The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) $8 billion program to accelerate the development of regional hydrogen hubs is shifting into a higher gear. DOE in early November received an unspecified number of “concept papers” on prospective hubs and is now reviewing their merits, with plans to provide applicants with initial feedback within the next few days. By April 2023 — when full proposals are due — there’s a good chance that, based on DOE’s input, a least a few individual projects will be combined into a smaller set of stronger proposals. A case in point may be two competing but seemingly complementary hydrogen-hub plans in the Pacific Northwest. In today’s RBN blog, we discuss those proposals and the prospects for a clean-hydrogen build-out in the region.
It’s as true in the energy industry as it is in the music business: Always play to your strengths. Blake Shelton, who wrote and sang the song in the title of today’s blog, is a top-tier country music star not just because of his musical talent but also because he appears to be a humble, honest guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. These traits have shown up again and again in his songs — and on his 22 seasons on “The Voice,” the hit singing competition show.
Likewise, sticking to strengths has been key for the public, private and public-and-private teams that scrambled this spring, summer and early fall to develop the framework for regional hydrogen-hub proposals and then write up summaries for the DOE to consider. We’ve blogged about a number of these — see our posts about hub proposals in Greater Houston, Corpus Christi, Southern California, Louisiana/Arkansas/Oklahoma, the Marcellus/Utica, the Midwest/Great Plains and the Rockies. In each instance, hub proponents made the case that they were putting their region’s strengths — be it natural gas supply and CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) potential, abundant nuclear or solar power, and/or a massive base of potential hydrogen consumers, including old coal-fired plants being converted to run on hydrogen.
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