Can H2 solve the Texas freeze?
By: Keshav Ahuja
The snow has finally melted, and the debate settled. The primary cause of the Texas electrical grid failure during the Great Freeze of 2021? The loss of fossil fuel generation capacity. The solution…
Texas citizens were in the dark and cold when they needed these services the most. The blackout exposed several vulnerabilities, highlighting the lack of critical equipment weatherization. How do we move forward to avoid this disaster again? Some say more gas-fired generation, others say distributed solar. But maybe the real answer for Texas is hydrogen.
Texas is the nation’s largest (gray) hydrogen producer on the back of the state’s massive petrochemical sector, relying on cheap natural gas. However, the state also has the largest wind capacity at nearly 40 GW and a solar capacity of 7 GW. There is a clear pathway to CO2-free (green) hydrogen: renewable energy to power electrolysis. Apart from production infrastructure, Texas has 1,600 miles of dedicated hydrogen pipeline infrastructure and houses three hydrogen storage fields with a cumulative capacity of 6 Bcf.
With more extreme weather events than ever before, it’s clear that Texas need a more resilient (while sustainable) energy mix. Hydrogen is a viable solution – Texas already has the basic infrastructure in place for large scale deployment. The key to expanding the state’s hydrogen economy, though, will be investment into planning, technology, and infrastructure to reduce costs and a commitment by regulatory agencies and governing bodies (State of TX and ERCOT, that’s you!) to advance green energy and think outside the box. Climate Impact Capital has some big ideas; contact us and we’ll help make the grid like our state – TX strong.