Senators Coons & Cornyn Reintroduce The Bipartisan Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative

Senators Coons & Cornyn Reintroduce The Bipartisan Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative - Carbon Herald
Credit: Scharfsinn | Shutterstock

The development of the hydrogen economy is set to receive support from some fresh new pieces of legislation introduced in Congress on March 2nd. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX) reintroduced a package of four bills that support the adoption of hydrogen technologies in key end-use sectors. 

The package is called the Bipartisan Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative and builds on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Senator Coons helped negotiate and pass into law in November 2021.

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The Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative supports four energy-intensive sectors for which hydrogen is particularly well-suited. The sectors are maritime, trucking, heavy industry, and the infrastructure that is needed to transport hydrogen from where it is produced to where it can be used and stored. 

Senator John Cornyn. Credit: Christopher Halloran | Shutterstock

“I am proud to reintroduce the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, which shows bipartisan support for hydrogen as a promising, low-carbon fuel source and the jobs and economic activity that will follow, and I urge Congress to bolster U.S. leadership in clean energy solutions by swiftly passing these bills,” said Senator Coons. 

The hydrogen projects with highest priority will be those that maximize emissions reductions and deliver the greatest environmental benefits. The package will aim to lower cost barriers and first-mover risks to enable projects and partnerships that will move the US closer to creating a robust hydrogen economy.

“Clean hydrogen is a critical solution for addressing the high-temperature heat needs of the industrial sector and replacing carbon-intensive feedstocks and fuels throughout the economy,” said Gabrielle Habeeb, Project Manager of the Industrial Innovation Initiative.

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The four bills’ summaries are as follows:

  • The Hydrogen for Ports Act the bill will support the demonstration of hydrogen-and-ammonia-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications. Ports are considered to be well-suited early adopters of hydrogen.
  • The Hydrogen for Industry Actthe bill will support commercial-scale demonstration projects for end-use industrial applications of hydrogen, including in the production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals. As industrial processes have specific technical requirements that limit the options for substituting heat sources, decarbonization is difficult. Hydrogen is able to supply reliable, high-temperature heat. It can also serve as a feedstock for production of ammonia, methanol, or other bulk chemicals.
  • The Hydrogen for Trucks Actit will support the demonstration of heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations while collecting critical data to inform future investments in hydrogen trucking infrastructure. The bill aims to lower cost barriers and reduce risk for fleet operators interested in adopting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
  • The Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA)it would create a pilot financing program to provide grants and flexible, low-interest loans for retrofitted or new hydrogen transport infrastructure projects. HIFIA will also include a study to address outstanding questions related to technical requirements for transporting and storing hydrogen as well as an assessment of jurisdiction over siting, construction, safety, and regulation for hydrogen transport infrastructure.

The Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative is endorsed by the following market participants: RMI, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Action, Clean Air Task Force, ClearPath Action, Third Way, the University of Delaware, Industrial Innovation Initiative, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, AltaSea, CALSTART, Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Cummins, Nikola, LanzaTech, Fortescue Future Industries, Linde, Air Liquide, Bloom Energy, Air Products, Chemours, Hy Stor Energy, PDC Machines, ENGIE, and Baker Hughes.

  1. For the naysayers out there, consider this: “At [60 miles] distance, it costs more per energy unit to transport electricity than to carry hydrogen via pipeline.”

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