Paul Page of The Wall Street Journal reports, the U.S. is putting some serious funding towards building a hydrogen-power supply chain. He writes:
The White House is injecting a gusher of cash into hydrogen production, an undeveloped sector that it is betting will play a pivotal role in the country’s shift away from fossil fuels.
The Biden administration is awarding $7 billion in grants for seven regional hubs to produce clean hydrogen, a potential substitute for oil and gas in shipping, steelmaking and chemical production, the Energy Department said Friday.
Created by the 2021 infrastructure law, the grant program is designed to kick-start the production of clean hydrogen in the U.S. and is a key component of the administration’s climate and economic strategy. It dovetails with coming rules on how energy producers can qualify for billions of dollars in tax credits, which are intended to make the cost of clean hydrogen production competitive with hydrogen made from natural gas.
The grants will be given to regional hubs, which include state and local partners as well as hydrogen suppliers, industrial buyers and energy infrastructure companies that will contribute funding to supplement the government grants. The Energy Department is also in talks with companies including
for $1.2 billion in similar grant funding for projects aiming to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Most hydrogen today is made by heating natural gas. It is a cheap process but generates greenhouse gas emissions, which can be reduced by capturing the produced carbon. Another method uses machines that split water to make so-called green hydrogen, and could generate no emissions when made from completely clean power.
The latter method is often called the holy grail of climate technologies because it could carry clean electricity around the world and reduce emissions for heavy emitters that have few other solutions. But it is still far more expensive to produce and isn’t yet widely available.
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