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NETL Technology Manager to Discuss Hydrogen’s Expanding Role for the Power Sector
Briggs White, technology manager, NETL, will be a featured presenter at the upcoming “Hydrogen — A Renewable Reliability Gap Solution?” webinar

Briggs White, technology manager, NETL, will be a featured presenter at an upcoming webinar to discuss the role of hydrogen as an affordable, reliable and clean platform on which to decarbonize the power sector and broader economy at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 5. White will be joined by a panel of experts who will address “Hydrogen — A Renewable Reliability Gap Solution?”

The uptick of renewables, such as wind and solar power, to supply the electricity grid has raised concerns about grid reliability and the need for energy storage or low-carbon dispatchable power. Energy storage has been identified as one strategy to address scenarios that will occur when the wind stops blowing or the sun fails to shine. It can also provide a means to store energy when overly abundant and save it for long durations, if necessary, to support electricity needs.

White and the panel, which will include regulatory and industry representatives, will explore how hydrogen provides another viable option to ensure grid reliability as variable renewables are used with greater frequency to decarbonize the U.S. energy sector.

Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel that produces heat and water when burned. It is the universe’s most abundant element, but Earth’s hydrogen doesn’t occur in a pure form in nature and requires energy to separate it from other compounds.

Hydrogen may be produced from a variety of sources, with varying costs and emissions. The most likely sources of hydrogen are either fossil fuels paired with carbon capture technologies or water splitting driven by renewable electricity; these pathways are commonly referred to as “blue” and “green” hydrogen, respectively. 

Based on current equipment and electricity pricing, green hydrogen remains expensive (roughly twice the price needed to be widely competitive), while a mature blue hydrogen industry already exists to provide the low costs needed for broad utilization. White expects the webinar to explore the importance of blue hydrogen to help meet the Biden Administration’s goals for a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050, including a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

“Blue hydrogen can support many applications that are difficult to decarbonize as the cost of renewably driven electrolysis of water to produce green hydrogen continues to fall,” said White, whose work at NETL includes managing the High Performance Materials, Water Management and Energy Storage research and development programs for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.

Hydrogen has garnered significant interest lately given its potential to lower the carbon emissions from a broad range of applications, including industrial applications such as steelmaking that are not readily amenable to decarbonization through electrification. Hydrogen can also be stored in large amounts and then utilized in a hydrogen turbine or fuel cells to generate zero-carbon electricity for the grid. 

Click here for more information or to register for this POWER Events webinar.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.