This is the text version of the video DOE Hydrogen Program Update at the DOE Hydrogen Program 2022 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting.
Sunita Satyapal, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office: Well, thank you, everyone. Welcome back. And today, we'll have, at this point, the Hydrogen Program Panel. So, if we go to the next slide, I'll welcome my colleagues and you'll hear from some of the other offices today. And we'll start with the next slide just again, as a reminder.
You already heard about this this morning, but we have the Hydrogen Program, which includes coordination across all of the relevant offices at DOE. It covers the entire value chain of hydrogen, so, from production to end use. You're all very familiar now with the H2@Scale vision, and if you click once more—again, as a reminder—our high priorities are low-cost clean hydrogen, low-cost efficient, obviously safe hydrogen production, delivery, storage, infrastructure, and then enabling end use applications at scale. So, again, you'll hear a lot from across the offices. We've already talked about the DOE Program Plan, so a lot of this information is already posted online.
And, if we go to the next slide, I wanted to emphasize the entire value chain, again, from basic science—basic and applied research, so, you'll hear from the Office of Science; applied RD&D, including systems integration—so, first of a kind integrating, for instance, renewables, nuclear, fossil with end use applications; de-risking some of those demonstrations to get to demonstrations and deployment at scale; and then, the data collection, lessons learned, best practices—all of that feeds back into the RD&D pipeline. And then, at the bottom, the foundational and crosscutting priorities and diversity, equity, inclusion. And then, the program itself has over 400 projects in hydrogen, over 200 companies, universities, labs—again, many of you in the audience—and we have our FY22 activities, again, you'll hear throughout the AMR. Again, a big thank you to many of you who've been contributing in this area. And then, the fiscal year 2023 budget request in hydrogen—and you can see the website at the bottom where all this is posted. So, $406 million in the president's budget request, and you can see across the different offices, and you'll hear a lot more details. And if you go to the next slide, since in the morning I spoke earlier in depth about the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office RDD&D activities, here I'll just highlight a few examples across the EERE offices where we're collaborating.
So, for instance, production of hydrogen from renewables, examples with wind, solar, and others. We also have hydrogen from electrolyzers, plus CO2 to produce renewable natural gas—or synfuels—with the Bioenergy Technologies Office focused on sustainable aviation fuels, SuperTruck projects with the Vehicle Technologies Office, and then, industrial steel, chemicals—like ammonia, demonstration activities—and manufacturing RD&D with our Advanced Manufacturing Office. And the top right, you see our focus—again, to reiterate the emphasis—especially with the BIL activities—and you'll hear also from our OCED—the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations—shortly, and then, a quick summary at the bottom. Again, many, many examples of cost reductions, innovation, a number of world's first. Again, a big shoutout—this just is to recap some of what I already talked about, and enabling the world's first de-risking demonstrations showing innovations, getting to scale for market penetration and impact.
So, with that very quick summary, I'm really pleased to turn it over to my colleagues, and we'll hear, one by one, from the different offices during this panel. So, with the next slide, I'm pleased to introduce my colleague, Bob Schrecengost, who's the acting director for the Hydrogen with Carbon Management Division in the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. So, thanks, Bob. I'll turn it over to you.
Bob Schrecengost, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: Thank you, Sunita. So, we go to the next slide, please.
Here is where the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management are supporting R&D—are specifically focused on low-cost and low-carbon-intensity hydrogen production and utilization technologies. This includes hydrogen use in turbines and reversible solid oxide fuel cells, as well as carbon-based hydrogen production. One area of development is for co-gasification of materials such as coal waste, biomass, and waste plastics, integrated with carbon-capture utilization and storage technologies to offer low-carbon-intensity or even carbon-neutral hydrogen. When the hydrogen energy Earthshot was announced last year, FECM contracted with the National Energy Technology Lab, or NETL, to do a study of current costs and carbon intensities for commercial carbon-based hydrogen production technologies. This established a cost baseline and carbon intensity baseline for steam methane reforming, auto-thermal reforming, and gasification technologies all integrated with carbon capture.
