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Biden Administration Releases Clean Hydrogen Roadmap

The administration of President Joseph Biden released a strategy and roadmap that aims to provide a framework for accelerating the production, processing, delivery, storage, and use of clean hydrogen.

The commercial scale deployment of hydrogen fuel produced by zero or low emission technologies is “critical to building a strong clean energy economy while enabling our long-term decarbonization objectives,” the Biden administration said in a statement.

The U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap provides a snapshot of current hydrogen production, transport, storage, and use and a plan for how clean hydrogen will contribute to national decarbonization goals across multiple sectors.

The roadmap is informed by demand scenarios that project opportunities for the uptake of 10 million metric tonnes of clean hydrogen annually by 2030, 20 MMT annually by 2040, and 50 MMT annually by 2050.

The use of clean hydrogen has the potential to reduce emissions in the United States by about 10 percent by 2050 relative to 2005, according to the roadmap. And third party analysis, as reported in a Department of Energy report, estimates that by 2030, the hydrogen economy could result in 100,000 net new direct and indirect jobs from the build-out of new capital projects and clean hydrogen infrastructure.

The roadmap identifies three key strategies:

  • targeting strategic, high-impact uses for clean hydrogen where limited alternatives exist such as the industrial sector, heavy-duty transportation, and long-duration energy storage;
  • reducing the cost of clean hydrogen by catalyzing innovation and scale, stimulating private sector investments, and developing the clean hydrogen supply chain, and
  • focusing on regional networks with large-scale clean hydrogen production and end-use in close proximity.

The Biden administration said the roadmap complements the $9.5 billion investment for clean hydrogen authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as the production tax credit for clean hydrogen contained in the Inflation Reduction Act.

In February 2022, the Department of Energy began the process for developing a national clean hydrogen infrastructure under the infrastructure law, including $8 billion in funding for regional clean hydrogen hubs, $1 billion for clean hydrogen electrolysis, and $500 million for clean hydrogen manufacturing and recycling initiatives.

Since then, multiple groups have applied for funding of proposed clean hydrogen hubs, including consortiums in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest.