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JobsOhio, SARTA study says Ohio is poised to lead hydrogen economy, is a prime location for Clean Hydrogen Hub

Thu Apr 21 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 21, 2022) - Developing a Hydrogen Economy in Ohio: Challenges and Opportunities, a comprehensive study released today by JobsOhio and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), asserts that Ohio is poised to become a leader in the clean hydrogen-fueled, zero-emission economy of the 21st Century. The report also validates Ohio as a prime location for a Clean Hydrogen Hub, as defined by the United States Department of Energy (DOE).  The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) appropriated $10 billion to DOE for the creation of at least four Clean Hydrogen Hubs across the United States.

The highly detailed, data-driven study identifies:

  • Factors that give Ohio an advantage in developing and deploying hydrogen technology
  • Existing and potential hydrogen end-users
  • Opportunities for growth in hydrogen-based markets: hydrogen-burning power plants, hydrogen fuel cell electric-powered vehicles, etc.
  • Potential challenges that may impede the expansion of hydrogen-based markets

The report states that “conservative projections indicate that Ohio will be a major market for hydrogen markets and generation.” It is clear that over the coming decades, Ohio will have to adopt an “all of the above” strategy for sourcing hydrogen to meet its market demand - embracing natural gas, biomass, and electrolysis as sources.

J.P. Nauseef, President and CEO, JobsOhio, said his organization commissioned this study before the IIJA was passed and that JobsOhio is committed to growing the hydrogen economy in Ohio, especially for industrial use. “We are interested in developing a better understanding of the opportunities this presents for the State,” he said. “This study has provided us some insight into where opportunities will arise and how Ohio can lead development.”

“The report clearly shows that hydrogen has the potential to fuel economic growth, innovation, and job creation in the state while significantly reducing carbon emissions,” SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad said. “The one key question left on the table: will state government and the private sector make the investment necessary to unleash that potential?”

“The study provides clear and convincing evidence that Ohio not only meets but exceeds the criteria established for the hubs in the IIJA,” Mr. Nauseef continued. “Ohio has feedstock and end-use diversity, one of the nation’s largest supplies of natural gas, and the geology to accommodate hydrogen storage and carbon sequestration. Ohio is also geographically positioned in an area where critical processing, storage, and distribution infrastructure will be developed.”

Andrew Thomas, Director of the Energy Policy Center at Cleveland State University and of the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence (MHCoE), was one of the study’s authors. He noted that while projecting new markets can be speculative, the MHCoE used rates of growth for hydrogen consumption that have already been experienced in Ohio for the past decade for its forecast. “Based upon past growth, we project nearly 2 million metric tons of hydrogen per year will be consumed in Ohio by 2050 – without any federal or state constraints on carbon emissions.   We will need an ‘all of the above” strategy for making hydrogen to meet this demand, including both reformation of natural gas and electrolysis of water from nuclear and renewable power.” 

The Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance, a coalition comprised of more than 100 companies, governmental entities, universities, and research institutions, is collaborating with similar entities in the neighboring states to foster the development of an application to the DOE for a regional hydrogen hub in the northern Appalachian region. More information about the Alliance, including a complete membership list, is available at www.oh2hub.org.

The research was led by Mark Henning and Andrew R. Thomas of the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence and the Energy Policy Center at the Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. It is available for viewing and download here.

About JobsOhio:

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention, and expansion. The organization also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Dayton Development Coalition,  Ohio Southeast Economic Development, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

About the stark area regional transit authority (SARTA):

SARTA is an international leader in the development and deployment of zero emission technology in the transportation space. The Canton, Ohio-based transit system which owns and operates one of the largest fleets of hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses in the Western Hemisphere has received Calstart’s prestigious Blue Sky Award and numerous other honors for its commitment to innovation, sustainability, and renewable energy. To learn more about SARTA’s hydrogen fuel cell program visit https://www.sartaonline.com/hydrogen-fuel-cell

About the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs:

The Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in fields that guide and advance vibrant and sustainable communities, including urban studies, public administration, urban planning, environmental studies, nonprofit management, and organizational leadership. Levin is recognized as one of the best public affairs schools in the nation according to US News & World Report. Levin is ranked 3rd in the US in the specialty of Urban Planning and Policy, 7th in the specialty of Local Government Management, and maintains a strong standing in the specialty of Nonprofit Management.

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution with nearly 16,000 students, 10 colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs. CSU recently was ranked No. 1 in the nation for increases in research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation and was again chosen for 2019 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report,

For more information, contact:
Matt Englehart, JobsOhio
614-300-1152
englehart@jobsohio.com

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