The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced two Requests for Information (RFI) to collect feedback from stakeholders to inform the implementation and design of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Regional Hydrogen Hub and the Electrolysis and Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Programs.
This request will help accelerate progress, reduce technology cost, and ramp up the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier. Clean hydrogen is crucial to DOE’s strategy for achieving President Biden’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Clean hydrogen is key to cleaning up American manufacturing and slashing emissions from carbon-intensive materials like steel and cement while creating good-paying jobs for American workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “We’re seeking feedback from the American public on how to make scaling up this clean, affordable energy source a reality for the United States.”
The hydrogen technology investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are a major component of President Biden’s plan to decarbonize the industrial sector, which accounts for a third of domestic carbon emissions. Hydrogen energy has the potential to decarbonize multiple economic sectors, including heavy-duty transportation and steel manufacturing, create good paying jobs, and pave the way towards a grid powered by clean energy resources. Today, the U.S. produces about 10 million metric tons of hydrogen annually, compared to approximately 90 million tonnes produced per year globally.
While most of the hydrogen produced in the U.S. comes from natural gas through steam methane reforming, electrolysis technology, which uses electricity to produce hydrogen from water, is an emerging pathway with dozens of installations across the U.S. This technology could allow for the production of hydrogen using clean electricity from renewable energy including solar, wind, and nuclear power.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will create jobs to expand use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.
The RFIs will gather input from a diverse range of stakeholders, including regional leaders, local groups, environmental justice community members, researchers, technology developers, businesses among others to inform the design of clean hydrogen programs.
This feedback will also inform the effective, just, and sustainable deployment of technologies that will enable a safe climate future, with particular attention to including historically marginalized communities in the decision-making process.