Movers and SHAKERS
Image Credit: US Department of Energy
U.S. Hydrogen Initiative Excites Investors - Billions in Funds Become Available
The Department of Energy (DOE) just firmed up plans to develop a methodology to decide how to divvy up $9.528 billion in new funding for hydrogen projects. DOE is now formally requesting suggestions from companies and experts in the field on how to best make use of the money for hydrogen projects. The funds have been approved through the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Beginning Tuesday (February 15), they’re looking for input. Various hydrogen stocks ran up double digits on the news and remained positive.
The hydrogen initiatives were among several projects announced Tuesday as part of the White House push to decarbonize the industrial sector, including a new "Buy Clean" task force that will encourage low-carbon federal purchases, and updated guidance and transparency for carbon-capture projects. It also provides funds for energy assessment training, to help evaluate low/no-carbon features.
The U.S. DOE will spend $8 billion on at least four hydrogen proposed "hubs" spread across the U.S. that will build out a network for production, processing, distribution, and storage. Under the infrastructure plan, the four hubs must support different types of hydrogen production and use. This is expected to include hubs that are capable of producing hydrogen using fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy. At least one of the hubs will provide hydrogen that can be used in power generation, transportation, industrial use, and heating.
The focus on multiple types of hydrogen has upset some environmental groups as they are concerned it would prolong the life of fossil fuel use. Opposing these groups is the thought that a “semi-dirty hydrogen electron” may be better than a “dirty-fossil fuel electron" if it puts the country on a path to eventual net-zero.
The announcement points to a formal solicitation on how to spend almost $10 billion. For this it has put out requests for information (RFI). The RFIs are a call to companies, environmental groups and other experts, which will help determine how to structure the hubs and whether four is adequate.
Source: EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange
On Tuesday the DOE also made available $1 billion of additional funds for research into clean hydrogen electrolysis. This is the method of producing hydrogen from renewable energy such as wind and solar. It also announced $500 million for a research and development program for manufacturing and recycling clean hydrogen-related equipment.
DOE’s aim is to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% within the next ten years to $1 per kilogram ($3.80 per gallon) and announced $28 million for research and development of engineering projects for industrial, electricity, and transportation-related clean hydrogen.
In total the hydrogen industry will receive $9.528 billion ($8b+$1b+5b+$28m) in funds to stimulate the growth of the future of hydrogen power.
While lithium-ion electric storage has become understood among those powering their homes and cars, hydrogen storage has gotten less attention. The benefits of releasing power stored as hydrogen atoms and reacting within a fuel cell have benefits unmatched by the batteries now in widespread use. Both technologies are still considered in their infancy. The U.S. Department of Energy is looking to speed the innovation and adoption process to help with its clean energy initiative. Almost $10 billion will go a long way to benefit companies that may otherwise fail for lack of capital or take a more measured growth pace. Investors are reacting to the potential.
Managing Editor, Channelchek
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