04 Jun OPINION: The missing 20 percent of NC’s clean energy solution
I have asked the NC Travel and Tourism Board and Buncombe Tourism Development Authority Board if they would like to support allowing citizens and our visitors alike the opportunity of traveling to our state in fuel cell electric vehicles. First, for those not aware that these vehicles are deploying around the world, or may not even know what a fuel cell is, I am interested in solving our hydrogen issues information gaps here in North Carolina.
Hydrogen systems like fuel cells that use hydrogen in both grid and transportation modes and electrolyzers that turn water into hydrogen are 20 percent of the climate solution according to the Hydrogen Council. The Hydrogen Council is a consortium of the world’s largest corporations like Shell and Toyota. I have a smaller but similarly important solution called the Zero Emission Vehicle and Grid Fuel Cell Working Group set up to get started here. I happily work with decision makers and anyone with something to offer in bringing the first hydrogen fueling stations to this state and partially powering North Carolina with these hydrogen systems.
In 2009 Sully Sullenberger and his team were forces to land a plane on the Hudson River. If the factors that led to success in such radical circumstances had been 20 percent worse, the outcome might not have been as good. In Asheville and North Carolina in seems like there is a belief that those who are currently at the controls of clean energy and climate solutions are providing excellent direction. But these energy and climate leaders are apparently all off by at least 20 percent…beyond the Trump and NC GOP Factor. I suggest North Carolina leaders be accurate about the global hydrogen opportunity today.
Renewable energy and climate news has been running in the Citizen Times recently. Duke Energy stockholders now have an official ‘climate report’ explaining the ways this massive US energy company is taking a new responsible approach to human-caused climate and carbon asset stranding risk. Interested citizens, Duke Energy stockholders, NC Utilities Commission board members, and staff, and obviously elected officials representing North Carolina at all levels, should understand what human-caused climate change combined with the obsolescence risk of electric utility assets like oversized natural gas plants entail. We deserve the full picture on North Carolina and America’s energy transition for responsible climate action and energy reliability, as well as what the impact of denying the role of hydrogen means.
Charlotte Business Journal recently covered this incomplete but still vital stockholder’s report in the article “Duke Energy Eyes More Coal Closures as Part of Decarbonization Drive.” Duke Energy implies fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure like electrolyzers are necessary for decarbonization purposes, but right now they omit hydrogen systems in the end. That is withholding vital information from its stockholders who demanded a serious climate response.
It is a case of omission of fact or “fostering misconceptions” at this point to deny the role of these vital hydrogen systems, folks.
I have been following the way North Carolina leaders discuss energy and climate issues for a long time now. The folks who are wrong about hydrogen are likely wrong about many things.
I have shared the “United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization” which mentions fuel cells and hydrogen multiple times. The current state of hydrogen has already changed since the end of the Obama Administration as I detail in my seminar presentation. Time’s a-wastin’, Folks!
The grid scale batteries the EITF fought to bring on the local grid have some role. Hydrogen equipment has a very large role in the US and NC energy transition. From what I understand EITF co-directors Julie Mayfield and Brownie Newman are simply differing to Duke Energy on what is and is not fact about these hydrogen systems. Citizens of North Carolina and Duke Energy stockholders deserve the truth.
The Hydrogen Council’s report “Hydrogen, scaling up” is part of where I get the 20 percent solution to the low carbon energy transition found in hydrogen systems like fuel cells and electrolyzers. I believe there are several adjustments to the way the Hydrogen Council see things, but the large impact figure of 20 percent is close to what hydrogen offers.
I am a stakeholder in the North Carolina HB 589, “Competitive Energy Solutions for NC,” energy storage study which will cover hydrogen issues. I am happy to share my seminar on hydrogen systems with the people of North Carolina.
Grant Millin lives in Asheville and is an innovation strategist.