- Energy Department opens up $7 billion to regional hubs
- Focus on production from fossil fuel, renewables, nuclear
The U.S. Department of Energy has opened applications for the $7 billion program to create regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) across the country, which will form a critical arm of America’s future clean energy economy, reports Bloomberg Law.
Clean energy investments
As part of a larger $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the H2Hubs will be a central driver in helping communities across the country benefit from clean energy investments, good-paying jobs, and improved energy security – all while supporting President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
“These H2Hubs are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lay the foundation for the clean hydrogen future President Biden is building—one that will lift our economy, protect the planet, and improve our health,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.
“With input from America’s brightest scientists, engineers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs, this national hydrogen strategy will help us accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to realize the full potential of clean hydrogen energy for generations to come.”
Achieving carbon-free grid
Hydrogen is a versatile fuel that can be produced from clean, diverse, and domestic energy resources, including wind, solar, and nuclear energy, or by using methane while capturing resulting carbon to reduce emissions. Its unique characteristics make it a strong option to decarbonize energy-intensive heavy industry and support heavy-duty transportation. Hydrogen’s flexibility makes it an important component of President Biden’s strategy to achieve a carbon-free grid by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
The H2Hubs will be one of the largest investments in DOE history. Funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations with support from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, they are a critical component of the Administration’s commitment to invest in America’s workforce, jumpstart local economic growth, and create good-paying, union jobs as we build a clean energy economy, improve energy security, and tackle climate change.
Addressing environmental justice and engaging local communities, particularly historically disadvantaged and underserved communities that have disproportionately borne the brunt of past energy practices, are fundamental priorities of DOE’s approach to developing H2Hubs.
Community Benefits Plan
Projects funded under this funding opportunity are expected to include a Community Benefits Plan to:
- Support meaningful community and labor engagement;
- Invest in America’s workforce;
- Advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and
- Contribute to the President’s goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities.
For this initial funding opportunity launch, DOE is aiming to select six to ten hubs for a combined total of up to $7 billion in federal funding. Concept papers are due by November 7, 2022, and full applications are due by April 7, 2023. Additional funding opportunities may follow to accelerate and expand the network of clean hydrogen projects.
As part of the Department’s commitment to accelerating the national deployment of clean hydrogen fuel, DOE also released a draft of the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap for public feedback.
National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap
The Roadmap provides a comprehensive overview of the potential for hydrogen production, transport, storage, and use in the United States and outlines how clean hydrogen can contribute to national decarbonization and economic development goals. A final version of the strategy and roadmap will be released in the coming months and updated at least every three years.
This historic funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is complemented by new incentives in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act for clean hydrogen produced with prevailing wages and apprenticeship requirements.
Together, these transformational laws accelerate the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to building the clean energy technologies of the future, growing clean energy jobs, protecting workers and boosting American manufacturing.
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Source: Bloomberg Law