On August 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) revealed its allocation of nearly $34 million to fund 19 research projects led by industry and universities to accelerate technology advancements that will make clean hydrogen more accessible and affordable as a fuel for electricity generation, industrial decarbonization, and transportation. The utilization of clean hydrogen in power generation aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious goals of achieving a zero-carbon American power sector by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

The DOE announced the allocation of nearly $34 million to support 19 research projects led by industry and universities. These endeavors aim to advance groundbreaking technology solutions, fostering the accessibility and affordability of clean hydrogen as a fuel for electricity generation, industrial decarbonization, and transportation. This commitment underscores the growing significance of hydrogen as a pivotal component in the transition towards a sustainable, clean energy future. Moreover, these developments align with DOE’s Hydrogen Shot initiative, seeking to substantially reduce clean hydrogen costs and stimulate new pathways for its production in the United States.

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the significance of clean hydrogen as a versatile tool to reduce emissions and pave the way for a sustainable clean energy future. The DOE’s funding initiatives aim to facilitate the progress of clean hydrogen technology, making production more cost-effective and deployment more feasible, all while generating employment opportunities.

S1 GRANHOLM 5423 Future Headlines
Jennifer M. Granholm
Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

Hydrogen serves as a clean fuel that, when used in fuel cells or gas turbines, generates electricity with water and heat as its only byproducts. Clean hydrogen production can stem from emissions-free sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear, as well as through the conversion of airtight natural gas and sustainably sourced biomass with carbon capture and storage. Despite the potential of clean hydrogen, the current scenario reveals that over 95% of the United States’ hydrogen production, totaling around 10 million metric tons, originates from natural gas without capturing and storing carbon dioxide, resulting in significant emissions. Hence, the advancement of clean hydrogen production is pivotal in addressing the challenges of climate change.

By unveiling recent selections, Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has made investments exceeding $122 million across 72 projects since January 2021. These projects are aimed at exploring innovative and environmentally friendly techniques for hydrogen production and enhancing the efficiency of hydrogen-fueled turbines. These endeavors align with the DOE’s Hydrogen Shot initiative, which aims to substantially reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80%, achieving $1 per 1 kilogram within a decade. This initiative aims to establish novel pathways for clean hydrogen development within the United States.

The U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap underline the significance of achieving widespread commercial-scale hydrogen deployment, serving as a cornerstone for cultivating a robust clean energy economy in the country while facilitating long-term decarbonization objectives. Projections indicate that the expanding hydrogen economy in the U.S. has the potential to generate around 100,000 net new direct and indirect employment opportunities by the year 2030.

The DOE’s initiatives reflect a growing recognition of hydrogen’s role in achieving ambitious climate goals, as it emerges as a versatile and clean energy carrier. As the world moves towards cleaner energy alternatives, the DOE’s investments and strategic efforts underscore the importance of hydrogen in driving innovation, job creation, and the transition to a more sustainable energy landscape.

Writing by Moe Khaled; Editing by Sarah White