]
  • How can green hydrogen be optimized? [12:53]
  • Establishing the infrastructure for hydrogen [16:43]
  • What is the Green Hydrogen Coalition [23:47]
  • Next steps for the GHC [29:31]
  • Janice's passion for green energy [31:36]
  • The role of collaboration in progress [38:21]

Now is the time for green hydrogen

Hydrogen has been a topic for over two decades. The difference now is that climate change is no longer theoretical. There’s a sense of urgency to do something. The pathways to produce hydrogen from renewable sources are much more affordable today and are on their way to becoming even lower cost than producing energy from fossil fuels. Another reason there’s much excitement about hydrogen is that it can be used to repurpose infrastructure. From an energy transition standpoint, the more existing infrastructure can be adapted, the faster a transition can be made. Finally, green hydrogen represents a substantial economic development opportunity on a global scale.

What is necessary for the transition?

Now that the focus has shifted from renewable energy targets to emissions targets, industrial operators are frantically trying to find ways to decarbonize their thermal load. Hydrogen is the great hope for an affordable transition. There are two fundamental requirements for hydrogen to become commercially viable.

First, the cost must be reduced. In this country, inexpensive natural gas is currently the predominant fuel source for thermal loads. Green hydrogen has the potential to come down in cost, but it's not just the production cost that needs to be low - the delivered cost needs to be low as well. Reducing delivered costs means infrastructure, the same sort of infrastructure as for natural gas. The good news is that it's theoretically possible to blend hydrogen into the existing gas line, up to 15-20%, without significant modifications. While more studies and research are needed, that initial integration would be a game-changer in the beginning steps of transition.

Until a 100% hydrogen pipeline is achieved, the second major piece of infrastructure needed is an accounting mechanism. Tracking carbon reduction will be necessary during both production and usage to ensure goals are met. While there's plenty of work to do, there's quite a bit of infrastructure that already exists for hydrogen. About 100 million metric tons are sold annually around the world. The U.S. has 1,600 miles of pipeline already in commercial operation, mostly connecting oil refineries currently transporting grey hydrogen. While some of the necessary pipelines and storage exist, more systems need to be in place to maximize the impact.

Collaboration for decarbonization

Strategen is a professional services firm established in 2005 with the goal of accelerating energy system decarbonization. The firm has a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape and how to innovate from a market design perspective. They use their insight to help clients achieve their energy goals. They've started many non-profits to pursue their mission, such as the California Energy Storage Alliance, the Vehicle Grid Integration counsel, and the Green Hydrogen Coalition. Through these collaborations, Strategen is creating alignments that make change possible.

One of Strategen's organizations, the Green Hydrogen Coalition, is a mission-driven, educational non-profit. Founded in 2019, the GHC is unique to other hydrogen-focused initiatives in that it's focused solely on advancing the green hydrogen economy. Their work is in making green hydrogen scalable to reduce the cost. The GHC's primary initiatives are creating appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks on the state level, regional development, and accelerating strategically targeted regional ecosystem development. They believe that green hydrogen is going to be the lowest-cost hydrogen solution in the long term. So, when green hydrogen is scalable, the cost will reduce, and multi-sectoral decarbonization will be achievable.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Janice Lin

Janice Lin is the Founder and CEO of Strategen and has distinguished herself as a leading clean energy changemaker and visionary. She brings over two decades of experience in clean energy strategy, market development, and corporate strategy to the organization. Janice is the Founder and President of the educational non-profit the Green Hydrogen Coalition. Janice is also the co-founder of the California Energy Storage Alliance and the Energy Storage North America Conference and Expo. Janice has won numerous industry awards, including the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Cleanie® Award. Janice holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA/BS from the University of Pennsylvania.

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