The Road Ahead is Connected: How Collaboration Will Get Us to Net Zero


It’s no secret that global goals for decarbonization are ambitious and that navigating the path to a sustainable, net-zero economy depends on a collective partnership and effort to get there.

This is not the first time that humanity has found itself in this position.

Throughout history, stakeholders working together have demonstrated the immense potential to make strides in energy transformation. From Pearl Street Station, the world's first combined heat and power plant providing grid electricity and steam heating in 19th century Manhattan, to the monumental Hoover Dam, generating enough hydroelectric power each year to serve 1.3 million people, powerful progress has come through collaborations between industry, policymakers, NGOs, and the communities they serve.

The challenge now is not just harnessing energy but doing so sustainably, affordably, and equitably. This is where the fusion of public-private partnerships, stakeholder capitalism and innovative collaboration shapes the road ahead in our quest for a greener planet.

Fueling Technological Innovation & Scale with Collaboration

In the push to achieve net zero by 2050, industry leaders who recognize the mutual benefits of joint development and investment are at the forefront. This collaborative approach is vital not only for driving down costs but also for promoting energy equity, job creation and economic growth. 

Legislation and incentives also play significant roles in supporting collaboration. The Inflation Reduction Act contains a streamlined process for claiming tax credits – an important step in bringing new players to the table to broaden the scope for industry-wide cooperation in decarbonization efforts.

Ultimately, the goal of these collaborations is not only to foster rapid innovation but also to scale existing technologies, thereby making them more cost-effective.

Identifying Strategic Partnerships to Support New Solutions

Governments and corporations globally are pushing toward the energy transition but are at different stages in their journeys depending on availability of resources in their respective regions. Globally, hydrogen continues to stand out as a key component of a sustainable and scalable energy mix. Identifying partnership opportunities across geographic and sector lines is critical to drive innovation and bring hydrogen-focused projects to local markets.

Mitsubishi Power and Georgia Power, alongside the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), for example, partnered in June 2022 on a landmark project validating fuel blending of hydrogen and natural gas at both partial and full load on an M501G gas turbine at Georgia Power’s Plant McDonough-Atkinson in Smyrna, Georgia.

This project marked the first and largest validation of 20% hydrogen fuel blending on an advanced class gas turbine in North America. The demonstration resulted in an approximately 7% reduction in carbon emissions compared to natural gas without any major modifications needed to that gas turbine.

This project’s success highlights the need for continued research and development to develop energy solutions of the future, and how partnership between industry leaders can yield meaningful steps on the path to net zero.

There is also an incredible opportunity for expanding existing collaboration with industry partners. Mitsubishi Power recently welcomed a new strategic partner Chevron New Energies, a Chevron U.S.A. Inc. company, to the Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES Delta) Hub in Delta, Utah. The ACES Delta Hub is a large-scale, world-class clean hydrogen facility designed to produce, store, and deliver green hydrogen to the western U.S. The hub will convert renewable energy into almost 100 tons per day of green hydrogen, which will then be stored in two massive salt caverns, capable of storing more than 300 GWh of dispatchable clean energy.

Identifying and nurturing strategic partnerships are integral to the global pursuit of net-zero emissions. By combining expertise, resources and innovative thinking, these collaborations are setting the stage for a more sustainable, efficient, and equitable energy future.

Utilizing Public Investments to Drive Innovation

Governments worldwide are increasingly focusing on public-private partnerships, especially around international forums such as COP28, to meet ambitious environmental goals.

U.S. officials hope these investments will clean up some of the biggest carbon-emitting industrial sectors. As part of the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, the Biden administration in October 2023 awarded $7 billion in federal grants to seven proposed hydrogen hubs in 16 states to jump-start the emerging industry. Hydrogen is expected to replace fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal to power factories and hard-to-electrify sectors such as cement.

The regional hubs will be networks of hydrogen producers and consumers that will be linked with new and existing infrastructure. The Biden administration wants to scale up clean hydrogen output to 10 million metric tons of the fuel by 2030 and 50 million tons by 2050, a fivefold increase from today.

As an industry leader in the development of large-scale infrastructure projects and hydrogen technology, Mitsubishi Power is paving the way for a cleaner energy future in the U.S. with its involvement in hydrogen hub development by supportingthe Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNWH2) and the HyVelocity Hub near the Gulf Coast. These hubs aim to develop scalable clean hydrogen production and infrastructure, contributing to the decarbonization of sectors such as heavy-duty transportation, aviation, maritime, agriculture and industrial operations.

The PNWH2 will accelerate the transition to clean hydrogen production and use by creating a dynamic Pacific Northwest network of clean, renewable hydrogen suppliers and end-users. The HyVelocity Hub will rapidly scale clean hydrogen supply and demand along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The region is home to the world’s largest concentration of existing hydrogen production assets, customers, and energy infrastructure – 48 hydrogen plants and more than 1,000 miles of dedicated hydrogen pipelines.

Both of these hubs have the potential to support implementation of utility-scale clean hydrogen production as well as deployment in their respective regions.

Looking Toward a Sustainable Future

The comprehensive approach of combining public investment with private sector expertise is key to overcoming the technological and financial barriers on the path to net zero. The road ahead is connected, where collaboration drives innovation.

Cross-industry and cross-sector partnerships need to go deeper than ever to encourage entrepreneurial thinking that pushes the boundaries of the energy transition. Industry leaders and cleantech start-ups can tap into the newest thinking in applying green technology and bringing it to scale.