DOE announces $750M funding opportunity for projects that lower cost of clean hydrogen

Published on March 17, 2023 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made $750 million available for research and development on reducing the cost of clean hydrogen.

Clean hydrogen, produced with net-zero carbon emissions, is a key pillar in the emerging clean energy economy and will be essential for reaching President Joe Biden’s goal of a 100 percent clean electrical grid by 2035 with net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

“Making clean hydrogen from abundant renewable energy provides America with yet another incredibly powerful fuel for many different applications, from low emissions use in the construction and manufacturing industries to energy storage to powering our cars and trucks,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “Thanks to new funding from President Biden’s historic clean energy laws, DOE is accelerating our effort to make this exciting and versatile fuel market-ready within a decade—supercharging America’s drive towards an affordable and secure, clean energy economy.”

This funding opportunity is the first tranche of implementation of two provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorizes $1 billion for research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen produced via electrolysis. It also provides $500 million for research, development, and demonstration of improved processes and technologies for manufacturing and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials.

The projects funded through this initiative will be managed by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO). The goal is to address underlying technical barriers to cost reduction that cannot be overcome by scale alone. Further, cost reductions will open new markets for clean hydrogen. The investments are designed to help the DOE achieve its Hydrogen Shot goal of being able to produce $1 per kilogram of clean hydrogen within a decade. 

The DOE encourages applicant teams from academia, industry, and national laboratories across multiple technical disciplines. Teams are also encouraged to include representation from diverse entities such as minority-serving institutions, labor unions, tribal nations, community colleges, and other entities connected through Opportunity Zones.  

The application process involves two phases: a concept paper phase and a full application phase. Concept papers are due on April 19, while full applications are due on July 19.