The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) announced today funding of $52.5 million to a series of projects aiming to advance next-generation clean hydrogen technologies.

According to the DOE, the announcement supports its recently announced Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative, which aims to dramatically reduce the cost and increase the accessibility of clean hydrogen, unlocking new markets for hydrogen, including steel manufacturing, clean ammonia, energy storage, and heavy-duty trucks.

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Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, given its ability to act both as a clean energy carrier and fuel, as well as a CO2-neutral feedstock for the production of green chemicals. Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, however, there are no pure hydrogen deposits on earth, and it must be extracted from other materials. The extraction process often creates pollutants and GHG emissions. Significant investments are required to develop clean extraction processes, such as green hydrogen, which uses a renewable energy-powered electrolysis process to extract hydrogen from water, or blue hydrogen, which converts natural gas into hydrogen and CO₂, which is then captured and permanently stored.

The DOE funding will help finance 31 projects, focused on bridging technical gaps in hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and utilization technologies including fuel cells for the decarbonization of the electricity sector by 2035 and the creation of well-paid jobs across the hydrogen sector. Key areas of the projects include electrolysis, clean hydrogen production, fuel cell subsystems and components, and hydrogen supply chains, among others.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, said:

“Part of our path to a net-zero carbon future means investing in innovation to make clean energy sources like hydrogen more affordable and widely adopted so we can reach our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. These projects will put us one step closer to unlocking the scientific advancements needed to create a strong domestic supply chain and good-paying jobs in the emerging clean hydrogen industry.”