The US government will announce on Friday the recipients of $7 billion in federal grants to build regional hydrogen hubs.
The announcement will end months of intense political jockeying between states like California and Pennsylvania for a share of federal funding to put the United States on track to produce 50 million metric tons of clean hydrogen fuel by 2050.
Hydrogen is expected to replace fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal to power factories and other hard-to-decarbonize sectors, such as cement.
The competitive process gave the White House unusual power to play a decisive role and reward allies in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan that could play a major role in President Joe Biden’s re-election in 2024.
The 2021 infrastructure bill – supported by both Democrats and Republicans – allocated up to $7 billion to the initiative, called the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program, which will help fund between 6 and 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs in the United States.
In 2022, 79 applicants submitted letters of interest to the Department of Energy for grants, and by January the ministry had selected 33 teams for the next phase. In many cases, states joined together to submit joint applications.
The centers have many partners from the public and private sectors, and federal grants are expected to unleash a wave of new investments. The government has also earmarked billions of dollars more in subsidies for hydrogen producers through last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Biden is scheduled to travel to Philadelphia on Friday to discuss how his administration is creating jobs through the initiative aimed at a clean energy future. The Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program has the potential to have a significant impact on the US economy and environment. The program could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, boost the economy, and develop a clean hydrogen industry. The program could also position the United States as a leader in clean hydrogen technology.