On October 13 the Department of Energy (DOE) released a list of seven “hubs” intended to spur investment in the production of clean hydrogen.
If you’re catching up on what hydrogen and “clean” or “green” hydrogen are, check out our introductory blog, Hydrogen: A Key Player in the Net-Zero Race.
The concept for these hubs originated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2021, which both created the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) program and provided for almost $10 billion in federal funds for hydrogen development, primarily through the H2Hubs program. The intention behind H2Hubs is not only to promote clean hydrogen production, but also to reduce the cost of this fuel by clustering producers, consumers, and the required distribution infrastructure in specific geographic areas.
Green hydrogen – typically hydrogen produced through renewable-powered electrolysis – has received additional attention in the past year since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passage in the US in August 2022. The IRA’s tax credit to promote green hydrogen (also referred to as 45V) has emerged as one of the major incentives for green hydrogen production in the US, providing up to $3.00/kg of H2 to producers of green hydrogen. Though the recent hydrogen hubs announcement is not formally tied to the IRA tax credits, it’s expected that the entities involved in H2Hubs will seek to leverage the 45V incentives as well.
So what are the hydrogen hubs, and what is their potential impact on the United States’ energy landscape and transition? Each hub is a group of projects that addresses both clean hydrogen production and promoting industry (consumers) usage of that clean hydrogen. Ultimately, this displacement is intended to reduce carbon emissions. Close to 80 consortia comprised of private sector companies, public sector entities, and research and technology leaders participated in a formal application process that resulted in the selection of the seven hydrogen hubs announced on Friday, October 13, 2023. Each hydrogen hub will produce some hydrogen using renewable energy, many will also convert fossil gas to hydrogen (Pivotal180’s blog describing the hydrogen “rainbow”), and several hubs and several hubs plan to also use nuclear power for production. Importantly, the seven hubs are together eligible for up to $7 billion in federal funds, with around $40 billion or more in additional investment expected from the parties comprising the hubs’ consortia.
The seven hubs include:
- Appalachian Hydrogen Hub, or the Appalachian regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2), covering West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania
- California Hydrogen Hub, or the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), covering California
- Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub, or HyVelocity H2Hub, covering Texas
- Heartland Hydrogen Hub, covering Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
- Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub, or the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2), covering Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey
- Midwest Hydrogen Hub, or the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2), covering Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan
- Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub or PNW H2, covering Washington, Oregon, and Montana
Currently, many details of the hubs and their projects remain confidential, but you can learn more from the DOE’s press release: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $7 Billion For America’s First Clean Hydrogen Hubs, Driving Clean Manufacturing and Delivering New Economic Opportunities Nationwide
For more Pivotal180 content on green hydrogen, check out our previous blog posts:
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