Team Pennsylvania Foundation formally announced the Pennsylvania Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative, a partnership consisting of leaders from more than 50 organizations including state agencies, industry, academia, and non-governmental entities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while accelerating economic growth. Specifically, the collaborative is charting a path forward for economy-wide decarbonization with a focus on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen development opportunities in the commonwealth.

“We believe that Pennsylvania can and will be a leader in the global energy transition, in ways that strengthen our workforce, grow our economy, and protect our planet,” said Abby Smith, President & CEO of Team Pennsylvania Foundation. “Our energy future cannot be addressed by one single company or by government alone – this will require strategic collaboration across the public and private sectors. We’re proud to be bringing together partners to chart a path forward for the commonwealth.”

CCUS involves the use of technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes or combustion of fuels in power generation. The captured CO2 is then either used on-site as production feedstock, transported elsewhere for use in other applications, or safely stored deep underground. CCUS can play a crucial role in reducing CO2 emissions from the industrial sector which, according to the most recent PA Greenhouse Gas Inventory, accounts for 32 percent of Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen can be utilized for a wide range of uses, including many industrial processes, powering fuel cells, and as a fuel to supplement or replace CO2 emitting fuels used for electricity generation. When produced with zero or low carbon technology solutions, hydrogen can play a key role in meeting the decarbonization goals of multiple sectors of the economy. Further, development of hydrogen technology would result in significant job creation and capital investment into communities.

In the recently passed federal bipartisan infrastructure bill, $8 billion is available for regional “clean hydrogen hubs” to expand the use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond. In May, Governor Tom Wolf announced an aggressive push to secure a portion of these funds. The collaborative ensures that the relevant players in Pennsylvania are working together to develop the many opportunities surrounding the industry including securing a hydrogen hub in the commonwealth.

As the United States and the world aggressively pursue decarbonization strategies, competition in the CCUS and hydrogen sectors is increasing rapidly. Together, investing in these technologies and necessary infrastructure will be critical for achieving a lower-carbon future and meeting the goals laid out in the Governor’s Executive Order 2019-1 which calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The collaborative has been meeting regularly over the last 10 months to examine and take the necessary steps to position Pennsylvania as a leader in developing the CCUS and hydrogen industries. In March, the Team Pennsylvania Foundation issued a request for proposal on behalf of the collaborative to create a comprehensive framework for identifying enablers of CCUS and hydrogen in Pennsylvania, understand the challenges of developing a robust CCUS and hydrogen industry, and develop an actionable path forward that will enable the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors to collaboratively capture these opportunities. This framework will be finalized and shared publicly later this summer.

“Pennsylvania has been aggressively working to develop the CCUS and hydrogen sectors as part of the larger transition to a lower-carbon energy future,” said Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver. “This partnership is critical to ensure that we are looking at these opportunities holistically and working together to make Pennsylvania a leader in these sectors in the years ahead.”

Members of the Pennsylvania Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative are listed here.

This partnership builds on Team Pennsylvania Foundation’s Pennsylvania Energy Horizons work with the Commonwealth and the Wolf Administration’s previous work in the CCUS and hydrogen space, including the creation of the CCUS Interagency Workgroup in 2019 and signing onto the eight-state Regional Carbon Dioxide Transport Infrastructure Action Plan in 2021.