Policy Brief Series on the Role of Hydrogen in California’s Transportation System

Research Team: Lew Fulton (lead), Jeff Reed, Tim Lipman, Arpad Horvath, Stephanie Collins, Allissa Kendall, Pablo Busch

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine

Problem Statement: Currently, hydrogen is used in California in only a few significant applications, with refining being the most dominant. However, hydrogen has the potential to be a major zero-carbon energy carrier across many applications, including transportation. California’s current suite of policies supporting decarbonization tend to be technology neutral, which may not provide sufficient incentives for the hydrogen market to develop in a timely and optimal way.

Project Description: This series of policy briefs investigates the role of hydrogen in decarbonizing the transportation sector and other sectors in California. Collectively, the briefs provide an overview of i) how hydrogen could be used, and how much end-use demand potential there could be for different applications across transportation, buildings and industry; ii) the relative carbon intensity of hydrogen production pathways and the availability of biomass and biogas in California that could be applied to the production of low-CI hydrogen; and iii) the current costs of producing green hydrogen and how much green hydrogen could potentially be produced.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $60,000