Solena Group announced a deal with officials in Lancaster, California, to make hydrogen by using plasma heating technology — originally developed for NASA — to disintegrate the city’s paper recyclables. Solena is one of many firms looking for ways to cheaply produce hydrogen without generating planet-warming gases in hopes that the clean-burning fuel will one day replace oil and gas for transportation or heating. To learn more, read “First-of-its-kind clean hydrogen plant planned for Los Angeles County.”

Key Takeaways

  • Solena Group has partnered with Fluor Corp., a multinational engineering and construction firm, to build its plant in Lancaster, which it hopes will be permitted by early next year and producing hydrogen by late 2022.
  • Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, a maverick Republican and advocate for climate change initiatives, said there is little downside in this partnership for the city.
    • The upside: the city would be pioneering a technology that could dramatically cut emissions and own a small stake in the plant.
  • A BloombergNEF report found that with supportive public policies, renewable hydrogen could meet 24% of the world’s energy demands by 2050, and reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels and industry by one-third.

Path to 100% Perspective

Solena Group still has many hurdles to overcome on the road to achieving affordable hydrogen with minimal carbon emissions. If the company can produce hydrogen at the low price point it’s claiming — reliably enough to attract investors and without generating negative byproducts — it would be a huge accomplishment for the future of hydrogen in the renewable sector.