Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance joins World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Initiative
June 9, 2022
The Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance (OH2), the group leading Ohio’s effort to secure $2 billion in federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding that will be used to establish a clean hydrogen hub in the state, has accepted an invitation to be one of eight participants in the World Economic Forum’s (WFE) “Transitioning Industrial Clusters towards Net Zero Initiative,” Alliance leader and Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) CEO Kirt Conrad announced today.
The other Initiative partners are located in Houston, Texas, Antwerp, Belgium, Geleen, Netherlands, Liverpool, England, the Humber Region of Great Britain, Kwinana, Australia, and the Basque Region of Spain. According to the WEF the eight Initiative participants could potentially save more than 334 million tons of CO2 which is more than the equivalent annual emissions output of France, create and protect 1.1 million jobs and contribute $182 billion to their area’s GDP. More information is available here.
Launched by the Davos, Switzerland-based WFE in 2021, the Initiative is designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions across a broad range of industry sectors, maximize job creation, and increase economic competitiveness around the globe. “We are extremely pleased to have been invited to join the Initiative and we are eager to begin collaborating with and learning from the WEF and the other members who share our vision for and commitment to a zero-emission hydrogen-fueled future,” Mr. Conrad said.
“The WEFs approach to making that vision a reality via industrial clusters and the U.S. Department of Energy’s hydrogen hub model are remarkably similar,” Mr. Conrad said “Both recognize that having bountiful energy assets, end users, pipelines and other infrastructure, R&D capability, geography suitable for carbon storage, and a motivated and ample workforce located in close proximity is the most effective and efficient way to execute an effective and efficient decarbonization strategy and build a vibrant hydrogen-fueled economy.”
“Participating in the Initiative will enable us to access insight, information, and real-world experience from innovators that have embraced and are pursuing the cluster/hub concept that will enhance our bid to secure DOE funding for an Ohio-centered hub,” he continued.
Mr. Conrad noted that SARTA’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered (HFC) bus program was cited as one of the reasons the OH2 Alliance was invited to join the Initiative. In addition to operating one of the largest fleets of HFC transit vehicles in the Western Hemisphere for the past decade the Canton, Ohio based agency created the award-winning “Borrow A Bus” program which has enabled transit professionals, elected officials, the media, and the public in the U.S. and Canada to kick the tires, look under the hood, and operate one of the system’s state of the art buses.
“The vast amount of data we’ve accumulated and practical experience we’ve gained by operating our HFC fleet on the streets and highways of Stark County in every imaginable type of weather proves that hydrogen is the future of alternative fuel transportation in the U.S. and the world and converted people who were skeptical about hydrogen into true believers,” Mr. Conrad said.
“I’m confident that the Ohio centered clean hydrogen hub we plan to create will demonstrate conclusively that hydrogen will enable a broad range of energy sectors to meet their zero emission goals, mitigate climate change, fuel innovation, and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs here in the U.S. and around the world.”
For more information, please visit www.oh2hub.org and or contact Kirt Conrad at 330-488-5293.