US issues first-ever National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap

The Biden-Harris Administration has released the US National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, a framework for accelerating the production, processing, delivery, storage and use of clean hydrogen.

DOE informed that the framework provides a snapshot of hydrogen production, transport, storage and use in the US today as well as a vision for how clean hydrogen will contribute to national decarbonisation goals across multiple sectors in the future.

More specifically, it examines future demand scenarios, with strategic opportunities for the domestic production of 10 million metric tonnes (MMT) of clean hydrogen annually by 2030, 20 MMT annually by 2040 and 50 MMT annually by 2050, and complements a $9.5 billion investment for clean hydrogen through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ongoing research and development efforts across the federal government, as well as strong policy incentives, including a new production tax credit for clean hydrogen in the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Strategy and Roadmap identifies three key strategies to ensure that clean hydrogen is developed and adopted as an effective decarbonisation tool, DOE shared. Those are:

  • Targeting strategic, high-impact uses for clean hydrogen, which are expected to ensure that clean hydrogen will be utilised in the highest benefit applications where limited alternatives exist.
  • Reducing the cost of clean hydrogen by catalysing innovation and scale, stimulating private sector investments and developing the clean hydrogen supply chain.
  • Focusing on regional networks with large-scale clean hydrogen production and end-use in close proximity, enabling maximum benefit from infrastructure investment, driving scale, and facilitating market liftoff while leveraging place-based opportunities for equity, inclusion and environmental justice.

DOE also noted that the framework, developed in partnership with other federal agencies, was designed to be a “living document” and will be updated at least every three years. The draft form of the framework was released for public comment in September 2022.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said: “Accelerating the deployment of hydrogen is key to achieving President Biden’s vision for an affordable, secure clean energy future.”

Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi added: “President Biden understands that growing America’s clean hydrogen capability can spur good-paying union jobs, support local economic development and help decarbonise industries long seen as ‘hard to decarbonise.’”

To note, according to DOE’s Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Clean Hydrogen report, America’s hydrogen economy has the potential to add 100,000 net new direct and indirect jobs by 2030.

In March this year, the Biden-Harris Administration, through DOE, announced the availability of $750 million for research, development and demonstration efforts to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen.

The funding launched the first tranche of implementation of two provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorises $1 billion for research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen produced via electrolysis and $500 million for research, development, and demonstration of improved processes and technologies for manufacturing and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials.

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