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DOE releases a hydrogen roadmap to cut emissions

The Department of Energy is prioritizing green hydrogen as a path forward for a net-zero economy.

The Department of Energy sign is seen outside the James V. Forrestal Building at its headquarters in Washington, DC.

Image via Shutterstock/Tada Images

Last week, the Department of Energy (DOE) released the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, a strategy to bring clean hydrogen power to the forefront of industry. The strategy’s goal is to decarbonize applications to "10 million metric tonnes (MMT) of clean hydrogen by 2030, 20 MMT annually by 2040, and 50 MMT annually by 2050." Or in simpler terms, cutting current U.S. emissions approximately 10 percent by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.

The plan builds off the $9.5 billion set aside by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund green hydrogen cheaper for emissions-heavy industries, including steel production, heavy-duty transportation and long-duration energy storage.

Green hydrogen production is dependent upon electrolysis, or the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction takes place in an apparatus called an electrolyzer. As this tech is vital to the production and longevity of green hydrogen, the strategy outlines a $1 billion Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to "improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness of electrolysis technologies by supporting the entire innovation chain — from research, development and demonstration to commercialization and deployment."

DOE estimates that by 2030, 100,000 new and indirect jobs will form due to an increase in green hydrogen production and infrastructure.

The roadmap emphasizes three key strategies for success; high-impact uses for clean hydrogen, reducing the cost of clean hydrogen, and the development of regional clean hydrogen networks. To achieve these ends, the DOE will "collaborate with industry, academia, national laboratories, local and Tribal communities, the energy and environmental justice communities, labor unions, and numerous stakeholder groups to accelerate progress and market liftoff."

The Hydrogen Production Tax Credit (PTC) of the Inflation Reduction Act is also highlighted in the roadmap as an incentivizing factor for accelerated clean hydrogen production. PTC awards up to $3 per kilogram of green hydrogen produced through 2032.

The roadmap will be reviewed and updated every three years.

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