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Executive Summary

This is an unprecedented time in history for hydrogen with interest being amplified worldwide due to its potential to address the climate crisis as well as energy security and resiliency. Though there are significant challenges, zero and low-carbon hydrogen can be a key part of a comprehensive portfolio of solutions to achieve a sustainable and equitable clean energy future. And the United States is stepping up to accelerate progress through unprecedented investments in clean energy.  

In November 2021, Congress passed, and President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117-58), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). This historic, once-in-a-generation legislation authorizes and appropriates $62 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), including $9.5 billion for clean hydrogen. Furthermore, in August 2022, the President signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law (Public Law 117-169), which provides additional policies and incentives for hydrogen including a production tax credit which will further boost a U.S. market for clean hydrogen.

This draft report sets forth the “DOE National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap.” DOE will elicit stakeholder feedback through opportunities, such as workshops and listening sessions, and use this feedback to finalize the report and then develop updates as required by the BIL.  

It provides a snapshot of hydrogen production, transport, storage, and use in the United States today and the opportunity that clean hydrogen could provide in contributing to national goals across sectors. Pathways for clean hydrogen to decarbonize applications are informed by demand scenarios for 2030, 2040, and 2050 – with strategic opportunities for 10 million metric tonnes (MMT) of clean hydrogen annually by 2030, 20 MMT annually by 2040, and 50 MMT annually by 2050. Using clean hydrogen can reduce U.S. emission approximately 10 percent by 2050 relative to 2005, consistent with the U.S. Long-Term climate strategy. These scenarios are based on achieving cost competitiveness to enable demand in specific sectors and where there are fewer alternatives, such as direct electrification or the use of biofuels. As technologies and markets develop, more detailed analyses will be forthcoming in the required updates to this document, including the optimal use of hydrogen in key sectors, avoiding stranded assets by creating demand certainty, and prioritizing energy and environmental justice.

The foundation of this draft roadmap is based on prioritizing three key strategies to ensure that clean hydrogen is developed and adopted as an effective decarbonization tool and for maximum benefits for the United States. DOE will:  

(1) Target strategic, high-impact uses for clean hydrogen. This will ensure that clean hydrogen will be utilized in the highest value applications, where limited deep decarbonization alternatives exist. Specific markets include the industrial sector, heavy-duty transportation, and long-duration energy storage to enable a clean grid. Long-term opportunities include the potential for exporting clean hydrogen or hydrogen carriers and enabling energy security for our allies.

(2) Reduce the cost of clean hydrogen. The Hydrogen Energy Earthshot (Hydrogen Shot) launched in 2021 will catalyze both innovation and scale, stimulating private sector investments, spurring development across the hydrogen supply chain, and dramatically reducing the cost of clean hydrogen. Efforts will also address critical material and supply chain vulnerabilities and design for efficiency, durability, and recyclability.

(3) Focus on regional networks. This includes regional clean hydrogen hubs to enable large-scale clean hydrogen production and end-use in proximity, enabling critical mass infrastructure, driving scale, and facilitating market lift off while leveraging place-based opportunities for equity, inclusion, and sustainability. Priorities will include near term impact, creating jobs - including good paying union jobs - and jumpstarting domestic manufacturing and private sector investment.

To implement these strategies, DOE will work with other agencies, as well as with industry, academia, national laboratories, local and Tribal communities, the environmental and justice communities, and numerous stakeholder groups to accelerate progress and market lift off. Effective collaboration and coordination are cornerstones in all of DOE. As provided in this draft roadmap, concrete targets, marketdriven metrics, and tangible actions will accelerate hydrogen’s progress. DOE will continuously track, adjust, and refine its plans. Prioritizing stakeholder engagement will be key to address potential environmental concerns and ensuring equity and justice for overburdened, underserved, and underrepresented individuals and communities. DOE’s focus on achieving the goals set forth in this strategy aim to deliver the maximum benefits of clean hydrogen to the American people and the global community.

Draft strategy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tsx428lsqgvbpnq/clean-hydrogen-strategy-roadmap.pdf?dl=0

Provide feedback to OCED@hq.doe.gov

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