Clean renewable hydrogen is critical for decarbonizing California

Hydrogen storage, image by Audio und werbung

OPINION – A recent study from the American Lung Association lists eight California counties among the Top 10 worst for ozone pollution in the country. The statistics are concerning, the impacts of climate change are real, and the time to act is now.

Thankfully, California has been at the forefront in advancing innovative policies and game changing technologies in our efforts to tackle pollution and air quality concerns, and we’re continuing to march ahead.

The state has committed to a clean, renewable future by aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and has been a leader in setting transportation requirements for medium to heavy duty and passenger vehicles other states and the nation are modeling. Building upon these efforts, Governor Newsom announced the ambitious goal to achieve 90% clean energy by 2035 and carbon neutrality no later than 2045. Most recently, the Governor directed the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to develop California’s Hydrogen Market Development Strategy which will provide expansive strategies to develop the state’s clean renewable hydrogen market. It’s clear California is serious about reaching these milestones and remaining a global leader in this space. But cleaning up years of pollution and the impacts of climate change requires a diverse approach–there is no silver bullet–and clean renewable hydrogen is the most promising solution.

The Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) was established to help advance California’s climate goals by supporting and uplifting clean hydrogen projects throughout the state. With the support of GO-Biz, the California Legislature, the University of California , the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, non-profit, business and industry leaders, ARCHES recently submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Energy featuring more than three dozen projects that will directly help California advance a zero-carbon economy, grow  California’s clean energy workforce, and improve our environment, air quality and quality of life for millions of Californians.

ARCHES is California’s effort to accelerate the development and deployment of clean, renewable hydrogen projects and infrastructure, which will supplement renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance a zero-carbon economy. California’s application reflects our unique approach to establishing innovative projects in major transportation and goods movement zones across the state, thereby helping to green the transportation corridors throughout the region.

Our commitment is not just to meet the zero-carbon goals of the state and federal government, but to ensure that it is done with equitable input from communities big and small, which is a necessity for success. That’s why ARCHES has prioritized projects that directly result in cleaner air and economic benefits for our most disadvantaged communities, and will collaborate with frontline communities at all levels to ensure economic opportunity for all.

Renewable hydrogen projects also present an opportunity to retain and expand California’s clean energy workforce. Projects under the ARCHES umbrella will create more than 200,000 green jobs annually across the state. ARCHES and organized labor have partnered together to ensure training programs, career development support and high-road career opportunities are available to disadvantaged communities.

Developing a diverse portfolio of clean, renewable  energy solutions is the responsible approach to help California achieve our ambitious clean energy goals and ARCHES is committed to building a hydrogen roadmap that will benefit California and beyond for years to come.

Angelina Galiteva is CEO of ARCHES and Board Chair of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to accelerating the global transition to 100% renewable energy

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