Last week, the Biden Administration announced it would put two new hydrogen energy hubs in Pennsylvania. Locally, the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) will get up to $750 million to build up this new energy source for Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Spotlight PA reporter Kate Huangpu was on the City Cast Pittsburgh podcast explaining what you need to know about this fuel and the federal money behind it. Here’s what we learned from that conversation:
What Are Hydrogen Hubs?
Hydrogen is a clean alternative to natural gas. Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element, but it’s very scarce as a gas. More than 95% of hydrogen currently made in the U.S. is produced in a way that results in significant emissions.
But there's a better way. Clean hydrogen can be generated from zero-emissions options like wind, solar, geothermal, and nuclear. Hydrogen hubs would be regional clusters of facilities that would make the hydrogen, store it, and regulate its distribution.
Why Is There So Much Buzz About It?
State lawmakers are excited about bringing billions of dollars to Pennsylvania — and with that money, tax credits, political clout, and short- and long-term jobs for locals. The Biden Administration sees these hubs as a way to reach global climate goals.
What Are the Downsides?
Some environmental advocates worry that without the right state regulations in place, these hydrogen hubs won’t be as environmentally friendly as they seem.