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  • Writer's pictureDrea Hickman

U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy Implications for the Aviation Sector

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Dallas, TX, USA - June's HYSKY Monthly Webinar offered a special treat for all in attendance this month. Rather than hosting a Distinguished Speaker, the presenter was HYSKY CEO Danielle McLean, herself. The topic was the US National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap recently published by the Department of Energy. “Such an important document impacting the future of hydrogen aviation is critical for us to read and understand,” said McLean. “I felt it was important to lead our members through this material so we are aware of the government’s position on hydrogen and also to discover how hydrogen aviation best fits into this landscape.”

McLean believes this document is a very helpful and positive contribution to the industry as a whole. She explained that the government is first focusing on what makes the most sense both environmentally and financially, converting the 10 million metric tons of hydrogen that the U.S. is already producing into clean hydrogen, and prioritizing high impact uses of clean hydrogen. Uses that are high impact include those that are difficult to decarbonize or electrify, which would benefit from using hydrogen most. This is where aviation comes in.

She further explained why the government’s position is to transition aviation to the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). SAFs can be used in existing engines without requiring significant modifications to aircraft infrastructure. SAFs can also be produced using clean hydrogen as a feedstock, which could increase demand and drive down the cost of clean hydrogen. Driving down the cost of clean hydrogen makes direct hydrogen use in aviation a real possibility from a business case perspective. Danelle said, “It’s not an either/or situation, it’s a yes/and situation, because hydrogen and SAF are both necessary to accomplish the decarbonization of aviation. We need them both.”

Most importantly, she explains that the industry needs clear, accessible, and up-to-date price information. For example, in the oil market, prices for crude oil are widely reported and updated in real-time. These prices are influenced by a variety of factors, including supply and demand, geopolitical events, and market speculation. Because this information is publicly available, companies that produce, refine, or use oil can make informed decisions about when to buy or sell oil, how much to produce, and whether to invest in new projects.

Transparent price information for clean hydrogen would mean that all market participants have access to up-to-date information about the price of hydrogen. This could help to facilitate the development of a mature commodity market for clean hydrogen, as it would allow producers, buyers, and investors to make informed decisions. It could also help to reduce price volatility and risk, which could in turn lower costs and encourage further investment in hydrogen production.

Download the slides HERE

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