A new initiative to get the cost of green hydrogen down to $1.50/kg by 2030 has been launched in Los Angeles — one of the first programmes in the US targeting large-scale production and use of renewable H2.

HyDeal LA — a collaboration between developers, off-takers, integrators, manufacturers, investors and advisers — aims to form a commercial-scale green hydrogen cluster in the Los Angeles Basin this decade.

Leaders of the initiative include the US-based Green Hydrogen Coalition (GHC), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Mitsubishi Power, local natural-gas supplier SoCalGas, and Hanwha Group-owned solar developer 174 Power Global.

Phase one of HyDeal LA will map out the necessary supply chain and the terms and conditions to “achieve production, storage, transport and delivery of green hydrogen at scale”.

HyDeal LA is the first of the regional initiatives that are due to make up the GHC’s HyDeal North America programme, which the organisation describes as a “commercialization platform to launch green hydrogen ecosystems across North America”.

The cost of clean hydrogen

Green H2 from onshore wind and solar costs $2.50-6/kg, according to the International Energy Agency.

Grey hydrogen produced from unabated natural gas or coal is currently available at $1-3/kg, while carbon capture and storage to turn it blue would add at least $0.50/kg.

Analyst Bloomberg NEF and think-tank Energy Transitions Commission expect the cost of green hydrogen to become cheaper than blue by 2030.

Of course, it is hard to make any firm cost predictions, given all the variables involved. The cost of green hydrogen will vary wildly depending on the price of the electricity used to power the electrolyser and the numbers of hours the electrolyser is in operation per year.

And that’s without factoring in the cost of storage and distribution. And the cost of blue hydrogen will depend on the price of natural gas and the cost of capturing and storing the CO2.

“Los Angeles is the perfect place to launch the first HyDeal North America,” said GHC founder and president Janice Lin. “LA has all the ingredients for success — visionary municipal leadership, forward-thinking utility partners, major off-takers committed to a low carbon future including power generation, industry, and port refueling operations, and lots of available renewable energy sources for green hydrogen production.”

The scheme is modelled after the HyDeal Ambition project, a coalition of 30 European energy players that wants to get the cost of green hydrogen down to €1.50 ($1.83) per kg by 2030.