As clean energy technologies achieve economies of scale and become universally accessible, constraints on sustainable energy production and storage are beginning to emerge. California experiences periods of high energy demand when renewables aren’t available, as well as periods of substantial overproduction of renewable electricity. The latter scenario is already forcing the state to curtail renewables at unprecedented rates. These circumstances highlight the need for energy storage technologies that enable grid flexibility and allow consumers to utilize renewables on demand.
Renewable hydrogen presents a near best-case scenario for clean energy storage and zero-emission transportation. Today in California and across the world, hydrogen is already produced at scale for industrial processes like oil refining and ammonia production. Industrial hydrogen is commonly produced through the reformation of natural gas but there are many ways to produce hydrogen renewably. The roadmap explores those that are currently most cost effective and scalable – including production technologies and feedstock.