Earlier this week the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will be making a $1 billion investment commitment for developing hydrogen production projects and guaranteeing sales of clean hydrogen on the market which is still in its infancy.
The initiative is part of the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program, which has the ambitious goal of creating 10 regional hubs across the country.
In a bid to replicate the success of the photovoltaic industry, this program – funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – will assist in laying the groundwork for a nationwide clean hydrogen infrastructure to reduce emissions in industries that need the largest amounts of energy.
This strategic alliance is expected to address the issues currently delaying sector development, especially the challenge of market certainty for clean hydrogen. It will essentially creating a guaranteed market for project developers, the initiative is designed to speed up supply generation and seed demand for hydrogen.
The motion is in its initial stage after the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) and a Request for Information (RFI) with the aim of obtaining input from both the private and public sectors regarding the formation of the project.
By the end of 2023 the administration will select six to ten hubs that will benefit from combined funding of up to $7 billion.
Companies like ExxonMobil have identified hydrogen as part of their decarbonization business strategy and have been investing in multiple projects. However some of these projects are focused on blue hydrogen and at this point it hasn’t been confirmed whether they qualify for this particular program.
Production of hydrogen
According to the DOE’s National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap production of hydrogen could reach up to 10 million metric tons by 2030, creating 100,000 jobs in the process. Projections for 2050 say that production could go as high as 50 million metric tons with a fully-fledged industry formed by that time.