New Energy Solutions for Carbon Capture and the Hydrogen Economy

The private and public sectors can and should work together to embrace new energy solutions. Experts share their insights on how to achieve this.


Air Date: July 14, 2022

Moderator: Martin Durbin, Senior Vice President, Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President, Policy, U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Dan Byers, Vice President, Policy, U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Featured Guests: Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, Jeff Gustavson, President, Chevron New Energies, Jane Stricker, Executive Director HETI, Greater Houston Partnership, Bob Wimmer, Director, Energy & Environmental Research, Toyota Motor North America, Paul Glaser, Ph.D., Chief Engineer for Propulsion, Power, and Thermodynamic Systems, GE Research

Global demand for energy is increasing, and with it, the need to innovate. To reach this demand and create a sustainable future, the federal government and business community are developing new ways to utilize Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) and hydrogen technologies and infrastructure.

As a starting point, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law in November 2021, granting the Department of Energy $60 billion in spending. Hydrogen and carbon capture are the centerpieces of these efforts, with these programs receiving roughly $15 billion.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted government and business leaders at an EnergyInnovates event to discuss the infrastructure and technology foundations for these solutions.

Climate Policy Is Necessary to Grow the Private Sector

Jeff Gustavson, President of Chevron New Energies, discussed how the government needs to create climate policy to help scale businesses and address the issues associated with climate change. Gustavson advocated for a policy focused on research and innovation with clear messaging for the private sector to understand. However, he’s worried Congress will be weighed down by the details and not pass the legislation in a timely manner.

“I'm increasingly concerned that sound clear policy will become a bottleneck here,” said Gustavson. “You can see [the] industry is building the pieces out of the foundation out to really start to scale these businesses. I don't want to get to a point where we're waiting to make sure we have some of that policy certainty before we can actually start building these [carbon capture and hydrogen] projects.”

Companies Are Taking a Hub Approach to Carbon Management

Because of the urgency of climate change, businesses need to get creative and use existing resources and partnerships in order to implement these energy solutions on a macro level. Businesses have been looking to use a hub approach when it comes to carbon management and hydrogen solutions. This is an approach where every company in that energy segment has to work together and act at the same time.

“It's not good enough for a company just to capture CO2, they have to have [the] ability to transport it and store it,” said Assistant Secretary Brad Crabtree of the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “If you're a pipeline company, you're not going to be willing to invest in a CO2 pipeline if you're not assured there's going to be a supply of CO2 and a permitted geologic storage site to put it in.”

“The really exciting thing about the infrastructure bill, whether it's carbon capture, direct air capture, or clean low carbon hydrogen production, [is that] there's this integrated hub approach to get us past this chicken and egg problem that you always have with all types of infrastructure,” Crabtree continued.

Some Companies Are Implementing Hydrogen Into Existing Technologies

Some companies have already added hydrogen solutions to their existing processes. One example is Toyota, which launched a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2015. Bob Wimmer, Director of Energy & Environmental Research for Toyota Motor North America, talked about how efficient and competitive these vehicles are. However, in order for them to continue to go to market, there needs to be a demand.

“A single hydrogen nozzle can dispense five kilograms of hydrogen in five minutes; that'll give a [hydrogen fuel cell car] a 400-mile range, an equivalent amount of range from a fast charger in an appropriately designed vehicle,” said Wimmer.

“A plug-in vehicle would take about an hour,” he explained. “That difference requires 10 fast chargers for every hydrogen dispenser resulting in a very similar station cost, but ultimately … the success of any vehicle technology comes down to meeting customer needs.”