Indiana joins 7 states in forming hydrogen coalition

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Gov. Eric Holcomb speaking at Purdue University, Wednesday, July 20, 2022 (Peter Blanchard/IBJ)

Indiana and seven other states are joining forces in an effort to develop what they call a robust hydrogen market, supply chain and workforce. The governors of each state have signed the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of supporting hydrogen production in the region.

The other states include Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. The coalition says the effort will leverage each state’s unique assets while boosting hydrogen production with little to no greenhouse gas emissions.

“Investments in the development of a robust clean hydrogen market, supply chain, and workforce have the opportunity to create good-paying jobs, expand economic opportunity, promote energy independence, and improve public health outcomes,” the MOU says. “The Participating States recognize the Midwest has advantages in the production, transportation, and end-use of hydrogen to make investments in the hydrogen ecosystem attractive.”

The MOU lists the benefits of increasing hydrogen production, including enabling existing industries to remain competitive while catalyzing new industries and jobs. Plus, the coalition says the effort will enhance energy security and minimize volatility in energy prices.

The coalition says the multi-state, multi-sector approach will see the states coordinating the development of a regional hydrogen ecosystem through several steps, which include:

— Selecting a technology-neutral metric for defining clean hydrogen

— Identifying the hydrogen production pathways in each state

— Evaluating infrastructure and workforce opportunities and needs, the most promising end-uses, and financing options

— Working with commercial partners, universities, and nonprofits to identify challenges and opportunities

“Strong partnerships and collaborations with our neighbors will foster a robust hydrogen ecosystem that will spur future growth in Indiana,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in written remarks. “The Regional Hydrogen Coalition represents an opportunity for Hoosiers to benefit from this growing industry here in the Midwest.”

In an April Perspectives article, Indianapolis-based Energy Systems Network CEO Paul Mitchell said a number of companies in Indiana, including Cummins, BP, Rolls-Royce, and Toyota, are already investing in hydrogen.

“The goal is to establish a hydrogen economy in Indiana that will serve as a national hub generating billions in capital investment and thousands of jobs,” said Mitchell. “There is no doubt that hydrogen will play a major role in the future of Indiana’s energy.”

The coalition adds each state will form a task force of senior leadership and meet regularly to share updates.

You can read the full MOU by clicking here.

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