The study has identified promising areas for RD&D to further reduce costs and carbon intensity of hydrogen production. This report is available publicly at the link on the slide. It is an active link, and it will be presented on Wednesday during the Annual Merit Review. FECM will continue to work with industry on the use of hydrogen for power generation and hydrogen turbines, blending hydrogen with natural gas and existing turbines, on reversible solid oxide fuel cells, and on the infrastructure needs to support these systems. FECM's Midstream Infrastructure Program aims to improve the safety of natural gas production transmission and storage infrastructure, while minimizing methane emissions to reduce the greenhouse gas contribution of natural gas-based technologies.
This includes developing advanced conversion and utilization technologies that will significantly reduce vented or flared natural gas. Next slide, please.
We have made significant awards over the past year on reversible solid oxide fuel cells, hydrogen firing of turbines, carbon-based hydrogen production technologies integrated with carbon capture systems, and efforts in materials and sensors and controls and support these efforts. Projects on solid oxide fuel cells will also be presented Tuesday during the Annual Merit Review. One thing I like to highlight is that our office did significant development work in the 2005 to 2015 time frame on the hydrogen firing of turbines. We're now funding investments to increase the hydrogen firing capability of the turbines. Over the last 12 months, we've made rewards that include $6.2 million for eight universities to research combustion applications of hydrogen and hydrogen carriers like ammonia, and $28 million for six awards that included hydrogen combustor retrofit development for 100% hydrogen firing in utility scale industrial and aeroderivative turbines, plus ammonia as a fuel or hydrogen carrier.
A significant goal of these hydrogen turbine development projects is to maintain NOx emissions at 9 ppm, which is the current state of the art for natural gas turbines. Where air permits do require lower emissions, selective catalytic reduction systems can be added to reduce emissions further to the 2–3 ppm range. Next slide, please.
So, here, I want to give a quick shout out to IDAES team at NETL, and I guess there's some animation here so, please, advance this again. IDAES is the Institute for Design of Advanced Energy Systems and includes a great team of national lab and university developers that are shown on this slide here. FECM has used this open-source tool for analysis and optimization, and it's available to project development teams for use as well, since it is open source. It's been used for design space exploration and for process improvements. And another example is the carbon capture team at NETL used IDAES to optimize carbon capture systems and resulted in a reduce modeled operating cost of 18%. IDAES is well-suited for capturing complex interactions among power generators, hydrogen producers, and the bulk power market to enable analysis of emerging flexible systems for energy storage.
This tool could be used for collaborations between applied energy offices on integrated energy systems that could include a range of renewable fossil and/or nuclear energy systems. And with that, I'll pass it back to you, Sunita. Thank you.
Sunita Satyapal: Thank you, Bob. So, now, I’m pleased to introduce Jason Marcinkoski, the program manager in the Nuclear Office. So, thanks, Jason.
Jason Marcinkoski, Office of Nuclear Energy: Thank you, Sunita. I manage Nuclear Energy's Integrated Energy Systems Program in the Flexible Plant Operation and Generation Pathway under the Office of Reactor Fleet and Advanced Reactor Deployment, led by Alice Caponiti. Next slide, please.
Nuclear energy remains an important source of clean, reliable generation. Today, approximately 20 percent of our electricity production and more than half of our emissions-free electricity production are provided by 92 operating nuclear power plants. They operated with 92 percent availability—higher than any other clean generation source—and they have reduced CO2 by 16 billion metric tons over the most recent 25 years of operation. This makes nuclear energy the largest and most reliable source of clean carbon-free electricity on the grid today. That is why we are focused on both preserving the existing fleet and driving deployment of innovative advanced reactors. Next slide, please.
Today, our fleet of reactors provides baseload electricity to the grid, but nuclear reactors can provide much more. Existing nuclear fleet and advanced reactors provide clean, firm, and flexible generation for the grid, and also provide heat and electricity to decarbonize other sectors of the economy like industrial processes, synthetic fuel production, and, of course, hydrogen production. These nuclear integrated energy systems can control thermal energy storage and flexible loads like hydrogen production to direct energy to the grid when it is needed. This allows nuclear plants to provide additional flexible generation capacity that can also support additional expansion of variable renewable energy sources. Next slide, please.
