The Biden-Harris Administration has released the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, presenting a comprehensive plan to accelerate the production, processing, delivery, storage, and use of clean hydrogen as a versatile and low-carbon energy carrier.
This strategy aligns with President Biden’s commitment to invest in clean energy and achieve long-term decarbonization goals. Clean hydrogen is projected to create 100,000 net new direct and indirect jobs in the United States by 2030, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Clean hydrogen holds substantial economic benefits and can contribute to the decarbonization of various sectors, including heavy industry, chemical processes, and transportation. Additionally, it offers a means for long-duration energy storage and can support the expansion of variable renewable power sources, such as wind and solar. The U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap aims to stimulate innovation, private sector investment, and the development of a robust clean hydrogen supply chain.
The strategy outlines three key approaches to ensure the effective deployment of clean hydrogen:
Targeting strategic, high-impact uses: Clean hydrogen will be utilized in sectors with limited alternatives, such as heavy industry, transportation, and long-duration energy storage for a clean grid.
Reducing the cost of clean hydrogen: The plan emphasizes catalyzing innovation, scaling up production, stimulating private sector investments, and developing a robust supply chain.
Focusing on regional networks: Large-scale clean hydrogen production and end-use will be established in close proximity, maximizing infrastructure investments, driving scale, and fostering equity, inclusion, and environmental justice.
To address the concerns of stakeholders, the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap was released in draft form for public comment. The final version incorporates feedback from a wide range of industry, academia, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. It also complements the Biden administration’s $9.5 billion investment in clean hydrogen through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other ongoing research and development initiatives.
However, hydrogen production methods remain a subject of debate. Critics argue that if hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, it would perpetuate reliance on the fossil fuel industry without substantial environmental benefits. They advocate for green hydrogen, produced by electrolyzing water using renewable energy sources, as the ideal solution. Balancing the scale-up of hydrogen production and ensuring its environmental sustainability are challenges that need to be addressed.
Despite the challenges, the Biden administration sees clean hydrogen as a crucial component of the clean energy transition. It has the potential to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors, create jobs, and bolster American energy independence. As the technology continues to advance, efforts are underway to establish hydrogen hubs and pilot projects across the country.
The U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap represents a living document that will be updated regularly to reflect the evolving market, technology, policy environment, and community needs. By embracing clean hydrogen, the United States aims to build a clean and equitable energy future that addresses the climate crisis and accelerates the transition to a net-zero emissions economy.