Department of Energy pumps $750M into 52 projects to cut clean hydrogen costs

Published on March 15, 2024 by Chris Galford

© Shutterstock

In a boost to the United States hydrogen industry, the Biden administration recently announced $750 million for 52 projects aimed at advancing electrolysis technologies, improving manufacturing and recycling for clean hydrogen, and adding jobs.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is propelling an American-led clean hydrogen economy that is delivering good-paying, high-quality jobs and accelerating a manufacturing renaissance in communities across America,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “The projects announced today—funded by the President’s Investing in America agenda—will supercharge our progress and ensure our leadership in clean hydrogen will be felt across the nation for generations to come.”

The projects span 24 states, with a heavy focus on cost cutting and backing large-scale deployments. The DOE noted that when finished, they should allow U.S. manufacturing capacity to produce as much as 14 GW of fuel cells and 10 GW of electrolyzers per year, power 15 percent of medium and heavy-duty trucks sold each year, and produce 1.3 million tons of clean hydrogen annually.

These investments will complement Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, the DOE’s Hydrogen Program and tax incentives debuted in the Inflation Reduction Act. All told, the DOE eventually hopes to reduce the cost of producing clean hydrogen to $1 per kilogram.

The investments will be backed by recipient cost-sharing, pushing their total value to $1.6 billion. In all, the DOE reported it could result in more than 1,500 new jobs directly and thousands more jobs indirectly created by resulting economic activity. Projects ranged from electrolyzer manufacturing to electrolyzer supply chain investments, electrolyzer components, fuel cell manufacturing, fuel cell supply chains and a recycling consortium by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Some states – like California, Michigan and Texas – had multiple participants, but individual projects spanned many other states as well.

“This investment will create hundreds of good-paying jobs, bring millions of dollars to our local economy, and keep Michigan at the forefront of clean energy innovation and technology,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said. “Green hydrogen is one of the most promising technologies in the transition to a clean energy future, and will support the industries that have long been central to our state, from mobility to manufacturing.”