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U.S. Government Can Accelerate Clean Energy Use, Plug CEO Tells Senate

Plug CEO Andy Marsh detailed how American lawmakers could increase the use of hydrogen and decarbonize the country.

The hydrogen economy is growing rapidly, but the federal government can accelerate the clean energy transition, Plug CEO Andy Marsh told the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources at a Tuesday hearing where lawmakers discussed federal regulations on hydrogen infrastructure.

In a written testimony to the Committee, chaired by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Marsh wrote that “hydrogen fuel cell technologies and green hydrogen offer distinct and focused benefits for these communities. In many cases, green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are the best replacement for diesel.”

“The hydrogen economy can help ensure that disadvantaged communities are prioritized in the clean energy transition,” Marsh said. “Environmental justice is a fundamental tenet within Plug’s overall strategy. For too long, disadvantaged communities have faced disproportionate environmental injustices, suffered the brunt of climate change, toxic pollution, adverse health effects, and endured underinvestment in critical infrastructure and services.”

With hydrogen poised to generate $140 billion per year in revenue and support 700,000 jobs across the hydrogen value chain by 2030, according to consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, Marsh told the Committee, “Hydrogen may be the only viable pathway to reduce emissions for difficult-to-decarbonize sectors, such as rail and long-haul truck transportation, marine vessels, steel, cement, and ammonia.”

Committee members asked Marsh for his thoughts on several points related to hydrogen, including how hydrogen may play a role in powering homes, how it could support different industries, and “the best thing Congress can do” to buildout the hydrogen economy.

“Production tax credit of $3 per kilo and a sliding scale for blue hydrogen will make us the leader around the world for green hydrogen production,” Marsh replied. “When I think about where the federal government can help, the production tax credit for both green and blue hydrogen would be incredibly beneficial to accelerate the economy, create jobs and provide independence. That will make the biggest difference and we can leverage what’s best about our economy and allow companies like Plug to raise money on wall street and provide certainty for the long-term.”

By building out the green hydrogen economy, every American would see the benefits. In his written testimony, Marsh said, “The green hydrogen economy will benefit disadvantaged communities through job creation, regional infrastructure improvements such as investment into renewable wind and solar infrastructure, and community-driven programs implementing green hydrogen solutions.”

As the leader in the global green hydrogen economy, Plug is playing an “integral to ensuring the long-term energy security of the United States and our international allies,” Marsh said.

“Plug believes the federal government can accelerate the clean energy transition through frameworks such as a Clean Hydrogen Production tax credit and the Investment Tax Credit, as shown by the success of these incentives in other markets,” he said. “Plug stands ready to continue working in partnership with you to develop and expand the national hydrogen ecosystem.”

Read Marsh’s full testimony here.

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