CRA consultants conducted a study for Plug Power on the carbon intensity of hydrogen produced through electrolysis at various locations in North America. CRA developed a model that calculates carbon intensity using multiple methods, including average and marginal emissions, for every hour over the next twenty years. This data, combined with information on electrolyzer operating characteristics, production of collocated clean energy, and renewable energy contracting, supports the strategic decision-making of a firm with ambitious goals for hydrogen production. It is also critical information as governments consider incentives based on carbon intensity and hydrogen customers confront decarbonizing their supply chains.
The model developed by CRA can be used in any region in North America and is not limited to hydrogen production. It has also been used to inform an electric utility of the carbon intensity of the electricity grid under different energy transitions scenarios. It can be customized to assess the carbon intensity of anything produced with significant amounts of electricity.