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DOE Announces $52.5M to Accelerate Clean Hydrogen Projects

July 8, 2021 by TWN Staff
The Intermountain Power Project in Utah is converting from a coal plant to a combined cycle natural gas plant, which will then create a pure form of green hydrogen and transmit it to Los Angeles.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy is spending $52.5 million on 31 projects to advance next-generation clean hydrogen technologies and support DOE’s recently announced Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative to reduce the cost and accelerate breakthroughs in the clean hydrogen sector.

Clean hydrogen is a form of renewable energy that—if made cheaper and easier to produce—can have a major role in supporting President Biden’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis.

“Part of our path to a net-zero carbon future means investing in innovation to make clean energy sources like hydrogen more affordable and widely adopted so we can reach our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

“These projects will put us one step closer to unlocking the scientific advancements needed to create a strong domestic supply chain and good-paying jobs in the emerging clean hydrogen industry,” she said.

Hydrogen is a clean fuel that—when combined with oxygen in a fuel cell—produces electricity with water and heat as by-products. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind.

These qualities make it an attractive fuel option and input for transportation, electricity generation and industrial applications, such as in trucks, buildings, and manufacturing.

These 31 projects will focus on bridging technical gaps in hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization technologies, including fuel cells, thereby paving the way toward decarbonization of the electricity sector by 2035 and creation of good-paying jobs across the hydrogen sector.

“Next-generation hydrogen technologies, including fuel cells, will be critical to addressing the climate crisis and developing new industries here at home,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. “This will help to create and bring back good-paying jobs, and we must continue to innovate and lead in these areas so our nation is not left behind.”

“It’s critical we support an all-of-the-above approach and invest in a variety of technologies, including hydrogen,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. “West Virginia University’s top-notch facilities, students and faculty, and research capacity make it a perfect place to make the most of this investment to develop and accelerate breakthroughs in clean energy.”

“I am excited that Tallgrass Energy has been selected as one of 31 companies to receive federal funding for their next-generation clean energy project. The Kansas Third District is an engine of innovation, and these funds will improve access to carbon-neutral fuel, create good-paying jobs, and help tackle climate change,” said Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan. “Congratulations again to Tallgrass Energy for their selection by the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative, and I look forward to seeing their progress.”

DOE funding includes $36 million from the Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and $16.5 million from the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management .

EERE-supported efforts under this announcement include 19 projects on the following topics:

  • Electrolysis, a process to produce hydrogen using electricity and water, with improved manufacturing methods and streamlined assembly to reduce cost.
  • Clean hydrogen production, including biological and electrochemical approaches.
  • Fuel cell subsystems and components that are more efficient, durable, and designed for heavy-duty applications.
  • Domestic hydrogen supply chain components and refueling technologies.
  • Analyses to assess the cost and performance of fuel cell systems, hydrogen production pathways, and hydrogen storage technologies.

FECM-supported efforts under this announcement include 12 projects on the following topics: 

  • Degradation mechanisms and pathways in high temperature reversible solid oxide cells materials that helps assess metrics about cost, performance, durability.
  • Performance, reliability, and durability for hydrogen production using reversible solid oxide cells systems.
  • Cost reductions via improvements in materials, manufacturing and microstructure improvements in R-SOC technologies for hydrogen production.
  • Initial engineering design of a commercial-scale advanced carbon capture, utilization, and storage system from steam methane reforming plants.
  • Initial engineering design of a commercial-scale advanced CCUS system from autothermal methane reforming plants
  • Development of a gas turbine combustion system for 100% hydrogen fired and mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas.

Learn more about specific selections supported by EERE and by FECM, and how the DOE Hydrogen Program is working to support DOE’s mission to address the climate crisis.

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