DOE Funds Clean Hydrogen Advancement Projects


The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that it has awarded almost $34 million to 19 industry- and university-led projects on clean hydrogen.

According to the DOE's release, the funding will help these projects as they work to make clean hydrogen a more available and affordable fuel for electricity generation, industrial decarbonization and transportation.  

About the Research

The release says that electricity generated from clean hydrogen will work towards the Biden administration’s goal of achieving a zero-carbon American power sector by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

“Clean hydrogen is one of our most versatile tools to slash emissions and forge a carbon-free pathway for a sustainable clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With today’s announcements, DOE is supporting the continued advancement of clean hydrogen technology making it cheaper to produce and easier to deploy, all while creating good-paying jobs in the process.”

Clean hydrogen can reportedly be produced from zero-emissions electricity generated by wind, solar, geothermal and nuclear, as well as from the conversion of leak-tight natural gas as “sustainably sourced biomass with carbon capture and storage.” This clean fuel, the released explains, can be used in a fuel cell or a gas turbine to create electricity with only water and heat as byproducts.

According to the DOE, over 95% of the roughly 10 million metric tons of hydrogen produced in the U.S. comes from natural gas without the capture and geologic storage of carbon dioxide. This reportedly results in the release of significant emissions and is why advancing clean hydrogen production is important in addressing climate change.

The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), under the supervision of the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), will reportedly manage the selected projects, which include:

  • Developing technologies that could help produce clean hydrogen at lower cost and with less energy;
  • Exploring ways to produce hydrogen using biomass, effluent waters from oil and natural gas development and production and other wastes; and
  • Expanding options for safe and efficient hydrogen transport and storage across the nation. 

The FECM has also reportedly announced investments of over $122 million in 72 projects since January 2021 to explore new, clean methods of producing hydrogen, as well as improving the performance of hydrogen-fueled turbines.

The projects will reportedly support the DOE’s Hydrogen Shot Initiative, which looks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram in one decade to grow new, clean hydrogen pathways in the U.S. 

Also outlined in the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, achieving commercial-scale hydrogen deployment is critical to building a “strong clean energy economy” in the country, while enabling long-term decarbonization objectives.

According to the release, recent estimates indicate that the country’s growing hydrogen economy has the potential to add 100,000 net new direct and indirect jobs by 2030.

The DOE adds that priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction and critical minerals production.

A list of the projects selected for funding can be found here.

Previous News

In May, the DOE announced $251 million in funding for 12 projects to expand carbon dioxide transportation and storage infrastructure. The projects would reportedly be funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law to help reduce CO2 emissions from power generation and industrial opportunities. 

According to the release, these projects would also provide new economic opportunities and help the administration achieve a goal of having a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. Additionally, the DOE announced a five-year $2.25 billion funding opportunity for the “continuous development of commercial-scale carbon storage infrastructure.”

A total of nine projects, totaling $242 million, were selected to support the development of new, expanded and large-scale carbon storage projects. Each project reportedly had the capacity to store 50 or more million metric tons of CO2.

The projects were anticipated to focus on Phase 3 of the Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM)’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative. All applicants were required to submit Community Benefits Plans in order to detail how the project will advance quality jobs, environmental justice and community partnership.

A few of the projects awarded funding included:

  • BP Corporation North America Inc. (Houston) will focus on the characterization and permitting of two commercial-scale storage sites along the Texas Gulf Coast with the capacity to ultimately store up to 15 million metric tons of CO2 per year ($33,411,193);
  • University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (Grand Forks, North Dakota) intends to complete site characterization and permitting efforts for a CO2 storage hub in central North Dakota, with CO2 to be sourced from electric generation and ethanol production and about 200 million metric tons of total CO2 storage capacity ($38,148,520); and
  • University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyoming) plans to advance a commercial, multi-source, large-scale carbon capture and storage hub in Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming, with CO2 sourced from trona mining and direct air capture facilities ($40,504,935).

To perform detailed engineering design studies for the regional CO2 pipeline networks, three projects were selected for a total of $9 million in funding, including:

  • Carbon Solutions LLC (Okemos, Michigan) will perform a study for a commercial-scale, statewide pipeline system capable of transporting up to 120 million metric tons of CO2 per year building primarily on portions of the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative ($3,000,000);
  • Howard Midstream Energy Partners LLC (San Antonio) will perform a study for a system capable of moving up to 250 million metric tons of CO2 per year from multiple sources to multiple storage locations on the Gulf Coast from the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas to the Mississippi River ($3,000,000);
  • Southern States Energy Board (Peachtree Corners, Georgia) will perform a study for a regional-scale CO2 transport system in the Houston-Galveston region along the Texas Gulf Coast to move at least 8 million metric tons of CO2 per year ($3,000,000).

These studies reportedly helped develop methods for efficient and safe transportation of captured CO2 from sources like power plants, ethanol facilities and other industrial operations. The focus was primarily on “carbon transport costs, transport network configurations, and technical and commercial considerations that support broad efforts to develop and deploy carbon capture, conversion, and storage at commercial scale.”

The DOE had also announced the re-opening of its $2.25 billion Carbon Storage Validation and Testing funding opportunity, which had been modified to fit a broader scope of applicants.

The modifications included the allowance of storage complex feasibility, in addition to the site characterization, permitting and construction stages of product development. The opportunity also reportedly expanded the definition of large-scale storage and allowed for additional storage options.

Applicants were required to explain how projects would deliver economic and environmental benefits to decrease negative impacts; conduct community and stakeholder agreement; incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and promote workforce development and quality jobs.

Emphasizing engagement with communities, the selected projects were required to develop and implement strategies to ensure community and worker benefits. Applications were due by July 6.


Tagged categories: Carbon footprint; Emissions; Energy efficiency; Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Funding; Government; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Research; Research and development; Technology; U.S. Department of Energy

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