Texas is well known for being a leader in oil and natural gas, but according to a report by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the state has the potential to lead the way in hydrogen fuel as well. This would be a natural fit due to the existing geology and infrastructure in Texas, which could allow the state to bypass many hydrogen fuel transition hurdles and keep hydrogen fuel more affordable.
The Baker Institute report indicates that a conversion of Texas’ existing infrastructure and industrial hydrogen fuel usage to low-carbon production technologies would likely be the fastest road to establishing wider use of hydrogen. The report’s co-authors, Ken Medlock and Shih Yu (Elise) Hung, point out that hydrogen is a versatile fuel that can be produced in a number of different ways, including steam-methane reforming, electrolysis, and pyrolysis. This means that it can leverage a variety of comparative advantages across regions.
Leveraging Existing Infrastructure for a Low-Carbon Future
This is where the proposed regional hydrogen hub comes in. The Port of Corpus Christi and Trans Permian have teamed up to compete for federal grant money to create a regional hydrogen hub in Texas. The merger will combine existing West Texas energy infrastructure with the port’s current resources in a “unified framework” to help meet federal decarbonization goals and develop new clean energy sources and networks.This is a significant step forward for hydrogen as the Port of Corpus Christi is among the busiest in the nation, and is progressing quickly in the pursuit of alternative forms of new energy and a net-zero emissions economy.
The proposed hydrogen hub will represent two-thirds of the state of Texas and every link in the clean hydrogen value chain, from production to community end-use. The projects include production and hydrogen derivatives from diverse sources as well as mobility projects. These include manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell buses, hydrogen refueling stations, municipal transit projects, and freight mobility projects.
Transformative Benefits of the Regional Hydrogen Hub
By reducing reliance on fossil fuels and increasing the use of hydrogen, the region can reduce its carbon footprint and move closer to achieving decarbonization goals. Additionally, the creation of new infrastructure, such as refueling stations and production facilities, will stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities for local communities.
The proposed regional hydrogen hub has the potential to deliver transformative benefits to all communities involved. OneH2 is eager to see the outcome of this federal grant opportunity and commends the Port of Corpus Christi and Trans Permian for joining forces. With its existing infrastructure and position as a producer of about two-thirds of the hydrogen fuel in the country, Texas has the potential to lead the way in hydrogen fuel, and the proposed hydrogen hub is a significant step in that direction.