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New Mexico works with national labs on ‘hydrogen economy’ | Local news

The state has reached an agreement with New Mexico’s two national laboratories to build a hydrogen economy, which they hope will produce carbon-free to help combat climate change.

Three state agencies are seeking to leverage the technologies and expertise of Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, while Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pursues plans to make New Mexico a hydrogen hub.

Hydrogen is among the state’s “clean energy solutions,” which include solar, wind and geothermal, to reduce the state’s carbon emissions by 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050, according to a press release reach.

The labs will work with the state’s Department of Economic Development, Department of Environment and Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources.

Together, they will determine the scientific, technological, and policy implications of hydrogen in relation to the economy, climate, energy, equity, water resources, and government workforce.

“The agreements between the state and the New Mexico Federal Research Laboratories demonstrate once again that these partnerships give us a competitive advantage over other states in the development of new technologies and low-carbon energy solutions,” Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said in a statement.

In a statement, Environment Secretary James Kenney said the partnership will enable faster development of hydrogen technologies.

“New Mexico is the epicenter of innovation in the Southwest when it comes to decarbonization efforts, and this partnership will help us achieve our ambitious climate goals that much sooner,” said Kenney.

Current plans envisage separating hydrogen from natural gas, capturing the carbon dioxide and storing it underground to produce so-called “blue hydrogen”.

The natural gas component has drawn vocal opposition from environmental groups and distrust from some Democratic lawmakers, who say the process has questionable climate benefits.

Pro-climate advocates argue that efforts should focus on developing solar and wind power.

The governor and other state officials insist hydrogen is part of the solution to the transition away from fossil fuels, which emit climate-warming greenhouse gases.

Areas of collaboration between the laboratories and the country include:

  • Hydrogen production from methane and biomass.
  • Hydrogen production with concentrating solar energy.
  • Hydrogen production from brackish and salt water.

Large-scale hydrogen storage.

  • hydrogen distribution.
  • Manufacturing carbon-neutral alternatives to petroleum-based products.
  • Direct capture of carbon dioxide.
  • Hydrogen Emission Life Cycle Analysis.

In a statement, John Sarrao, associate director of science, technology and engineering for the Los Alamos lab, said the partnership will help New Mexico move toward a zero-carbon future.

“Los Alamos is committed to finding engineered solutions to today’s pressing energy challenges,” said Sarrao.

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