Through the US Department of Energy, the Biden-Harris Administration has announced the availability of $750 million for research, development, and demonstration efforts to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen. This funding—the first phase of the $1.5 billion in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is dedicated to advancing electrolysis technologies and improving manufacturing and recycling capabilities.
Serving as one of the main components of the Administration’s comprehensive approach to accelerating the widespread use of clean hydrogen and will help to achieve commercial-scale hydrogen deployment this decade. Produced with net-zero carbon emissions, clean hydrogen is a key pillar in the emerging clean energy economy and will be essential for reaching the President’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.?
Development of Green Hydrogen
“Making clean hydrogen from abundant renewable energy provides America with yet another potent fuel for many different applications, from low-emissions use in the construction and manufacturing industries to energy storage to powering our cars and trucks,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to new funding from President Biden’s historic clean energy laws, DOE is accelerating our effort to make this exciting and versatile fuel market-ready within a decade—supercharging America’s drive towards affordable, secure, clean energy economy.”
This funding launches the first of two provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorizes $1 billion for research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen produced via electrolysis and $500 million for research, development, and demonstration of improved processes and technologies for manufacturing and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials.
Clean hydrogen, which is produced with zero or next-to-zero carbon emissions, is set to play a strong role in reducing emissions from some of the most energy-intensive sectors of our economy, including industrial and chemical processes and heavy-duty transportation. Clean hydrogen can also support the expansion of variable renewable power by providing a means for long-duration energy storage and offers flexibility and multiple revenue streams for all types of clean power generation, including renewables, advanced nuclear, and other innovative technologies. By enabling the development of diverse, domestic clean energy pathways across multiple sectors of the economy, hydrogen development could strengthen American energy independence and accelerate the American manufacturing boom that has already created over 800,000 jobs since President Biden took office.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office
Managed by DOE’s Hydrogen 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 they will ensure that today’s emerging commercial-scale deployments will achieve long-term viability with tomorrow’s lower-cost, higher-performing technology. Reaching cost reduction goals will open new markets for clean hydrogen—creating more clean energy jobs, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness in the global clean energy market.
By enabling a sustainable clean hydrogen economy, these investments will help reduce harmful emissions in communities across the country, which will be especially beneficial for disadvantaged communities that have suffered disproportionately from local air pollution for far too long. Additionally, DOE’s National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative serve as essential pillars driving the energy justice efforts by HFTO and the Hydrogen Program.
DOE envisions granting multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements, with the period of performance being approximately two to five years. DOE encourages applicant teams that include stakeholders within academia, industry, and national laboratories across multiple technical disciplines. Teams are also encouraged to have representation from diverse entities such as minority-serving institutions, labor unions, tribal nations, community colleges, and other entities connected through Opportunity Zones.
The application process will include a Concept Paper phase and a Full Application phase. Concept papers are due on April 19, 2023, and full applications are due on July 19, 2023.