World Hydrogen Leaders : Hydrogen Community Gathers in Houston

Jack Salter
Jack Salter - Head of Editorial

World Hydrogen Leaders brings together global energy decision-makers to help navigate and de-risk the pathway to the clean hydrogen energy transition. Nadim Chaudhry, CEO, and Lucy Rankin, Program Director, tell us about the upcoming annual congress dedicated to advancing the clean hydrogen industry.

HYDROGEN COMMUNITY GATHERS IN HOUSTON

Firstly, please tell us about the World Hydrogen North America 2024 congress and exhibition taking place in Houston, Texas.

Nadim Chaudhry, CEO, and Lucy Rankin, Program Director (NC/LR): From 21st to 23rd May, we’re bringing together the entire hydrogen value chain for a comprehensive exploration of clean hydrogen production, utilization, storage, and distribution.  

World Hydrogen North America is now in its third year and will see over 1,000 attendees meet in Houston to connect and focus on getting steel into the ground for these projects.  

What makes Houston the energy capital of the world, the epicenter of the global hydrogen landscape, and the perfect venue for this influential gathering?

NC/LR: Houston’s status as the energy capital of the world stems from its rich history and unparalleled expertise in the oil and gas industry.  

As the epicenter of numerous energy-related activities, including exploration, production, and distribution, Houston has long been synonymous with energy innovation and leadership. 

In addition to its established oil and gas sector, Houston is embracing renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, solidifying its position as a leader in sustainable energy development.  

With over 900 miles of dedicated hydrogen pipelines already in place, representing more than half of the total hydrogen pipeline system in the US and 32 percent globally, Houston possesses the necessary infrastructure to support large-scale hydrogen production, distribution, and utilization.  

The city is also home to HyVelocity, a pioneering hydrogen hub that is set to receive significant funding from the Department of Energy for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program. 

Houston’s unmatched expertise, infrastructure, and strategic initiatives make it the ideal setting for World Hydrogen North America 2024.

Can you provide some insight into why there is exponential growth of the hydrogen industry and an unprecedented surge in the hydrogen and clean energy sectors in North America?

NC/LR: That comes down to several key factors. Firstly, we have to decarbonize; the alternative is the huge costs of runaway climate change.  

The transition to renewable energy sources has gained momentum, fueled by technological advancements and significant cost reductions. These renewable energy sources serve as a critical platform for the production of renewable hydrogen.  

At the same time, the decarbonization of the existing natural gas industry through technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS) is another important factor driving growth in the hydrogen sector. Low-carbon hydrogen produced through CCS presents a viable pathway to reduce emissions in industries heavily reliant on fossil fuels. 

In addition, recent policy incentives in the US, such as those included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), have accelerated market expansion and attracted substantial investment from global companies to the region.  

The production tax incentives provided by IRA, in particular, have spurred significant interest in hydrogen production and utilization projects. 

Similarly, Canada has also implemented its own tax incentives, such as the Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit (ITC), further stimulating investment and growth in the hydrogen sector.  

With abundant renewable energy resources and a strong commitment to climate action, both the US and Canada offer immense potential as major export markets for hydrogen and clean energy technologies. 

The growing recognition of the urgent need to address climate change, coupled with favorable policy environments and investment incentives, has fueled a surge in investment and activity in the North American hydrogen and clean energy sectors.  

How imperative is collaboration between industry leaders to address evolving regulations and the required development of the supply chain?

NC/LR: The change required to decarbonize our complete energy system is extensive and fundamental.  

With hydrogen, we have to build both production and consumption simultaneously. This can only happen with complete collaboration across industry, government, offtakers, and financiers. 

“Over the course of three days, our agenda offers a diverse range of content-led sessions designed to provide attendees with valuable insights and actionable strategies”

Nadim Chaudhry, CEO, and Lucy Rankin, Program Director, World Hydrogen Leaders

As one of the largest and most influential events in the industry, how will World Hydrogen North America 2024 address US and Canadian hydrogen challenges, explore solutions, and seize opportunities?

NC/LR: Over the course of three days, our agenda offers a diverse range of content-led sessions designed to provide attendees with valuable insights and actionable strategies.  

The event begins with in-depth masterclass sessions and interactive roundtable discussions on specific topics such as CCS and Power-to-X technologies, the latest IRA developments, safety considerations with hydrogen and its derivatives, and community engagement initiatives, including Justice40. 

During the main two days of the event, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of engaging formats, including debates, panel discussions, case study presentations, and keynotes.   

Topics covered will span from financial investment decisions to scaling up renewable hydrogen technology, discussing optimal storage and distribution methods, analyzing the competitiveness of different production methods, assessing the cost dynamics of hydrogen, and exploring strategies to stimulate demand and industry growth, to name a few key themes.  

A significant focus will also be placed on the potential for hydrogen exports and how the North American region can position itself as a global leader in this emerging market. 

Dedicated networking sessions will also provide attendees with valuable opportunities to forge new partnerships and collaborations, fostering further innovation and growth within the hydrogen industry. 

By offering a comprehensive agenda that addresses both current challenges and future opportunities, World Hydrogen North America 2024 aims to be a catalyst for driving positive change and advancing the hydrogen economy in the US and Canada. 

Can you provide some key details about the event’s exceptional speaker program?

NC/LR: Our speakers represent a broad swath of the hydrogen ecosystem, from policy and financing to technological innovation and corporate strategy, ensuring a comprehensive dialogue on the various facets of the hydrogen industry.  

The event will delve into significant topics such as infrastructure development, policy frameworks, technological advancements, and market dynamics, providing attendees with a robust understanding of both the challenges and opportunities within the North American hydrogen landscape. 

We are very excited to be joined by Carol Browner, former Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama administration, as our keynote speaker.  

Finally, how can interested visitors find out more and register for the event?

NC/LR: We are very much looking forward to the insightful conversations and thought leadership that will unfold at World Hydrogen North America 2024. 

If you haven’t already secured your spot, there’s still time to join us and register for this exceptional event. 

We look forward to welcoming you and engaging in meaningful discussions on the future of hydrogen and clean energy.

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By Jack Salter Head of Editorial
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Jack Salter is an in-house writer for North America Outlook Magazine, where he is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.