Plans for Delaware’s future hydrogen economy are coming together

Plans for Delaware’s future hydrogen economy are coming together

March 22, 2024 0 By Tami Hood

The state has a large role to play in MACH2.

Delaware is eager to develop its future hydrogen economy and, if all goes according to plan, the state could be a big hydrogen producer for the Mid-Atlantic region, specifically in regard to the Mid Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (MACH2).

MACH2 is one of seven regional hydrogen hubs planned in the U.S.

Back in October, the Biden-Harris Administration announced around $8 billion in federal funding for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to dole out to seven regional hydrogen hubs across the nation.

MACH2 is one of these proposed hubs and is set to receive as much as $750 million to establish a hydrogen economy. This H2 economy will span southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The $750 in funding is expected to be delivered in five phases between 2024 and 2032.

An emission-free hydrogen economy.

Organizers of MACH2 have a goal of making the Mid-Atlantic to be the only completely emission-free hydrogen hub in the United States. To achieve this, nuclear energy sources as well as renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, would be used to power the hydrogen production plants.

Hydrogen Economy - Delaware Map

The power that is produced from this zero-emission hydrogen economy can then power hard-to-decarbonize industries like transportation, steelmaking, and other heavy industry sectors.

As for jobs, it is projected that over 20,000 union jobs (14,000+ in construction and 6,000+ permanent positions) will be created across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Breathing life into old infrastructure.

hydrogen news ebookAnother major part of making the Delaware hydrogen economy a reality is to make use of existing infrastructure. This includes pipelines and revamping power plants so that they can accommodate hydrogen technology and be powered by renewable sources of energy.

Not everyone is on board with Delaware’s hydrogen economy plans.

As is commonly the case with clean energy projects, not everyone supports the proposed developments. According to Delaware Online, in this case, several community groups are against Delaware’s plans for a hydrogen economy.

One of the biggest opponents is Delaware Riverkeepr Network. This group is concerned about the lack of information available to the public regarding the government’s precise plans for the projects. Plans such as where the hydrogen production plants will be established, how long it will take to construct these plants, how much it will cost, and the possible impacts the project will have on the community and the environment.

Moreover, many have voiced concerns over potentially bringing old power plants and pipelines into the mix. Community and environmental activists worry that using this old infrastructure could devastate Delaware’s ecosystems and marine life.

While a public listening meeting is reportedly to be held in April by The Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, only time will tell if community concerns have any impact on the state’s hydrogen economy future.

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