Open Hydrogen Initiative formed to assess carbon intensity of hydrogen

By Julian Buckley17 February 2022

hydrogen holding pic Photo: Adobe stock/Alexander Limbach

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), GTI and S&P Global Platts have launched the Open Hydrogen Initiative (OHI).

The mission of OHI is to create objective, credible, peer-reviewed, transparent and open-sourced tools that allow participants from across the hydrogen value chain to assess the carbon intensity of hydrogen at the asset level.

The creation and adoption of these technical protocols will help build and harmonize the hydrogen market, contextualize climate solutions, advance transparency and support global trade in low-carbon hydrogen.

The collaboration will look to achieve further transparency into the environmental impact of hydrogen production to help unlock its full potential.

According to the related information, there is a ‘high degree’ of variability in the carbon intensity of hydrogen production, even when using the same technologies and pathways.

Precise measurement of hydrogen’s carbon intensity at the production level (also known as the asset level) is needed to more accurately reflect the environmental bona fides of a given kilogram of H2 fuel. This should help overcome the limitations of the ‘color wheel’ label model (green, blue, grey and brown hydrogen).

It is thought that an apples-to-apples comparison of hydrogen production carbon intensity would be of benefit to stakeholders throughout the value chain, including users, engineers, academia, market participants and policymakers.

Brian Anderson, director at NETL, said: “The potential for hydrogen to play a significant role as the global energy system transitions to a lower carbon intensity is vast. As hydrogen generation and use scales up, the market needs to adopt a consistent approach to the assessment of hydrogen’s greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint that is agnostic to the different production technologies, modes of transportation and end-use sectors.”

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