Hydrogen Fuel in Hawaii: A Path towards a Sustainable Future

The Hawaii Pacific Hydrogen Hub, a consortium of nearly two dozen companies and institutions, is crafting a proposal for $1 billion in funding for hydrogen fuel development in Hawaii. The consortium is competing for federal Department of Energy grants totaling $7 billion to build hydrogen fuel production facilities across the U.S. 

Hawaii is one of 32 locales to make the first cut out of an initial pool of 79. The final proposal is due in April, and up to 10 proposals will make the final cut. For Hawaii, this consortium is a collaboration between energy businesses including Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaii Gas, Oceanit, Par Hawaii, and 174 Power Global. The nationwide competition also includes businesses such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, and the University of Texas at Austin. 

The general idea is to leverage $500 million of federal money with $500 million in private matching funds to raise $1 billion for hydrogen fuel development in Hawaii. The economic benefits of hydrogen energy are significant, including zero emissions, increased fuel efficiency, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and cost-effectiveness in the long run, and the Hawaii Pacific Hydrogen Hub is well positioned to take advantage of them. 

The state of Hawaii, which is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs, would benefit greatly from the development of hydrogen fuel production facilities. Hydrogen fuel is clean and renewable, and it has the potential to significantly reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The development of hydrogen fuel production facilities in Hawaii would create jobs and boost the local economy. By building local production, the state can keep local money in Hawaii, and create local jobs in the process. This is a vital aspect of the state’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the state’s tourism industry particularly hard.

The Hawaii Pacific Hydrogen Hub has a strong case for funding, as the benefits hydrogen could provide to its economy are undeniable. Hawaii’s advantages include it being the only bidder in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as well as having a large presence of military that could use hydrogen fuel. 

The consortium’s general plan is to develop hydrogen production and distribution facilities to make Hawaii a key hydrogen center in the Pacific. This project will not supplant other renewables being developed, such as wind and solar, but it would help the state to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs, and boost the local economy. 

Hawaii’s effort to gain access to this hydrogen funding, as well as the existence of the funding in the first place, show that interest in hydrogen power is growing. Alongside OneH2’s commitment to increase hydrogen infrastructure, this funding will support our efforts to expand the hydrogen market across the nation. With Hawaii being a remote location, this funding from the U.S. government could help the state increase their access to hydrogen fuel. Hawaii should continue to pursue this opportunity and make a strong case for funding, as it has the potential to make a huge difference throughout the world.

For more details concerning this initiative, visit Civil Beat: Can Hawaii Land a $1 Billion Hydrogen Fuel Hub