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Hydrogen

Resource guide for developing hydrogen on Indian trust land.

Hydrogen is in abundant supply making it one of the most versatile fuels for energy storage and electricity generation. Hydrogen is also the cleanest burning fuel having little impact on the environment. Tribes that have access to water, electricity or natural gas have the potential to produce hydrogen.  Additionally, tribes that desire to lower their carbon footprint may be able to utilize their renewable resources of wind and solar to produce hydrogen with electrolyzers. This produced hydrogen can be stored for later use to generate electricity through fuel cells or to blend into natural gas to lower the carbon content.

Types of Hydrogen

  • The Hydrogen Economy

    Most industrial hydrogen is produced through steam methane reformation using natural gas as the main feedstock. The hydrogen transportation market is poised to grow exponentially over the next 10 years.

  • The Hydrogen Bridge

    Excess wind and solar electricity can be used to produce hydrogen which can be stored for later use when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. Stored hydrogen can be used to produce electricity from fuel cells or it can be blended into natural gas streams to reduce the carbon production.

What You Need

For carbon source hydrogen projects to be viable for Tribes, the following general characteristics and circumstances must be present:

  • A potential market for the sale bulk sale of hydrogen.
  • A source of low-cost natural gas must be present by means of production wells, biomass, interstate or intrastate pipelines, or local natural gas distribution system.
  • A distribution network and market for the electricity produced from the hydrogen fueled generators.
  • Favorable regulatory framework for market access.
  • Expertise to operate hydrogen production facilities, generation and distribution systems.
  • A business entity to handle billing, accounting, and operations.
  • Above average energy costs, unreliable power, and a desire for energy independence.

For carbon free hydrogen projects to be viable for Tribes, the following general characteristics and circumstances must be present:

  • Solar and wind production costs fall below $30/MWh and the capital cost of electrolyzers fall below 30-50% of 2020 levels according to a S&P analysis.
  • Excess wind or solar electricity and ample water to produce hydrogen.
  • A distribution network and market for the electricity produced, along with favorable regulatory framework.
  • Expertise to operate electrolyzers, fuel cells, and distribution systems.
  • Storage facilities and qualified operations and maintenance personnel.
  • A business entity to handle billing, accounting, and operations.
  • Above average energy costs, unreliable power, and a desire to lower their carbon footprint.

Services for Hydrogen

The Division of Energy and Mineral Development provides project assistance to Tribes and individuals to develop hydrogen on their trust land. Learn more about how we can help below.

Contact Us

Branch of Renewable and Distributed Generation
Office of Trust Services, Division of Energy and Mineral Development, 13922 Denver West Parkway, Ste. 200
Lakewood, CO 80401-3142
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MDT, Monday-Friday

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