US ‘has leapfrogged Europe’ with clean-energy and hydrogen policies, says Barker


The US has ‘effectively leapfrogged Europe’ with its support for the nascent hydrogen economy, according to the leader of a world-scale green hydrogen project. The funding put in play by 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act and by the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs programme (H2Hubs), as well as by more longstanding state legislation like California’s 2018-amended Low Carbon Fuel Standard, have changed the global clean-energies landscape fundamentally from 18 months ago.

Christopher Barker, Managing Partner at Hyve1, was speaking at gasworld sister title H2 View’s Renewables & Ecosystem Snap Summit yesterday (Monday 24 April). He said that the legislative context was “tremendously important” to the next phase of growth in hydrogen investments across the US, and to his organisation’s own mega-scale Hyve1 project on the Arizona–California border, which features advanced transportation test tracks, a hydrogen research institute, a clean fuel airport, marina access and a green housing development.

“At Hyve1, we are encouraged and excited by the current context. For a long time the US was playing catch-up in renewables and climate policy when compared with the Europe and APAC regions, but that’s no longer the case. If we get this right from here, we can set the stage for the next 100 years in relation to sustainable living and clean energy.”

Barker said the Paris Agreement of 2015, agreed at the COP21 summit, was the initial “wake-up call” in relation to climate policy, but it also demonstrated how there has to be the right mix of technology, innovation, and public policy, together with a collective willingness to change, to carry things forward.

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