The energy transition – which represents the efforts undertaken and results achieved on renewable energy expansion and energy efficiency – needs to be our basis for a clean, secure, and affordable energy supply, which is essential for all our lives.
Our Energy Policy
By adopting this energy policy, we will help pave the way for meeting our long-term goal to achieve carbon neutrality in line with the targets agreed under the Paris Agreement, which seeks to keep global warming well below 2 degrees and if possible, below 1.5 degrees. In addition, Broad Range Energy has committed itself, to achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality, this means preventing emissions which are particularly hard to reduce such as process related GHG emissions from the industrial sector.
For the energy transition to be successful, security of supply, affordability and environmental compatibility need to be combined with innovative and smart climate action. This means that the fossil fuels we are currently using need to be replaced by alternative options. This applies to gaseous and liquid energy sources. Against this backdrop, hydrogen will play a key role in enhancing and completing the energy transition.
- Hydrogen can be used as an energy source. For example, it can be used in fuel cells to drive forward hydrogen-powered transport or to produce synthetic fuels.
- Hydrogen is an energy storage medium that allows for renewable energy to be stored in a supply-based and flexible manner and therefore helps balance energy supply and demand. This makes hydrogen an important ingredient of the energy transition.
- Hydrogen plays a key role for sector coupling. In areas where renewable electricity cannot be used directly, green hydrogen and the products derived from it (power-to-X) open up new ways to decarbonize our energy supply.
- Already today, many chemical and industrial processes depend on the use of hydrogen. For example, it is used as a base substance for producing ammonia. Going forward, the fossil-based hydrogen currently used for this is to be replaced by green hydrogen. In addition, hydrogen in its pure form can be used to decarbonize a wide range of industrial production processes for which currently no decarbonization technologies are available. For example, to allow for the GHG-free production of primary steel, hydrogen is currently considered to be the most promising solution for replacing hard-coal coke.
- Hydrogen will be required if certain types of carbon emissions from the industrial sector such as process-related emissions from the cement industry are to be eliminated in the long term. By capturing carbon emissions from the industrial sector and combining these with hydrogen, useful chemicals can be produced (CCU) and new value chains for the basic chemicals industry opened.
To make hydrogen a key element of our decarbonization strategy, our entire value chain – from technologies, generation, storage, infrastructure, and use, including logistics and important aspects of quality assurance – need to be looked at.
For the United States to become GHG-neutral and meet its international obligations under the Paris Agreement, hydrogen needs to be established as a decarbonization option. The Federal Government considers only hydrogen that has been produced using renewable energy (green hydrogen) to be sustainable in the long term. The Federal Government therefore seeks to use green hydrogen, promote its rapid market rollout, and establish the necessary value chains. The Federal Government believes that both a global and North American hydrogen market will emerge in the coming ten years and that carbon-free (for example blue or turquoise) hydrogen will be traded on this market. Given United States’ close integration in the World energy supply infrastructure, carbon-free hydrogen will be relevant for the United States and, if available, will be temporarily used.
In addition to this, hydrogen creates fresh potential for industrial policy and can help the American and World economy deal with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
A considerable increase in the demand for hydrogen is expected in the medium to long term. To harness the full potential of hydrogen technology, the next steps need to be taken to speed up the rollout of this technology together with the private sector. A Hydrogen Strategy provides the basis for private-sector investment in hydrogen generation that is both economically viable and sustainable, and in its transport and use.
Considering it is unlikely that the large quantities of hydrogen that will be needed for the energy transition can be produced in United States alone, as United States’ renewable energy generation capacity is limited. This means that United States will continue to import much of its energy from abroad. We will foster and intensify international cooperation and partnerships on hydrogen.
Hydrogen has gained in importance on the European and international agenda in the last few years. In September 2018, the Germen Government together with 27 other European nations and the European Commission adopted a European hydrogen initiative and declared hydrogen technology and systems a value chain of strategic interest. The American Government can make use of this momentum to continue to advocate hydrogen technology.
Making Hydrogen Competitive
The current framework does not allow hydrogen to be generated and used in an economically viable manner. Fossil fuels continue to be much cheaper as the cost of carbon emissions is not included in their price. For hydrogen to become economically viable, we need to continue to bring down the price of hydrogen technology. To drive forward technological progress and economies of scale and promptly obtain the critical mass of hydrogen needed for some initial sectors to switch to the new technology, the production and use of hydrogen need to be sped up globally. A particular focus is being placed on areas that are already close to commercial viability and where major path dependencies can be avoided, or which cannot be decarbonized in other ways, as is the case for process-related emissions in the steel or chemicals industry, or in certain parts of the transport sector. In the longer term, parts of the heat market will also be focused on.
