The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced its intent to issue $750 MM in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to dramatically reduce the cost of clean-H2 technologies. The funding is a crucial component of the Administration’s comprehensive approach to accelerating the widespread use of clean H2 and will play a vital role in supporting commercial-scale H2 deployment. Produced with net-zero carbon emissions, clean H2 is a key pillar in the emerging clean energy economy and will be essential for achieving the President’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Today’s announcement is yet another exciting step toward lowering the cost of and scaling-up clean H2 production, a versatile fuel essential to the nation’s historic transition to an equitable and secure clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By investing in the cutting-edge research and development necessary to making market-ready clean H2 a reality, DOE is delivering on President Biden’s promise to implement an ambitious climate agenda.”
Clean H2—which is produced with zero or next-to-zero emissions from renewables, nuclear energy, or natural gas with carbon sequestration—is set to play a vital future role in reducing emissions from some of the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors of our economy, including industrial and chemical processes and heavy-duty transportation. Clean H2 can also support the expansion of renewable power by providing a means for long-duration energy storage and offers flexibility and multiple revenue streams to all types of clean power generation—including today’s nuclear fleet, advanced nuclear, and other innovative technologies. By enabling diverse, domestic clean-energy pathways across multiple sectors of the economy, H2 will strengthen American energy independence, resiliency, and security. While H2 technologies have come a long way over the last several years, costs and other challenges to at-scale adoption need to be addressed for clean H2 to realize its full potential.
Together with the regional clean H2 hubs (H2Hubs), tax incentives in the President’s Inflation Reduction Act, and ongoing research, development, and demonstration in the DOE H2 Program, these investments will accelerate the technical advances and scale-up needed to achieve DOE’s H2 Shot goal of $1/kg of clean H2 within a decade.
Managed by DOE’s H2 and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), projects funded through this opportunity will address underlying technical barriers to cost reduction that can’t be overcome by scale alone and ensure emerging commercial-scale deployments will be viable with future lower-cost, higher-performing technology. Reaching cost reduction goals will open new markets for clean H2—creating more clean energy jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthening America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy market.
By enabling a sustainable clean-H2 economy, these investments will help reduce harmful air pollution and decarbonize some of the economy’s most polluting sectors—including chemical and industrial processes and heavy transportation. Reducing emissions in these sectors will be especially beneficial for disadvantaged communities that have suffered disproportionately from local air pollution in the past. Additionally, DOE’s National Clean H2 Strategy and Roadmap and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative serve as important pillars driving the energy justice efforts by HFTO and the H2 Program.