US DOE announces RFIs for clean hydrogen initiatives

21 February 2022

The US 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 Programmes. This request will help accelerate progress, reduce technology cost, and ramp up the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.  

“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 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 decarbonise the industrial sector, which accounts for a third of domestic carbon emissions. Hydrogen energy has the potential to decarbonise 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. Currently, the US produces about 10 million metric tons of hydrogen annually, compared with approximately 90 million tonnes produced   globally. While most of the hydrogen comes from natural gas through steam methane reforming, electrolysis technology, which uses electricity to produce hydrogen from water, is an emerging pathway that 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 Programme 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 programmes, DOE said.  

Topics under the Hydrogen Hubs Implementation Strategy?RFI?include: solicitation process,?funding opportunity announcement  structure, and implementation strategy; equity, environmental and energy justice  and?priorities; and market adoption and sustainability of the?hydrogen?hubs. 

Topics under the Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing, Recycling,?and Electrolysis RFI include: manufacturing?and supply chain of?clean hydrogen equipment and components; approaches?to recycle?hydrogen end use technologies including fuel cells; and development, testing and integration?of?electrolysers. 

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