- 1st Energy Earthshot Initiative of US government is Hydrogen Shot under which it aims to bring down the cost of clean hydrogen (including nuclear based) to $1.00 per kg within a decade
- It will be produced through pathways as renewables, nuclear and thermal conversion
- DOE has sought information about viable hydrogen demonstrations through a RFI
The US government under President Joe Biden wants the country to achieve its goal of becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by 2050 and to help it get there, it sees clean hydrogen enabling it to get to the goal more quickly. Hence, it wants the cost of clean hydrogen come down by 80% from $5.00 per kg now, to costing $1.00 per kg in the next decade.
Clean hydrogen means it can be produced by using renewables, nuclear and even thermal conversion, unlike renewable or green hydrogen, which is the focus of many countries and groups around the world, including the European Union, which targets (see European Commission Launches Hydrogen Strategy) Between 2020 to 2024, the EU will support installation of a minimum of 6 GW renewable hydrogen electrolysers and the production of up to 1 million tons of renewable hydrogen. And between 2025 to 2030, at least 40 GW of renewable hydrogen powered electrolysers should produce up to 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen.
Bringing down the cost of green hydrogen is the target of many stakeholders in the field. For example, a group of 7 international companies in December 2020 launched a Green Hydrogen Catapult aiming to deploy 25 GW of renewables based (read solar and wind energy) hydrogen production through electrolyzers to reach $2.00 per kg cost by 2026 (see 25 GW Renewable Hydrogen Production Plans Unveiled). In January, a group of 30 European companies have kick-started what they call HyDeal Ambition. A result of 2 years of research and confidential preparation, the project partners are targeting 100% green hydrogen to be delivered across Europe for €1.5 per kg before 2030, ‘the same price as current fossil fuels’. (see 95 GW Solar & 67 GW Electrolysis By 2030).
Back to the US, the government believes bringing down the cost of clean hydrogen thus produced to $1.00 per kg, it can unlock a 5-fold increase in demand leading to more clean energy jobs, reduce GHG emissions and empower America to compete in the global clean energy market.
To get to the $1 per kg goal, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a request for information (RFI) on viable hydrogen demonstrations, including specific locations that can help lower the cost as desired, reduce carbon emissions and local air pollution, create well-paying jobs and provide benefits to disadvantaged communities.
It is part of Hydrogen Shot, the 1st Energy Earthshot—an ‘all-hand-on-deck’ call to tackle ‘toughest remaining barriers to quickly deploy emerging clean energy technologies at scale’.
The RFI seeks information on the following:
- Hydrogen Production, Resources, and Infrastructure
- End Users for Hydrogen Based on Specific Regions, Cost, and Value Propositions
- Greenhouse Gas and Other Pollutant Emissions Reduction Potential
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), Jobs, and Environmental Justice
- Science and Innovation Needs and Challenges
Last date to submit responses is July 7, 2021, according to the RFI documents released on DOE’s website.
US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm called clean hydrogen a ‘game changer’ to help decarbonize high-polluting heavy-duty and industrial sectors.
The US already had a Sunshot program to bring down the cost for solar. DOE reached the 2020 target of $0.06 per kWh in 2017 (see SunShot Initiative Achieves 6 ct/kWh Goal) .In March 2021, the new US administration set a new target for 2030, to cut costs for utility scale solar energy by 60% by 2030 to $0.02 per kWh (see US Aims To Cut Solar Energy Costs By 60% By 2030).