Climate change is an urgent issue. And, left unchecked, its impact on our region will be devastating.
According to a Climate Ready DC Report, heat emergency days in DC are projected to increase from 18-20 in this decade to 30-45 by the 2050s. This can lead to costly power failures which threaten the health of older residents and those unable to bear the cost of higher energy bills.
Over the last 90 years nuisance flooding along our riverfront has increased by more than 300%, according to NOAA. This flooding leads to increased property insurance premiums and higher costs to maintain and repair public services such as Metro rail, electricity infrastructure, and the sewage system.
About the Center
The National Capital Hydrogen Center will accelerate the creation of a hydrogen eco-system in Greater Washington and foster collaboration across organizations in support of the national imperative to add hydrogen solutions to our country’s clean energy future. Connected DMV is creating this independent center to utilize the exceptional assets of our regional commercial, governmental, academic, community and philanthropic organizations. The Center will plan the rollout of hydrogen infrastructure to rapidly deliver economically viable hydrogen projects, thereby accelerating scale and cost competitiveness. The full lifecycle of project planning, execution, and benefit delivery will incorporate social equity and environmental justice as foundational principles, consistent with the Connected DMV mission.
While the DMV region has progressed in renewable energy and energy efficiency, additional solutions are required to reach the climate change goals established by government, higher education and industry. We need clean energy alternatives that can be transported, stored and utilized – especially in sectors that are the hardest to decarbonize. Greater Washington is the natural home for this center given the abundant resources, leading policy advocates, forward-thinking government leaders, and commercial leaders. This region has a culture of innovation and leadership that attracts attention, investment and talent, along with a population that is determined to combat climate change in both policy and delivered results.
To create a Greater Washington where everyone can thrive, we must accelerate the clean energy economy now.
It is imperative that the DMV region develop and adopt additional clean energy solutions to help meet climate change reduction goals and create a more prosperous and equitable future for all who live and work in the DMV. Europe and Asia are much further along than the United States in the development cycle for a hydrogen economy - we cannot afford to lose this race.
In the regional clean energy ecosystem, hydrogen is our next great solution.
Hydrogen can deliver carbon-free energy with water as the only emission. It is easy to store and transport, providing flexibility for many applications, including transportation, manufacturing, power generation and storage. By 2050, hydrogen has the ability to:
Help the world meet 18% of its final energy demands
Provide 30 million jobs globally
Prevent 6.5 Gt of CO2 emissions
Create a $2.5 trillion market for hydrogen and fuel cell equipment
"People who are already vulnerable, including lower-income and other marginalized communities, have lower capacity to prepare for and cope with extreme weather and climate-related events and are expected to experience greater impacts... Global action to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions can substantially reduce climate-related risks and increase opportunities for these populations in the longer term."
— Fourth National Climate Assessment, Summary Findings
The challenges are real, but the solutions are in front of us.
While hydrogen is a simple element, much work must be done to overcome barriers to its widespread adoption. To be successful, we must bring together cross-sector leadership to drive policy, technology development, and implementation of hydrogen-based solutions at scale. We must formulate a comprehensive federal and state policy framework to support and advance the hydrogen economy. And, we need massive financial investments to accelerate the transition to widespread hydrogen availability and use. Cost reductions are required in the production and storage segments to make hydrogen cost competitive.
That's where the National Capital Hydrogen Center comes in.
Every good project starts with a blueprint. Or, in our case, a greenprint.
The first key project of the National Capital Hydrogen Center will be the DMV Hydrogen Greenprint, showing how hydrogen can be produced, transported, distributed, and utilized throughout the DMV region. The greenprint has two main components: an analysis and a plan.
The analysis puts numbers to the opportunity: how much hydrogen could be produced in our region? How much could be consumed? What would be the financial investment required? What would the climate and environmental outcomes be? What would be the social and economic outcomes of undertaking this work, especially among vulnerable communities?
The plan is an engineering design that optimizes the siting of infrastructure, making the best use of assets and locations to benefit the whole region.
The second key project of the National Capital Hydrogen Center is called H₂DMV, an ambitious 3-5 year end-to-end initiative that includes production, transportation, storage, distribution and use of hydrogen. It will deliver the benefits of integrating hydrogen into the DMV's regional energy mix. H₂DMV will be a project “at scale,” rather than a demonstration project for a single technology or use case. It represents the implementation of the opportunities quantified in the Greenprint. While this project will ultimately be informed by the results of the Greenprint, we are starting the conceptual planning concurrently because of the preparation time required. By the time that the Greenprint is complete, we will be ready to incorporate that analysis into our project planning activities.
H₂DMV will incorporate all stages of the hydrogen value chain in order to address the “chicken and the egg” problem of getting both supply and demand to scale concurrently. We are in the information gathering stage of the project, but have identified both significant existing assets and future opportunities in the region.
The Center At a Glance
Launching the Strategy Phase of the National Capital Hydrogen Center, including the definition of the Center and its lead projects, the DMV Regional Greenprint and H2DMV will cost $2 million and be funded by government, industry, academia, and philanthropy.
Richard Moore | Initiative Lead
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
The 2030 Group
U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Innovation
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Dr. Sunita Styapal
Together, we can build a cleaner future for Greater Washington.
If you're interested in getting involved or learning more about sponsorships of the National Capital Hydrogen Center and the DMV Hydrogen Greenprint and H2DMV projects, get in touch with us today.