Hydrogen Association Hosts First Even Renewable Hydrogen Event

On October 4, renewable energy and hydrogen industry leaders participated in the first event dedicated to showing how renewable technologies will be able to produce enough hydrogen commercially for the growing hydrogen economy.

Abluquerque, NM On October 4, renewable energy and hydrogen industry leaders participated in the first event dedicated to showing how renewable technologies will be able to produce enough hydrogen commercially for the growing hydrogen economy. Over 140 industry leaders from over 30 states and four countries came to the National Hydrogen Association's Renewables to Hydrogen Forum in Albuquerque, NM to discuss real issues regarding technology development, research, and commercialization strategies.

The program took an in-depth look into the current status of each renewable energy resource: wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, and biomass to investigate how each will be used to produce hydrogen. Since hydrogen can be produced from a variety of diverse energy resources, including renewable resources, it can benefit energy security, economic growth and the environment.

"The NHA Renewables to Hydrogen conference began a critically important dialog between the hydrogen community and the renewables community. It was a milestone event," stated Arete President Robert Shaw. Dale Gardner, Director of Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, also praised the Forum calling it "a critical, first step to accelerating the development and implementation of these technologies."

Albuquerque Mayor Martin J. Chavez opened the Forum calling for a pardon of hydrogen referencing the public's immediate conviction of the first element for the Hindenburg disaster. "Critics all too often resort to mischaracterization of hydrogen's safety properties by making dismissive references to the 'Hindenburg," said Mayor Chavez. "But with its good name restored, hydrogen stands to do so much for our civilization as we work collaboratively toward our sustainable energy future." The Mayor's remarks set the stage for the highly interactive events that took place over the following two days.

Key outcomes:

- Shell Hydrogen President and NHA Chairman Phil Baxley emphasized the need to use renewable energy to combat global warming, increased pollution and to improve our nation's energy security.

- According to Robert Shaw, President, Arete Corporation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that the world will need about 17 TeraWatts (17,000,000,000,000 watts) of carbon- free energy by 2050 to avoid exceeding the 550 parts per million level of carbon in the atmosphere. A key link to reach that target Shaw says, is to use solar energy to make hydrogen a substitute for oil and natural gas in power production and transportation. If the installed cost of solar photovoltaics can be reduced from $6-8/Watt to $1- 2/Watt, solar would become the most attractive option for meeting our energy needs.

- Mike Eckhart, President of the American Council on Renewable Energy, challenged government and industry to find the next "net metering" or rule change that will create the future for hydrogen, the way it has created solar markets. He also spoke on the connection between government R&D and private sector technology development.

"A key question is whether the government R&D program can keep up with, and be a driver for, the private sector initiatives in hydrogen," said Eckhart. "DOE and its contractors and centers of excellence need to be nimble and fast and learn how to transfer technology to manufacturers and service providers. Otherwise, we'll risk ending up with two factions in the hydrogen industry: a government contractor segment and a venture capital and corporate segment. It has to be one holistic industry to be successful."

- Government officials also emphasized the need for renewable hydrogen, with addresses from:
- Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM);
- Ms. Joanna Prukop, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources;
- Mr. Samuel Baldwin, Chief Technology Officer and Member, Board of Directors, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE.

- Roundtable sessions discussing the state of the art, challenges and future recommendations were held for each renewable resource. The results of these roundtables will be transformed over the coming weeks into a series of fact sheets and a draft white paper. These documents will to be used by industry members and the public for education, research, and policy work as we work towards the implementation of a hydrogen economy.

About the National Hydrogen Association:
The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) is the Nation's premier hydrogen trade organization led by over 100 companies dedicated to supporting the transition to hydrogen. Efforts are focused on education and outreach, policy, safety and codes and standards. Since 1989, the NHA has served as a catalyst for information exchange and cooperative projects and continues to provide the setting for mutual support among industry, research and government organizations.

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