NSF Growing Convergence Research (GCR) Project
tRANsition to Green Energy in gas-producing regions (RANGE)
The goal of this NSF GCR five-year project is to enable a practical and feasible transition to green energy in a state like Oklahoma (OK) that has relied on gas production. Hydrogen (H2) as fuel offers the opportunity to wean many industrial sectors, such as manufacturing and transportation, from carbon-intensive fuels.
The vision of this project is to enable the transition to green energy in gas-producing regions using a unique proposition: To engage local communities in the co-development of research goals related to hydrogen energy transition. This effort will involve cutting-edge capabilities in producing hydrogen from natural gas in a way that does not produce carbon-containing gases that pollute the environment. The project will use social science to guide engineering and geoscience research, based on issues, perceived risks, and interests of rural communities that are expected to be immediately impacted by a transition to hydrogen energy. By identifying and clearly articulating the needs of rural communities, including members of Indigenous communities, researchers will develop viable ways to pursue hydrogen production and storage research. In this manner, the project will discover how to utilize the resources of a state like Oklahoma, which has significant oil and gas production, to generate green energy. Enabling a region rich in fossil-fuel resources to use these to create a hydrogen-based economy can help create a diversified and robust free market economy, less prone to boom-and-bust cycles. It can also help develop high-technology, skill-intensive new industries in the production, storage, and distribution of hydrogen.