The second-largest producer of energy in the United States, Pennsylvania has played a pivotal role across three energy revolutions in coal, oil, and natural gas. The commonwealth is today positioned to lead a fourth revolution in low-carbon energy technologies – especially in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and in hydrogen. Team Pennsylvania Foundation is engaged in several initiatives to chart a path forward for decarbonizing Pennsylvania’s economy and accelerating its economic growth.
The Road Map
In September 2022, Team Pennsylvania Foundation released a policy roadmap for the deployment of hydrogen and carbon capture infrastructure in Pennsylvania. Authored by the Great Plains Institute (GPI), Successful Deployment of Carbon Management and Hydrogen Economies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania highlights key priorities for the state to meet its climate goals, maintain a competitive edge in energy production and industrial manufacturing, and secure billions of dollars in federal grants and private investments.
Guided by the recommendations of the roadmap, the Cross-Sector Collaborative will continue to advance public understanding on hydrogen and carbon management and strengthen relationships between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors on energy issues.
The Cross-Sector Collaborative
In July 2022, Team Pennsylvania Foundation issued a press release announcing the Pennsylvania Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative, a partnership of energy stakeholder organizations. The collaborative brings together over 50 public, private, and non-governmental organizations committed to leveraging CCUS and hydrogen technology to decarbonize Pennsylvania’s economy and accelerate its economic growth.
Members of the Pennsylvania Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative are listed here.
Click here to read this letter submitted by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation on behalf of the Pennsylvania Energy Horizons Cross-Sector Collaborative, which reflects the deep and coordinated engagement needed for critical innovative solutions to emerge and thrive in the commonwealth.
Opportunities for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)and Hydrogen
Meeting Pennsylvania’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050 requires significant investment in industrial facilities – the source of nearly one-third of all emissions, according to the most recent PA Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
CCUS technology captures carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial facilities and power plants that rely on fossil fuels. Once captured, the CO2 can be used on-site in certain industrial processes, transported to other facilities for use, or safely trapped deep underground. Critically, CCUS may reduce as much as 90 percent of CO2 emissions from segments of the industrial sector that are otherwise extremely difficult to decarbonize.
Derived either by splitting water molecules or by burning fossil fuels, hydrogen gas is an extremely useful feedstock and a potent energy carrier. With widespread applications in industrial processes, fuel cells, and in electricity generation, hydrogen can help decarbonize industry and transportation when it is produced with zero- or low-carbon technology. Infrastructure for hydrogen production, transportation, and end-use in Pennsylvania would drive significant job creation and community capital investment across the commonwealth.
Energy Scenario Planning: How Might Pennsylvania’s Energy System Evolve in 25 Years, and What Might it Mean for Pennsylvanians?
In an earlier iteration of this work, during a 12-month period beginning in 2017 and culminating in 2018, a group of Pennsylvanians representing a wide-ranging set of backgrounds and expertise was convened by Team Pennsylvania Foundation to debate, and ultimately attempt to answer, this question.
Their work culminated in a document titled Pennsylvania Energy Horizons, which was developed using a world-renowned energy scenarios methodology. The project lays out two plausible and challenging alternative futures called “Rivers” and “Roots” which may provide “strategic foresight” into how the decisions made by Pennsylvania’s policy-makers, business executives, community leaders and politicians today can shape our state’s future.