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New Guidebook Outlines Opportunities for Low-Carbon Hydrogen Production from Coal and Biomass Resources

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For Immediate Release:

Contact: Regina Davis, 202-898-9382,

WASHINGTON (October 22, 2021) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Center for Partnerships & Innovation today announced the release of a new guidebook through the NARUC-U.S. Department of Energy Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Partnership. The publication provides a comprehensive review of the opportunities for low-carbon hydrogen production from coal and biomass resources.

The Coal and Carbon Management Guidebook: Coal-to-Hydrogen Challenges and Opportunities provides a detailed outlook of the opportunities and challenges for coal and biomass resources and infrastructure to participate in the growing low-carbon hydrogen economy. The guidebook outlines the present and forecasted market demand for hydrogen, addresses how state utility regulators can analyze and manage risks associated with low-carbon hydrogen technologies and summarizes DOE’s investments in research and development for hydrogen production from coal and biomass.

“Coal is an abundant natural resource in Montana, and this guidebook offers a comprehensive framework for how we can leverage it in innovative ways,” said Commissioner Anthony O’Donnell of the Montana Public Service Commission and chairman of NARUC’s Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Management. “Investing in technologies to produce hydrogen from our domestic coal supply can support energy security, economic growth and a just transition for communities in Montana and other coal-producing regions.”

As demands for clean energy increase, hydrogen is arising as a versatile energy source that can produce power and heat for a variety of users, including electricity generators and large industrial customers. With advances in research and development that could reduce production costs, hydrogen could enable the transition to a net-zero carbon economy and expand the portfolio of low-carbon resources.

“This guidebook provides state regulators with a foundational understanding of the emerging hydrogen market,” said Kiera Zitelman, CPI technical manager. “It offers technical information about low-carbon hydrogen production, ranging from the rainbow of colors representing hydrogen production methods to the wide variety of end uses for hydrogen in energy and industrial processes, and concludes with key considerations for regulators in the oversight of new technologies.”

In a September 28 briefing on the guidebook, technology consultant Mike Mudd offered a high-level overview of the report. The recording and presentation material are available at Coal and Carbon Management Guidebook: Coal-to-Hydrogen Challenges and Opportunities was developed by BCS, LLC, as a subcontractor to NARUC and is available at



NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.