DOE Funding Opportunity Targets Clean Hydrogen Technologies

The Department of Energy recently announced up to $47 million in funding to accelerate the research, development, and demonstration of affordable clean hydrogen technologies.

The funding, which is being administered by the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, is focused on the research, development, and demonstration of hydrogen delivery and storage technologies, as well as affordable and durable fuel cell technologies.

Clean hydrogen, which is produced with zero or near-zero emissions, can play a role in reducing emissions from some of the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy, including industrial and chemical processes and heavy-duty transportation, but while hydrogen technologies have come a long way, costs and other challenges to at-scale adoption need to be addressed for clean hydrogen to realize its full potential, the DOE said.

The DOE said the fuel cell projects should focus on applications for heavy duty trucks that have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate tailpipe emissions that are harmful to local air quality.

The DOE said those efforts will work in concert with hydrogen-related activities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs and an upcoming funding opportunity for research, development, and demonstration projects to advance electrolysis technologies and improve the manufacturing and recycling of critical components and materials.

Last February, the DOE announced two requests for information to collect feedback from stakeholders to inform the implementation and design of the infrastructure law’s Regional Hydrogen Hub and the Electrolysis and Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Programs.

The DOE said the aim of the funded projects is to reduce costs, enhance hydrogen infrastructure, and improve the performance of hydrogen fuel cells in order to advance the goal of the agency’s Hydrogen Shot program, which is to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per kilogram within a decade.

Achieving those cost reductions will accelerate the use of clean hydrogen across multiple sectors and strengthen the nation’s energy security while supporting the Biden administration’s goals of a 100 percent clean electric grid by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, the DOE said.

The DOE said it would provide financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements, and the estimated performance period for each award would be approximately two to four years.

The DOE is encouraging applicant teams that include stakeholders within academia, industry, and national laboratories across multiple technical disciplines, as well as teams that include representation from diverse entities such as minority serving institutions, labor unions, and community colleges.