Making Hydrogen Competitive
Developing a Domestic Market for Hydrogen
The first step that needs to be taken to speed up the rollout of hydrogen technology is establishing a strong and sustainable domestic market for the production and use of hydrogen at home. A strong domestic market will send an important signal, encouraging other countries to use hydrogen technology as well. America can design the incentives for speeding up the rollout of hydrogen technology in America and particularly for the establishment and operation of electrolyzes in a way that is compatible with the energy transition.
Domestic Market Development
We expect that around 90 to 110 TWh of hydrogen will be needed by 2030. To cover part of this demand, Broad Range Energy plans to establish up to 5 GW of wind generation capacity including the offshore and onshore energy generation facilities needed for this. This corresponds to 14 TWh2 of green hydrogen production and will require 20 TWh of renewables-based electricity. It needs to be ensured that the demand for electricity that is created by the electrolyzers will not lead to an increase in carbon emissions. The Federal Government has included a monitoring mechanism in the National Hydrogen Strategy which will be used to track the development of green hydrogen demand in detail. An additional 5 GW of capacity are to be added, if possible, by 2035 and no later than 2040.
However, the domestic generation of green hydrogen will not be sufficient to cover all new demand, which is why most of the hydrogen needed will have to be imported. There are several places across America where large quantities of renewables-based electricity are being generated. These offer great potential for producing green hydrogen. The Federal Government will work to ensure that this potential is tapped and that the generation capacities are further expanded. To this end, it will intensify its cooperation with other countries. The use of offshore wind energy will play an important role especially in the Long Island Sound Region.
Broad Range Energy will work to push forward hydrogen production by establishing a reliable regulatory framework for wind energy. It also aims to systematically develop production sites in other partner states, for example as part of development cooperation. Broad Range Energy seeks to provide suppliers, consumers, and investors in Broad Range Energy with the security to plan ahead.
This will require working with the relevant partner companies to launch an investment and innovation campaign. Broad Range will use its Hydrogen Strategy to promote the establishment of production capacity and new supply chains and provide our partners with the relevant technology and targeted solutions. This will boost employment both in and around our headquarters to be based in Holyoke, Massachusetts and pave the way for long-term economic growth.
The Action Plan for the Broad Range Hydrogen Strategy and the current budget and financial estimates serve as the basis for speeding up the rollout of hydrogen technology. Should it become clear that the demand for hydrogen will develop more strongly than expected, the Broad Range Strategy will be enhanced as part of the evaluation process.
Establishing Hydrogen as an Alternative Energy Source
Hydrogen technology and the alternative sources of energy derived from it are an integral part of the energy transition and contribute to its success. Some sectors such as air and maritime transport or industries in which process-related emissions are unavoidable will be impossible or very difficult to electrify, even in the long term. This applies to aviation, parts of heavy-duty transport, mobile systems for the defense of our country and the Alliance, and maritime transport, where many routes and
applications cannot be operated using electricity alone. Therefore, the fossil input and fossil fuels need to be replaced by renewables-based alternatives, for example jet fuel produced through PtX.
Establishing Hydrogen as an Alternative Energy Source
Making Hydrogen a Sustainable Base Material
Hydrogen is an important base material for the American industrial sector (it is used for example in the chemicals industry or steel production). Around 55 TWh of hydrogen – most of it produced from fossil energy sources – is used for industrial applications in America each year. These need to switch to a production based on green hydrogen to the extent possible.
In addition to this, hydrogen and hydrogen-based PtX commodities need to be used to drive forward the decarbonization of emission-intensive industrial processes, which will open up new fields of application for hydrogen and PtX commodities. For example, it is estimated that more than 80 TWh of hydrogen would be needed to make American steel production GHG-neutral by 2050. Around 22 TWh of green hydrogen would be needed for American refinery and ammonia production to switch to hydrogen. America’s industrial sector already has demand for hydrogen and this demand is expected to grow heavily in the future. This means that the industrial sector is well-placed to become one of main factors speeding up the market rollout of hydrogen and a global pioneer for hydrogen technology.
Sustainable Base Material
Enhancing Transport Distribution Infrastructure
Developing and putting in place the right transport and distribution infrastructure is key to be able to import and develop the sales markets for hydrogen and the products derived from it. America has a well-developed gas infrastructure consisting of a tightly knit natural gas network and the gas storage units connected to it. To harness the full potential of hydrogen, we will have to enhance our transport and distribution infrastructure and continue to ensure that the use of hydrogen applications is safe.
This includes building and expanding a dedicated hydrogen network. The Federal Government needs to revisit and develop the regulatory framework and the technical requirements for the gas infrastructure. For example, it needs to examine whether natural gas pipelines which are no longer needed to transport natural gas (for example L gas) can be converted into hydrogen infrastructure and investigate whether the compatibility of existing or upgraded gas infrastructure with hydrogen can be ensured.
Enhanced Transport Distribution System