Houston legislators support hydrogen hub ambition

Several Houston-area legislators support the region’s ambition of developing a global clean hydrogen hub.

Reps. Lizzie Fletcher and Dan Crenshaw, local lawmakers from the Texas delegation, expressed their support for the Department of Energy’s decision to choose Houston as the site for a hydrogen hub as part of a program established under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The DOE plans to invest $8 billion to create the nation’s first clean hydrogen economic centres. According to analysts, Houston is one of the cities best suited to benefit from the federal funding.

More than half of the nation’s total hydrogen pipeline mileage and almost one third of the entire global network are found along the Gulf Coast. According to the lawmakers, Texas generates around one-third of the hydrogen used in the country. There is space for more hydrogen storage along the Gulf Coast in the geological formations known as salt caverns, where it is already being done.

According to a May report from the Center for Houston’s Future, the availability of abundant renewable energy sources and natural gas in the Lone Star State provides Houston additional leverage in its application for DOE funding for a hydrogen hub.

For the program, the DOE published a funding opportunity announcement. The DOE may conduct a second launch to solicit more H2Hubs beyond those chosen in the initial launch. The Department will choose six to ten projects that fulfill that plan.

On an application, the University of Houston has been collaborating with the nonprofit Southern States Energy Board and other businesses. The DOE anticipates notifying selected candidates by autumn 2023. The concept paper submission deadline is November 7.