Clean hydrogen energy has the potential to decarbonize many of the world’s most important economic sectors that also emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, like heavy-duty transportation and agriculture, create jobs and help advance state and federal climate goals.
Currently, hydrogen production is carbon-intensive and primarily uses natural gas. Hydrogen hubs will accelerate the large-scale production of carbon-free hydrogen using electricity sources like renewables and locating production facilities near industrial end users. Read our “How is clean hydrogen produced?” blog post to learn more about producing hydrogen using renewable energy sources.
Historic federal program unlocking the promise of clean hydrogen
President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $8 billion in federal funding to create regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) nationwide through the U.S. Department of Energy.
In a news release announcing the H2Hubs program, U.S. Energy Secretary Granholm underscored the historic nature of the program, which is one of DOE’s largest investments ever.
“These H2Hubs are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lay the foundation for the clean hydrogen future President Biden is building – one that will lift our economy, protect the planet, and improve our health,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With input from America’s brightest scientists, engineers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs, this national hydrogen strategy will help us accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to realize the full potential of clean hydrogen energy for generations to come.”
Using a comprehensive application process, DOE anticipates selecting six to 10 hydrogen hubs by the end of 2023, with a potential investment of up to $1 billion per hub.
The selected regional hydrogen hubs will form the foundation of a national clean hydrogen network.
Hydrogen Hubs will benefit communities
In its regional clean hydrogen hubs funding opportunity announcement, DOE requires applicants to submit a Community Benefits Plan to ensure the projects receiving federal investments will :
- Support meaningful community and labor engagement
- Invest in America’s workforce
- Advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility
- Contribute to President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative (40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities)
DOE will select proposals that prioritize long-term employment and opportunities for the region and address hydrogen electricity feedstocks, end uses, and geographic diversity.
Watch this DOE Office of Efficiency & Renewable Energy video to learn more about regional clean hydrogen hubs.
Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNWH2 Hub)
The nonprofit Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association is leading a regional effort to secure DOE H2Hubs funding to create a hydrogen hub in the Pacific Northwest called the PNWH2 Hub. In the announcement, Washington Governor Jay Inslee shared his thoughts about the effort to develop a clean hydrogen proposal.
“We aim to lead. The Pacific Northwest unquestionably occupies a prime position for developing and deploying a green hydrogen hub capable of tackling the biggest challenges – decarbonizing industrial sectors of our economy such as heavy transportation, aviation, steel and more,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.