US in $7 billion hydrogen hubs boost

The United States has announced it is to invest $7 billion into seven regional clean hydrogen hubs to accelerate the domestic market for low-cost, clean hydrogen.

The programme was announced by US president Biden and energy secretary Jennifer Granholm with the president explaining advancing clean hydrogen is essential to achieving his vision of a strong clean energy economy that strengthens energy security, bolsters domestic manufacturing, creates healthier communities, and delivers new jobs and economic opportunities across the nation.

The seven selected regional clean hydrogen hubs will catalyse more than $40 billion in private investment and create tens of thousands of jobs – bringing the total public and private investment in hydrogen hubs to nearly $50 billion. Roughly two-thirds of total project investment are associated with green (electrolysis based) production, within the hubs. Several of the hubs were developed in close partnerships with unions, with three requiring project labour agreements (PLAs). In addition to job creation and creating healthier air for communities, Biden said the hydrogen selected hubs are committed to robust Community Benefit Plans to ensure local priorities are at the forefront and all communities share in the benefits of the clean energy transition.

“Collectively, the hubs aim to produce more than three million metric tons of clean hydrogen per year, thereby achieving nearly one third of the 2030 US clean hydrogen production goal,” Biden explained. “Together, the seven Hydrogen Hubs will eliminate 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from end uses each year—an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of over 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars. The nearly $50 billion investment is one of the largest investments in clean manufacturing and jobs in history.

“Clean hydrogen can reduce emissions in many sectors of the economy and is especially important for hard-to-decarbonise sectors and industrial processes, such as heavy-duty transportation and chemical, steel, and cement manufacturing. Targeted investments in these areas can help reduce costs, make new breakthroughs, and create jobs for American engineers, manufacturing workers, construction workers, and others.”

The hubs selected for negotiation include:

  • Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub  -Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2); Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey.
  • Appalachian Hydrogen Hub – Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2); West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania.
  • California Hydrogen Hub – Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES); California.
  • Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub  – HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub; Texas.
  • Heartland Hydrogen Hub -Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
  • Midwest Hydrogen Hub – Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2); Illinois, Indiana, Michigan.
  • Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub PNW H2; Washington, Oregon, Montana.

The president added: “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring safe hydrogen deployment and mitigating potential social, economic, technical, and environmental risks. The hubs are covered under the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalised by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. Hubs have also submitted detailed Community Benefits Plans, including how the project performers will transparently communicate, eliminate, mitigate, and minimise risks.”