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NETL Leadership Highlights Decarbonization at 2022 Clearwater Clean Energy Conference

NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., and Thermal Science Team supervisor Ronald Breault, Ph.D., highlighted the Lab’s contributions in building hydrogen-based energy infrastructures and power systems of the future during his keynote address to the 2022 Clearwater Clean Energy Conference held Aug. 1-4 at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater, Florida.

With more than 200 technical presentations held over the four-day event, both in person and virtually, the Clearwater Clean Energy Conference was a one-stop shop for collaboration between industry, academia and government agencies and laboratories to share the latest developments that will make the nation’s transition to a clean power sector possible. The conference also explored where new innovations can be applied across the economy.

The Lab was a major player in making the conference happen. Breault served as Clearwater Clean Energy Conference Co-Chair in addition to delivering opening remarks for the event.

“Research, development, demonstration, and deployment of decarbonization technologies will drive the energy transition needed to get us to net-zero by 2050,” Anderson said. “As the nation’s premier energy technology laboratory, NETL is committed to developing multi-scale technologies to implement a sustainable and fair net zero carbon economy.”

“This means we must look at every sector – energy, manufacturing, transportation, and the entire economy. The transformation to a decarbonized energy ecosystem involves renewable energy sources, hydrogen, biofuels, carbon capture, carbon removal, carbon utilization, and carbon storage.”

A priority focus at NETL is the development of hydrogen-based systems using America’s vast reserves of natural gas and other fossil energy resources that, when combined with new carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, hold great potential to address the effects of climate change while providing exciting new economic opportunities while meeting the world’s energy demands. Hydrogen, which offers a carbon-free solution to combustion applications, will advance gas turbines to meet critical grid power generation needs as power generation infrastructure transitions to include more renewable sources.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provides funding to support Regional Hydrogen Hubs, which presents a unique opportunity for NETL and its partners to drive research toward demonstrations and deployments of emerging and proven hydrogen technologies.

The BIL also provides funding for developing large-scale carbon capture pilot projects, which will de-risk CCS associated with industrial operations in the cement, steel, hydrogen, ammonia, and ethanol sectors. Finally, the BIL provides funding to support Regional Clean Direct Air Capture Hubs in addition to prizes for both precommercial and commercial DAC technologies. These projects will accelerate the transition to carbon-free power and make it more attractive to the private sector.

“What we’re attempting to achieve in the transition to clean energy via hydrogen combined with CCS is unprecedented in our country’s history,” Anderson said. “Such an effort is too great for any entity to tackle alone. Developing new technologies, disseminating novel innovations, and applying them across the global market, requires collaboration across government, academia, and industry.”

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.