The US Department of Energy has announced initiatives and funding opportunities for clean hydrogen worth more than $28 million as President Joe Biden's administration seeks to boost the nation's production capacity for the fuel.
The DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy released a notice of intent to issue funding for the analysis of clean hydrogen potential with the stated goal to cut the cost of clean hydrogen, create jobs and address climate change.
The department also announced $20 million in funding to a project demonstrating technology that will produce hydrogen from nuclear power.
The Arizona-based project is said to directly contribute to the DoE’s Hydrogen Earthshot Initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen produced from renewable energy to $1 per kilogramme by 2030.
The pink hydrogen project, led by PNW Hydrogen, will use nuclear energy to produce hydrogen for electricity and industrial processes.
The project is set to receive $12 million from the DoE's Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technologies Office and $8 million from the Office of Nuclear Energy.
Sunita Satyapal, director of the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technologies Office, says there are opportunities to catalyse the hydrogen market through its funding opportunities.
“We still really have to get the cost down and address the infrastructure, so I think the strategy is really important now to continue the cost reduction,” Satyapal says.
“But we have to also accelerate the pace and the scale of adoption and deployment.”
The department also announced $8 million in funding for cooperative research and development agreements for hydrogen, most of which involve the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University in Houston, says development of the US hydrogen market will likely be driven by economic policy, but that more money could be appropriated to the DoE Loan Programs Office to help de-risk the industry.
The energy department is involved in other partnerships designed to further its hydrogen efforts, including last year's launch of the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck and the H2NEW consortium to advance hydrogen production research and development.
The programmes were part of the department’s intention to invest up to $100 million in five years to reduce the cost of fuel cells for trucks and electrolysers for hydrogen production.
The most recent funding announcements were timed to coincide with Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day on 8 October, a date chosen to reflect hydrogen’s atomic weight of 10.08 atomic mass units.