Chris Cannata, Director of Hydrogen at EDF Renewables North America, is helping to drive green hydrogen development across the continent. As one of the world’s largest low carbon utilities, EDF Renewables has been focused on green hydrogen since 2018. This clean alternative is produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources and has significantly lower carbon emissions than grey hydrogen, which is typically manufactured via steam reforming of natural gas. Based in Wichita, Kansas, Chris provides overall leadership for green hydrogen projects in North America, including budgeting, management activities, and creating high-level business strategies for this budding industry.
In this episode, Chris talks about EDF Renewables’ role in the promotion of green hydrogen and the clean fuel’s potential to reduce global emissions:
- According to Chris, green hydrogen has gained significant momentum across North America in the last year. Although it has not yet reached cost parity with grey hydrogen, he expects this price difference to drop by the end of the decade as electrolyzers become more efficient and hydrogen is produced at scale. Currently, Chris is focused on finding customers to absorb this initial premium to help drive the market forward. He compares the current state of green hydrogen to the solar industry of the early 2000s, when production and investment were rapidly ramping up as key technologies became more affordable.
- Early adopters of green hydrogen are largely based on the West Coast, driven by low carbon fuel standards. While there is currently a large focus on the mobility sector and light duty vehicles, Chris sees longer-term adoption fronted by power grids. As grids undergo decarbonization, green hydrogen will take the place of natural gas in electrification, as well as replacing batteries as an alternative power storage medium.
- Chris stresses the importance of subsidies and government regulations to help initiate widespread adoption of green hydrogen technologies. He is hopeful that a standalone climate change bill fronted by the federal government could help push the industry forward, while simultaneously reaping huge benefits for the environment.
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