ARKANSAS, Oct 24 (Future Headlines)- California has been designated as one of seven hydrogen “hubs” by the U.S. Department of Energy, signifying the state’s pivotal role in advancing clean energy. With $1.2 billion in federal grants at its disposal, California aims to establish an industrial ecosystem that enhances the availability and affordability of hydrogen.

This initiative is set to create a balanced ecosystem where the supply of hydrogen meets the growing demand, facilitating the development of a thriving hydrogen market. Tyson Eckerle, a director of the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), the state agency responsible for administering the plan, emphasized the importance of scaling across various sectors. Hydrogen is particularly promising as it offers a solution for decarbonizing challenging sectors, thereby helping California achieve its goal of being 100% carbon-free by 2045.

In its application for federal funding, California’s focus areas include heavy-duty vehicles, power plants, and ports, but hydrogen-powered cars are also a part of the broader strategy. While the primary emphasis is on heavy-duty stations, they often offer passenger vehicle refueling services as well. As costs decrease and economies of scale improve, the potential for expanding passenger vehicle fueling will increase.

Currently, California is home to an estimated 15,000 hydrogen fuel cell cars on its roads, with companies like Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota producing hydrogen-powered vehicles. In San Diego, there are only two hydrogen refueling stations available for car owners. The state’s ambitious plan seeks to rectify this by creating a more extensive and accessible hydrogen infrastructure that can serve a variety of transportation and industrial needs.

Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White