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Harnessing the power of hydrogen for clean energy

Tom Droege

You may remember from science class that hydrogen is the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. Think of the upper left-hand corner of the periodic table to that first box with the capital H.

The sun is made up of mostly hydrogen and so are the stars. The giant engines that powered NASA’s Saturn V rockets to the moon and the space shuttle used hydrogen as a fuel. Most of the hydrogen used in the world today is for industrial processes, but global momentum is building quickly to tap into the versatility of hydrogen and its potential for reducing carbon emissions.

Hydrogen has the highest energy content of any common fuel by weight, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and it has huge potential to help provide clean energy to our world. It is incredibly versatile. Hydrogen can be a fuel, a feedstock and energy storage.  Hydrogen can power vehicles such as long-haul trucks, heat homes and buildings, provide fuel for large-scale power generation and act as storage for massive amounts of renewable energy.

With the growing urgency to transition to a low carbon future, many energy companies are placing an increasing focus on hydrogen. Williams is currently developing a roadmap to chart how best the company can leverage its existing pipeline network to bring clean hydrogen to market.

“Our nationwide pipeline footprint is well-positioned with end-use demand, particularly in highly populated areas, to participate in hydrogen-based energy storage and transport,” said Brian Hlavinka, director of business development for the renewables group at Williams.

“Our ability to blend hydrogen into our existing system is a significant advantage and has the potential to accelerate the use of hydrogen in reducing carbon emissions,” said Hlavinka.

Williams is a member of the Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition, a diverse group committed to the advancement of a net zero emissions economy — supported by infrastructure to fully scale clean hydrogen production and use in the U.S.


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