US DOE makes multi-million-dollar hydrogen funding announcement

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $42m in funding to advance critical technologies for producing, storing, and deploying clean hydrogen.

22 projects in 14 states are set to benefit from the capital as part of the DOE’s goal to achieve President Biden’s goal to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said the investment is a bold step in addressing hard to decarbonise sectors by working directly with states to make hydrogen an available clean energy source.

In addition to the $42m for hydrogen efforts, the DOE has also announced $17.8m to establish a North American university consortium that will help implement grid resilience programmes to reach a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035.

Clean hydrogen can support the expansion of clean electricity by providing a means for long-duration energy storage and offering flexibility and multiple revenue streams for clean power generation.

Each of the selected projects will be managed by the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office and will advance the Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1/kg by 2031.

The projects will develop technologies for solar fuels, created by harvesting sunlight. They will also demonstrate higher-density and lower-pressure hydrogen storage technologies, lower the costs of hydrogen fuel cells, and improve hydrogen-emissions detection and monitoring.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, adds that the development of solar water splitting technology will scale-up the production of renewable hydrogen fuel.

“Bringing these advanced materials to market will foster greater growth of domestic supply chains for next generation energy production and will provide good paying jobs for future generations of American workers to come,” she said.

To achieve its Hydrogen Shot goal, and the US’ wider decarbonisation efforts, the DOE has dedicated a significant amount of capital to hydrogen research. Back in March, $750m of funding was announced for research and development efforts related to reducing the cost of clean hydrogen.

Read more: Biden-Harris Administration announces $750m to cut clean hydrogen costs

The funding was the first phase of $1.5bn made available in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, dedicated to advancing electrolysis technologies and improving manufacturing and recycling technologies.

And the demand for hydrogen is set to skyrocket. According to gasworld Business Intelligence, hydrogen demand in the US is set to rise exponentially, reaching 700 tonnes per day in 2030 and 6,000 tonnes per day in 2040.

Adding to that, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), recently signed into law, is offering tax credits for low carbon hydrogen production and hydrogen fuel cell-electric vehicles.

Previously described as ‘the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis’ by President Biden, the Act could see producers of clean hydrogen gain up to $3 per kg of tax credits, as well as making up to $7,500 available for new hydrogen-electric vehicles.

Read more: Treasury sets out labour standards to access clean energy incentives

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