Dozens of U.S. companies are working on advanced nuclear technologies in a variety of sizes, and include water, sodium, gas, and molten salt cold reactors. DOE is supporting three demonstration projects to deploy first-of-a-kind reactors by the end of this decade. A six-module Nuscale plant will be deployed at the Idaho National Laboratory site. This design leverages proven and commercially available fuel, and also uses factory fabrication and the use of air-cooled condensers. Operation of the first module is planned for 2029.
The Natrium Reactor is a sodium-cooled fast reactor being demonstrated by TerraPower in partnership with GE Hitachi. This plant uses thermal energy storage to provide flexible electricity output that complements variable renewable generation. It will be located at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming to provide jobs and leverage existing energy infrastructure. The third demonstration—the X Energy XE-100 high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor—uses triso fuel that is ideally suited to provide flexible electricity output and process heat for a wide variety of industrial applications, including hydrogen. Additionally, NE is funding five risk-reduction projects for broad range advanced reactors that can be deployed by 2035. Next slide, please.
Since 2019, our Office of Nuclear Energy and EERE's hydrogen programs have jointly selected four hydrogen projects that will integrate hydrogen production at existing nuclear plants that will use both high- and low-temperature electrolysis from 150 kilowatts to 20 megawatts. They address electrical, thermal, and controls integration, probabilistic risk assessments, operations and human factors, and regulatory processes. In summary, the vision for nuclear hydrogen production is two-fold—first, to expand the role of clean nuclear energy beyond the grid and to the transportation and industrial sectors, and second, to provide flexible generation capacity for the grid and by managing the flow of energy between the grid and hydrogen production systems. Thank you for your attention, and please check out our nuclear hydrogen presentations on Wednesday.
Sunita Satyapal: Great. Thanks so much, Jason. So, now, we've heard from the renewable side, a snapshot also with CCS, and nuclear. So, now, I'm pleased to turn it over to my colleague, John Vetrano, so you can get an update from the Office of Science.
John Vetrano, Office of Science: Thank you, Sunita. So, I'm John Vetrano, and I'm the main point of contact in basic energy sciences between the Office of Science and the technology Offices on a variety of technologies. Next slide, please.
So, Basic Energy Sciences supports basic research in general materials and chemistry, underpinning numerous technologies. In a particular in fiscal year 2021, we supported around $17 million worth of fundamental chemical and material science to research advanced understanding and transformative approaches for hydrogen generation and use. You can see below some of the topics include the discovery, design, and synthesis of advanced materials, understanding chemical and biological mechanisms, as well as advanced experimental and computational tools, including those for artificial intelligence and machine learning. I want to point out that Wednesday at 3:30, in the Intra-Agency session, there will be two BES projects presenting. So, we fund this work through, primarily, our annual solicitation. We have an annual open funding opportunity announcement.
We also have special targeted topics such as Energy Frontier Research Centers that can include hydrogen. And, at the core of our BES strategic planning are these “basic research needs” workshops and roundtables. The ones particularly relevant to hydrogen were 2003, 2017 on catalysis science, 2019 on liquid solar fuels, and then, in 2021, we held a hydrogen-focused roundtable to expore new science opportunities. Next slide, please.
So, this workshop for foundational science for carbon-neutral hydrogen technologies was held in August of 2021. The workshop report is available at the link shown on the bottom right. The participants in the workshop identified four priority research opportunities to advance foundational science for carbon-neutral hydrogen technologies, and those are listed here below, and they are outlined in the workshop report. And these will form the foundations for our hydrogen-based research over the next number of years. Next slide, please.
I want to point out that the Office of Science has a large number of user facilities, and these are also important for hydrogen research, including advanced scientific computing research offices, leadership-class computers. The Biological and Environmental Research Office has user facilities for biological hydrogen production, and Basic Energy Sciences has light, neutron, and nanoscience facilities to provide advanced synthesis and characterization to enable these next-generation technologies. And there's strong collaborations between BES and existing hydrogen-related consortia that have resulted in high-impact peer-reviewed publications. Next slide.
