September 26 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced that up to USD 7 billion (EUR 7.2bn) of funding to create regional clean hydrogen hubs is open to applications.
The department is looking to back six to ten hubs with this funding. It is accepting concept papers by November 7, with full applications due by April 7 next year and selected applicants expected to be announced in the autumn of 2023.
The funding opportunity is part of an USD-8-billion hydrogen hub programme authorised by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. DoE said it may launch further funding opportunities to accelerate and expand the hydrogen hub network.
DoE also published a draft of the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap for public feedback. It includes ambitions for 10 million tonnes of clean hydrogen production annually by 2030, 20 million tonnes by 2040 and 50 million tonnes by 2050. The roadmap prioritises three key strategies, namely: target strategic, high-impact uses for clean hydrogen; reduce the cost of clean hydrogen; and focus on regional networks, including regional clean hydrogen hubs.
In June, DoE issued a Notice of Intent to fund the USD-8-billion clean hydrogen hub programme. As outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the programme envisages the development of at least four regional hydrogen hubs. The statutory requirements call for feedstock, end-use and geographic diversity. Under the former, at least one hub should demonstrate the production of clean hydrogen from fossil fuels, one from renewable energy, and one from nuclear energy. According to the funding opportunity announcement, the hubs may feature hydrogen produced using more than one energy resource. The geographic diversity requirement includes at least two hubs being located in regions with abundant natural gas resources.
DoE sees the clean hydrogen hubs, one of the largest investments in its history, as a key part of the country’s future clean energy economy. The programme will aid the Biden administration’s goal of a decarbonised grid by 2035 and a net-zero 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. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm.
Some states have been gearing up to vie for the federal funding available. For instance, a coalition led by New York is working on a bid and recently announced new members. Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming also seek to develop a hub.
In addition to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act will provide incentives for clean hydrogen.
(USD 1 = EUR 1.025)