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Hydrogen Initiative is a cross-campus effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

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The Stanford Hydrogen Initiative

The Stanford Energy Hydrogen Initiative is a collaboration of researchers at Stanford University in engineering, science, policy, and business, working with industry, thought leaders and governments to enable the use of hydrogen when it can achieve deep decarbonization of the world's energy systems. In addition to our research portfolio, we are building a community with workshops and symposia, and through an educational agenda.

The Stanford Hydrogen Initiative is thrilled to launch Hydrogen Innovators, a bi-weekly podcast spotlighting bold innovators from academia and industry. In our latest episode we hear from Dr. Arun Majumdar, the Inaugural Dean of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. In a conversation with Karen Baert, Professor Majumdar shares his thoughts on the uniquely exciting and challenging times in energy today. 

Available on Spotify and Apple. Follow Stanford Hydrogen Initiative on LinkedIn for future episodes. 

Publication Spotlight

A cost comparison of various hourly-reliable and net-zero hydrogen production pathways in the United States by Justin M. Bracci, Evan D. Sherwin, Naomi L. Boness &  Adam R. Brandt 

Hydrogen (H2) as an energy carrier may play a role in various hard-to-abate subsectors, but to maximize emission reductions, supplied hydrogen must be reliable, low-emission, and low-cost. Here, we build a model that enables direct comparison of the cost of producing net-zero, hourly-reliable hydrogen from various pathways. To reach net-zero targets, we assume upstream and residual facility emissions are mitigated using negative emission technologies. For the United States (California, Texas, and New York), model results indicate next-decade hybrid electricity-based solutions are lower cost ($2.02-$2.88/kg) than fossil-based pathways with natural gas leakage greater than 4% ($2.73-$5.94/kg). These results also apply to regions outside of the U.S. with a similar climate and electric grid. However, when omitting the net-zero emission constraint and considering the U.S. regulatory environment, electricity-based production only achieves cost-competitiveness with fossil-based pathways if embodied emissions of electricity inputs are not counted under U.S. Tax Code Section 45V guidance.

Featured Alum (pictured above):  Justin Bracci earned his bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2019, majoring in Environmental Engineering and minoring in Geology. He then attended Stanford University and received a master’s degree in Energy Resources Engineering. From 2019 through 2022 he worked as a research assistant under Dr. Sally Benson and Dr. Adam Brandt, conducting research on hydrogen energy systems techno-economics and life cycle emissions. Currently, he is a research analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he continues to work on hydrogen energy infrastructure questions. 

Hydrogen for Deep Decarbonization

The Stanford Hydrogen Initiative Launch Symposium explored hydrogen as a potential clean energy carrier to mitigate global CO2 emissions in a variety of hard-to-abate sectors, including power generation, transportation, and steel making. The symposium showcased recent technology and policy innovations at Stanford and beyond in hydrogen generation, distribution and utilization. This program convened thought leaders from academia, industry, government agencies, and NGOs to explore research directions, implementation strategies, and potential solutions that will enable hydrogen to be fully utilized as part of a net-zero carbon future. Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. and co-chair of the Hydrogen Council, and Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, US Department of Energy delivered the keynotes. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, joined a fireside chat with Stanford professor Arun Majumdar. Professor Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, led a discussion on national hydrogen strategies and international cooperation to establish a global hydrogen economy. Stanford professors and distinguished industry leaders present throughout the day. The program included topics as Hydrogen for Industrial Application, Generation and Distribution of Hydrogen, International Perspective and National Strategies, the latest in Stanford Hydrogen research, and start-up innovation around Hydrogen. View videos from the program.

See Program Agenda

Sunset view from Stanford Campus

Contact us:

Naomi Boness | Co-Managing Director

Jimmy Chen | Co-Managing Director

Arpita Kalra | Program Manager

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