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Can ‘Green Hydrogen’ Clean Up Natural Gas?

A pilot program in Long Island will mix hydrogen produced from renewable power with natural gas to heat about 800 homes and a fleet of town vehicles. 

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and National Grid New York President Rudolph Wynter (behind Clavin) refuel a hydrogen fuel vehicle at a new hydrogen fueling facility in Lido Beach, New York, on Dec. 15, 2021. The town produces its own emission-free “green” hydrogen. 

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and National Grid New York President Rudolph Wynter (behind Clavin) refuel a hydrogen fuel vehicle at a new hydrogen fueling facility in Lido Beach, New York, on Dec. 15, 2021. The town produces its own emission-free “green” hydrogen. 

Photographer: J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

Last week, lawmakers in New York City passed a bill banning natural gas hookups in all new buildings, becoming the largest U.S. city to enact measures restricting builders from installing gas-fueled stoves, furnaces and water heating systems in new construction.

The ban, which is set to take effect in 2023 for buildings under seven stories, joins similar regulations in Berkeley and Seattle; they’re part of the movement to “electrify everything” as a means of bringing down carbon emissions from energy use in buildings. But even as New York City signaled its intentions to move away from fossil fuels, National Grid — a local utility that opposed the city ban — committed to making its existing natural gas infrastructure cleaner and greener.