DOE funding $42M to Green Hydrogen Fuel, Storage Projects

May 23, 2023
The 22 projects are located in 14 states. $17.8 million will also go towards founding a research consortium headed by Stanford University

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this week announced nearly $42 million in funding for 22 projects across 14 states to advance critical technologies in the production, storage, and deployment of clean (or green) hydrogen.

The DOE will also contribute nearly $18 million to establishing a new university research consortium focused on helping states and tribal communities implement grid resilience programs and reach decarbonization goals.

Hydrogen, which does not contain carbon in its link and thus does not emit carbon dioxide when combusted, has recently been heralded as the answer to leveraging clean energy resources through its long-haul energy storage capabilities. To be considered truly green, the hydrogen must be generated via electrolyzers--which split the H2 from water--which are powered by carbon-free resources such as solar, wind, hydropower or nuclear.

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“Today’s investments are a bold step in addressing some of our hardest to decarbonize sectors — heavy transportation and industry — by working directly with states and tribes to make hydrogen an available clean energy source,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

The 22 projects are focused, among other things, on developing technologies for solar fuels, and demonstrating higher-density and lower-pressure hydrogen storage technologies. Some projects will also improve hydrogen emissions detection, supplementing the DOE’s work on hydrogen leakage, as a way of addressing concern about emission safety.

As for the University Research Consortium, the DOE selected Stanford University to lead it. The consortium will be comprised of universities in Mexico and Canada with the goal of decarbonizing and improving the resiliency of the electric power system.

“This consortium will help states, tribes, and regions develop the data, modeling tools, workforce, and methods needed to implement programs to improve grid resiliency, establish decarbonization goals, and prioritize investments to achieve those goals. It will also be critical to addressing cross-border grid dependencies and electrical interconnections.,” the release said.

Hydrogen demand, whether as a fuel or storage source, is increasing. Many in the trucking industry, for instance, see fuel cell and fuel cell-electric as more viable than battery electric because of longer range and shorter refueling times. 

On May 19 the DOE awarded $32.6 million to Colorado School of Mines, Carbon America and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from its Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) fund to “advance the development of a potential carbon storage hub for the Pueblo, Colorado area.”

The CarbonSAFE program focuses on reducing industrial emissions from cement, hydrogen and power plant operations while also creating a model for community-driven carbon capture and storage (CCS) from the ground up.