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Published December 21, 2021
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management recently granted up to $644,000 for the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) to assess the economic impacts of fossil energy production in Wyoming and evaluate opportunities and research needs to deploy clean hydrogen technologies.
“There is a growing focus on hydrogen as an energy carrier, but we need to assess the opportunities for Wyoming’s energy sector,” says SER Executive Director Holly Krutka. “We are so grateful to DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management for recognizing the value in this project.”
The federal investment in hydrogen comes at an opportune time, as SER is working to establish a center of excellence dedicated to hydrogen research at UW.
The Hydrogen Energy Research Center (H2ERC) will focus on all forms of clean hydrogen, including low-cost coal via gasification, massive natural gas resources via methane reforming, and relatively high-capacity wind energy via electrolysis, as well as potential for solar, nuclear and more.
“Hydrogen is a natural fit for Wyoming energy production, as the state’s natural resources and existing infrastructure are well suited to launch a hydrogen economy,” Krutka says. “SER is dedicated to addressing emerging energy challenges that face Wyoming and its energy customers, and this is just one more area where we can build on Wyoming’s strengths and assess a viable technology to adapt to this rapidly changing energy landscape.”
In collaboration with the broader Wyoming Hydrogen Initiative led by the Wyoming Energy Authority, one of the principal objectives of the SER-led study will be to identify and quantify the relative competitive advantages of Wyoming in an emerging low-carbon hydrogen economy.
“While we are focused on all types of hydrogen production, it’s important to note that hydrogen produced from fossil fuels will require carbon management strategies, such as carbon capture and storage,” says Scott Quillinan, SER senior director of research. “Wyoming’s specialization and legal framework in this area provide a competitive edge for fossil fuel-based clean hydrogen projects in the region.”
For more information on H2ERC or for ways to support the center, click here.