If clean hydrogen is not a significant contributor to the U.S. energy mix by the 2030s, it won’t be because Congress and the Biden administration didn’t try. First, last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided the Department of Energy (DOE) with up to $8 billion to support the development of several regional hydrogen hubs, plus another $1 billion to back efforts to halve the cost of producing hydrogen via renewables-powered electrolysis. Then, this year’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provided tax credits for investing in new production facilities and producing clean hydrogen — incentives generous enough to spur announcements for at least an initial round of multibillion-dollar projects. In today’s RBN blog, we discuss highlights from our new Drill Down Report on the variety of hydrogen-hub proposals the feds will be reviewing.
Given the magnitude of the financial support and the desire of public and private entities to be part of the energy transition, it’s understandable that the DOE received a host of hydrogen-hub concept papers from project proponents by last month’s deadline. The department hasn’t provided any details, but a number of states, groups of states, public/private partnerships and others have indicated that they submitted proposals — and a small handful have made at least part of their concept papers public. Over the past several weeks, the DOE has been reviewing the concept papers it received and providing initial feedback. Full-and-final applications must be submitted by April 7, 2023.
The DOE expects to notify the winners next fall and complete award negotiations with them in the winter of 2023-24. It’s anticipated that most of the selected proposals will each receive between $500 million and $1 billion in federal support — that’s not chump change! — though it’s possible that a proposal could receive as little as $400 million or as much as $1.25 billion, depending on its size and need.
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