The California Energy Commission has released an IC Irvine roadmap for the buildout and deployment of renewable hydrogen production plants in California to support policy decisions and inform stakeholders.
Released on Friday, the study follows other studies, reports and white papers on hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles that have been released over the past year along with SGH2’s announcement for the new green hydrogen facility to be location in the City of Lancaster, California.
The analysis focuses on 2020 through to 2030 with a less detailed assessment of the time frame beyond 2030. The roadmap also defines actions needed to support an optimal deployment of renewable hydrogen plants to meet growing demand.
More than 40 interviews with industry stakeholders were carried out to support the roadmap, along with two public webinars to provide opportunity for public comment.
According to the study, “The analysis projects plant gate-to-dispenser costs to decline from around $16 per kilogram (excluding subsidies and credits) at present to a midpoint estimate of $6 by 2025, declining to below $5 by 2050 with a low-end estimate of $4 per kilogram.”
“The biggest factor is the cost decline in increased station utilisation (full dispenses as a fraction of full capacity) with economies of scale and technology progress also contributing.”
Results from the carried-out research highlight nine market development recommendations:
- Extend hydrogen infrastructure support to the entire supply chain (extend the current programme focus on stations to renewable hydrogen production, processing and transport). Focus on forms of support that attract private capital (such as loan guarantees).
- Take steps to support a smooth expansion of capacity and avoid boom/bust cycles while promoting robust competitive markets by increasing market transparency and targeting incentives.
- Reduce barriers to development in California: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), codes and standards, costs (including taxes), and local issues.
- Develop electric rate structures specific to transmission-connected renewable fuels facilities (for example, electrolysers and liquefaction facilities) such as whole power market access and transmission charge.
- Promote access to the natural gas system for renewable hydrogen transport and storage—establish blending limits and interconnection requirements.
- Take steps to ensure that a mixed gas/liquid supply chain does not create barriers to market access. For example, provide incentives for development of open access points of entry to the supply chain such as gaseous or liquid terminal facilities.
- Ensure that renewable hydrogen development advances social justice by maximizing job creation in disadvantaged communities while minimising negative impacts such as traffic, noise, visual impacts and air emissions.
- Act to ensure that program eligibility, environmental accounting, and lack of definitions are not barriers to renewable hydrogen development.
As of last month, California has over 8,000 fuel cell electric vehicles operational in the state along with 41 operating hydrogen stations, with numbers expected to increase rapidly in the coming months and years.
The full roadmap can be accessed here.