Granholm Eyes Fall for Talks on Hydrogen Hubs

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm assured lawmakers on Thursday that by fall the US Department of Energy (DOE) is hoping to begin negotiations with selected companies and states seeking funding to establish hydrogen hubs in the US.

“The review of these might take a little longer than your average funding announcements because of the complexities” involved, Granholm said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the DOE’s 2024 budget request to Congress. “It will definitely happen this year."

Last year, the DOE announced it had made $7 billion in funding available for six to 10 regional hydrogen hubs, with full applications due next month. But at least $1 billion in additional funding is now available, which the department is keeping in reserve for projects down the road.

The DOE received an onslaught of concept papers from interested applicants, but requested only 33 to submit formal applications while dissuading 46 others from moving forward. The state of Oklahoma, for example, is partnering with Louisiana and Arkansas on an application for a regional project.

The infrastructure law requires the DOE to fund at least four hydrogen hubs by 2026. The law also requires “feedstock diversity,” meaning at least one hub must demonstrate the production of clean hydrogen from fossil fuels, one from renewable energy and one from nuclear energy.

Granholm said Thursday that DOE officials have suggested applicants provide detailed information on potential offtakers for their projects, adding that the infrastructure law’s funding is “really about the supply side, but we want to build that demand side as well.”

Granholm’s remarks come on the heels of a DOE report that suggests the domestic hydrogen industry will need at least $85 billion and as much as $215 billion in investment to meet projected demand of 10 million tons per year by 2030.

Hydrogen, Policy and Regulation, Low-Carbon Policy, Emerging Technologies
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