US Department of Energy unveils $8 billion clean hydrogen programme

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has rolled out an $8 billion programme to develop regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) across America.

According to the DOE, the H2Hubs will create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier. 

It added that the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen, including innovative uses in the industrial sector, is crucial to its strategy for achieving President Biden’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Today, the US 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 US 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 country. This technology could produce hydrogen using clean electricity from renewable energy including solar, wind and from nuclear power.

“Hydrogen energy has the power to slash emissions from multiple carbon-intensive sectors and open a world of economic opportunity to clean energy businesses and workers across the country,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

“These hydrogen hubs will make significant progress towards President Biden’s vision for a resilient grid that is powered by clean energy and built by American workers.”

The DOE said that the hydrogen technology investments, which stem from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are a major component of Biden’s plan to decarbonise the industrial sector, which accounts for a third of domestic carbon emissions.

The DOE noted that hydrogen energy has the potential to decarbonise multiple economic sectors, including heavy-duty transportation and steel manufacturing, create well-paid jobs, and pave the way towards a grid powered by clean energy resources.