Hydrogen energy projects set to transform New Mexico

Plans for hydrogen production, transportation, and power generation are emerging across New Mexico, raising environmental and economic concerns.

Jerry Redfern reports for Capital & Main.


In short:

  • Tallgrass Energy is leading multiple hydrogen-related projects in New Mexico, including converting a coal plant and constructing a hydrogen pipeline across the Navajo Nation.
  • The production of hydrogen, especially from natural gas, raises environmental issues due to carbon dioxide emissions and methane leaks.
  • Critics argue that the projects may not bring the promised economic benefits to the Navajo Nation and could lead to further environmental degradation.

Key quote:

"How companies choose to produce that hydrogen will fundamentally be a business decision they must make. Our greatest opportunity as a state is producing hydrogen from a range of feedstocks."

— Michael Coleman, director of communications to Gov. Lujan Grisham

Why this matters:

New Mexico’s vast open spaces and abundant sunshine make it an ideal candidate for green hydrogen production, which relies on renewable energy to split water molecules. This method produces no carbon emissions, positioning it as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. However, most hydrogen production currently relies on natural gas, leading to significant carbon emissions and questions about the true environmental benefits.

Read more about hydrogen technology: Rethinking Pennsylvania's hydrogen hub and its public backlash

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