The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), on behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration, announced the availability of $750 million for research, development, and demonstration projects aimed at significantly lowering the price of clean hydrogen.
This funding, which is the first installment of the $1.5 billion set aside in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for advancing electrolysis technologies and enhancing manufacturing and recycling capacities, is a critical element of the Administration’s all-encompassing strategy for accelerating the widespread use of clean hydrogen and will be essential to the successful deployment of commercial-scale hydrogen this decade.
The President’s objective of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will only be possible with the use of clean hydrogen, which is produced with net-zero carbon emissions.
“Creating clean hydrogen from abundant renewable energy gives America yet another incredibly powerful fuel for a wide range of uses, from low-emission use in the manufacturing and construction sectors to energy storage to powering our cars and trucks,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Due to new financing from President Biden’s historic clean energy policies, DOE is expediting our effort to make this innovative and flexible fuel market-ready within a decade—supercharging America’s drive towards an affordable and secure clean energy economy,” the DOE said in a statement.
Two provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, authorize $1 billion for research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to lower the cost of clean hydrogen produced through electrolysis and $500 million for research, development, and demonstration of improved processes and technologies for producing and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials, are now being implemented in their first phase thanks to this funding.
DOE’s Clean Hydrogen Initiative
Future efforts to reduce emissions from some of our economy’s most energy-intensive sectors, such as heavy-duty transportation and industrial and chemical operations, will be greatly aided by clean hydrogen, which can be produced with no or almost no carbon emissions.
Clean hydrogen offers flexibility and numerous revenue streams for all forms of clean power generation, including renewables, advanced nuclear, and other cutting-edge technologies. It can also help the expansion of variable renewable power by providing a method for long-duration energy storage.
Hydrogen development will increase American energy independence and speed up the manufacturing boom, which has already generated over 800,000 jobs since President Biden took office. This is because it will make it possible to develop a variety of domestic clean energy pathways across many different sectors of the economy.
Projects funded through this opportunity, which are overseen by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), will address underlying technical cost-reduction barriers that cannot be overcome by scale alone and ensure that today’s developing commercial-scale deployments will achieve long-term viability with tomorrow’s lower-cost, higher-performing technology.
In addition to generating more clean energy employment, cutting harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and boosting America’s long-term competitiveness in the global clean energy market, achieving cost reduction goals will open new markets for clean hydrogen.
These investments will aid DOE in realizing its ambitious Hydrogen Shot objective of being able to produce clean hydrogen at a cost of $1 per kilogram within ten years, along with the regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs), tax incentives in the President’s historic Inflation Reduction Act, and ongoing research, development, and demonstration in the DOE Hydrogen Program.
These investments will contribute to reducing harmful emissions in towns and cities across the nation, which will be especially advantageous for underprivileged areas that have endured disproportionately high levels of local air pollution for far too long. Likewise, the Justice40 Initiative of President Biden and the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap of DOE serves as significant pillars supporting the energy justice initiatives of HFTO and the Hydrogen Program.
Several financial assistance grants in the form of cooperative agreements with performance periods ranging from two to five years are anticipated from DOE. Teams of applicants are encouraged by DOE to include representatives from national laboratories, industry, and academia. Teams are also urged to include representatives from a variety of organizations, including those that serve underrepresented groups, labor unions, tribal nations, community colleges, and other organizations linked by Opportunity Zones.
A concept paper phase and a full application phase make up the application process. Full applications are due on July 19, 2023, while concept papers are due on April 19, 2023.