"What if it were possible to swap out the fuel flowing through pipes from natural gas to something carbon-free? Like magic, you could keep heating homes as they are currently heated, but put an end to a major source of emissions that is contributing to the onslaught of wildfires and catastrophic weather of recent years.
This has been one of the hopes for so-called green hydrogen — a fuel produced using renewable energy — and an idea that’s been embraced by a natural gas industry that is otherwise facing an existential crisis as the world transitions off of fossil fuels.
That’s part of what researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell were aiming to find out when they embarked on a study to examine the viability of hydrogen in Massachusetts. In a paper published earlier this year in the peer reviewed journal Frontiers in Energy Research, the team offered an endorsement, recommending, among other things, that the state should consider adopting green hydrogen and blending it with natural gas to heat homes and fuel appliances like gas stoves. A similar recommendation wound up in a bill before the Legislature.
The trouble is, like magic, not everything is as it seems."
Sabrina Shankman reports for the Boston Globe November 16, 2022.