Think Out Loud

Billions in federal dollars could make the Pacific Northwest a hub for renewable hydrogen

By Sheraz Sadiq (OPB)
Jan. 20, 2023 4:38 p.m.

Broadcast: Friday, January 20

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering $8 billion in funding to create a network of six to 10 sites across the nation to develop and commercialize hydrogen made from renewable energy such as wind and solar. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel, to generate electricity, or for industrial applications — including making fertilizer and refining petroleum. Most hydrogen today is produced using natural gas, a fossil fuel which is accelerating climate change.

Lake Oswego-based Obsidian Renewables is one of the energy companies applying for funding from the Department of Energy’s regional clean hydrogen hubs program. It wants to build a pipeline connecting two facilities located in Hermiston and Moses Lake, Washington, to generate hydrogen primarily from wind and solar power.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association, a public-private partnership that includes the Washington Department of Commerce and the Oregon Department of Energy, is also competing for federal dollars to spur investment in clean hydrogen projects. The details of its proposal have not been made public, but the association claims it could create tens of thousands of jobs to supply the aviation, agriculture and other industries with green hydrogen.

Joining us are Ken Dragoon, the director of hydrogen development at Obsidian Renewables, and Rebecca Smith, a senior energy policy analyst at the Oregon Department of Energy.

Contact “Think Out Loud®”

If you’d like to comment on any of the topics in this show, or suggest a topic of your own, please get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, send an email to thinkoutloud@opb.org, or you can leave a voicemail for us at 503-293-1983. The call-in phone number during the noon hour is 888-665-5865.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:
How Oregon Dungeness crab make the journey from sea to table.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR:

Related Stories

A hand holds a pump that fuels a car.

Pacific Northwest ‘hydrogen hub’ pitch to federal government treated as top secret

The states of Washington and Oregon have submitted a joint bid to the U.S. Department of Energy to get a share of $8 billion that Congress set aside to launch "Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs" around the nation. But good luck trying to learn what exactly the bi-state bid entails, other than the safe presumption that at least one industrial hydrogen production facility would be subsidized.

Hydrogen Valley vision for Washington gets boost from Aussies’ proposed plant

An Australian company is looking at repurposing the soon-to-close coal power plant property in Centralia, Washington, to build a big hydrogen fuel production facility. Fortescue Future Industries went public with its plans during a hydrogen symposium hosted by the Economic Alliance of Lewis County on Thursday.