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New Mexico Governor Seeks Hydrogen Investment at Netherlands Business Summit

by Anna

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has unveiled plans to attract new investments in hydrogen fuel development during an upcoming business summit in the Netherlands. The announcement, made via a news release on Friday, outlines her intention to promote New Mexico as a prime location for hydrogen industry investment at an industry summit in Rotterdam over the next week.

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Governor Lujan Grisham, a Democrat known for her strong advocacy of hydrogen as a transition fuel, is leading a delegation to the port city of Rotterdam. This mission aims to position New Mexico as a “dynamic and thriving place for hydrogen industry investment,” leveraging her previous experience from a similar mission to Australia last year where she engaged with hydrogen entrepreneurs.

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Hydrogen, touted by Lujan Grisham as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, is seen as a pivotal energy source for vehicles, manufacturing, and electricity generation. However, the push for hydrogen has faced criticism from environmental groups. Critics argue that hydrogen often depends on natural gas, which undermines its environmental benefits. Several New Mexico-based organizations have opposed state incentives for hydrogen development, fearing it would perpetuate natural gas extraction and strain water resources.

Hydrogen production can also be achieved through electrolysis, which involves splitting water molecules using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, as well as nuclear energy. This method aligns with New Mexico’s substantial investments in renewable energy infrastructure, including extensive natural gas reserves and new electrical transmission lines to support wind and solar energy production.

Despite these efforts, the Biden administration last year passed over a four-state proposal from New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming for a portion of $7 billion earmarked for hydrogen development. Instead, the funding went to projects in California, Washington, Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Illinois.

The Rotterdam hydrogen summit, supported by various public and private sponsors, presents a critical opportunity for New Mexico to advance its hydrogen agenda. Governor Lujan Grisham will be accompanied by key personnel, including New Mexico’s cabinet secretaries for the environment and transportation, as well as her husband, Manny Cordova. The delegation also includes Rob Black, president of a statewide chamber of commerce.

Lujan Grisham’s efforts underscore New Mexico’s commitment to transitioning towards cleaner energy sources and enhancing its role in the global hydrogen economy. By courting international investment and collaboration, New Mexico aims to bolster its renewable energy portfolio and address environmental and economic challenges associated with energy production.

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