Just to point out that in fiscal year 2023, there's—Office of Science has requested funds for the Energy Earthshot Initiative, and this would be to address key research challenges, the interface between basic research and applied research and development, to bridge that gap pertaining to the Energy Earthshots. There are three of those at this time, Hydrogen Shot is one. Also, Long-Duration Storage Shot, Carbon Negative Shot. They would look at two modalities. One would be based on the Energy Frontier Research Centers, it would be called Energy Earthshot Research Centers, which are larger group projects, and this will be coordinated with the technology offices. And then, there will also be small group awards also to focus on the Energy Earthshot goals. Thank you, Sunita. Back to you.
Sunita Satyapal: Great. Thank you, John. So, now, it's my pleasure to introduce the newest sister office here, which is OCED. It's the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations. So, I'm pleased to introduce my colleague, Todd Shrader, who's the Deputy Director for Project Management, who'll give us an update from OCED. Thanks, Todd.
Todd Shrader, Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations: Thank you, Sunita. Good to be here. Good to meet everyone. It's a brand-new office we're standing up—the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations. I, myself, came over from EM about six weeks ago, and our first employees start in January. So, lots to go moving forward with the project—with the office. Next slide, please.
So, our key mission—and I'll talk about how this gets the hydrogen interface—it's to deliver clean energy projects in partnership with the private sector. These will be 50/50 collaborative agreements, 50/50 cost share. The goal is to support the president's agenda of reaching a carbon-free electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050. Some of the key tenets there are buying down market risk. How can we identify the risks and retire them so that industry can adopt the technologies moving forward?
Also, it's important that we scale up leading to reductions of greenhouse gases, job creation, and achieving environmental justice priorities. In particular, for that one, we're having quite strong stakeholder interface activities associated with all of our projects moving forward. Next slide, please.
So, where do we stand? Roughly speaking, the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations will be in the TRL six to eight-ish range, but, as you can see, the applied offices also will have some demonstration projects, OCED will have some pilot-scale projects, so these are certainly not the crisp lines that are shown here. They're more gray. I think this also very much points out how this is a whole of DOE effort to address the needs that we have within our industrial sector and the country as a whole to reach the president's agenda, and we look to work in close partnership with our applied offices, Office of Science, and then on the back side and deployment side, Loan Programs, and, of course, industry will be very important in how we identify risks associated with industrial takeoff and how we move these projects forward. Next slide, please.
So, roughly speaking, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law setting up OCED granted us about—a little over $21 billion for various projects. The biggest of them is the Clean Hydrogen Hubs. They'll be—the legislation requires at least four hubs to be built. $8 billion would be the government cost share so, with a 50/50 cost share, that would be $16 billion or more between at least four hubs. There are some requirements on the feedstock having to come from one—at least one has to come from fossil, one from nuclear, one from renewable, and on the end use—one electric power, one industrial sector, one heating, and one transportation.
And more of that information is in the BIL itself. It is also possible that some of the hydrogen demonstration or hydrogen connections might be in some of these other areas such as mine lands or the advanced reactors—TerraPower. We talked about that earlier. That's one of the projects that has moved over to OCED also, moving forward. So, next slide, please.
Here's our website information. I must admit, it's still being built out so not everything is there, but we are working hard to continue to build it out, and I look forward to working hard and well with the rest of the department to address these goals. Sunita?
Sunita Satyapal: Great. Thank you, Todd. And so, if everyone can turn their cameras back on, hopefully you got a quick overview of some of the activities in the other offices. And we just had the ARPA-E Summit last week, so we'll have some backup information on ARPA-E as well as we typically do at the AMR. So, now what we wanted to do is just have a little bit of a discussion here, as we did in previous AMRs, and I'll ask each of you—we'll go in order, we'll start with Bob.
Given all the stakeholders in the audience—we have universities, national labs, industry, investors—we have global community here from fundamental science all the way to demonstrations, deployments—what are some of the highest priorities that you want them to focus on from your office's perspective as we make progress, as we really accelerate? Again, we heard throughout we need to get to net zero by 2050, a clean grid by 2035. There's just so much urgency. We've launched all these initiatives, we have the BIL, this is an unprecedented opportunity. Now we have the Earthshots—Energy Earthshots, and so, compared to where we were last year—especially if you think of these thousands of folks out there—what are some of the highest priorities you want them to focus on from your office's perspective to accelerate progress? So, I'll start with Bob.
Bob Schrecengost: Thanks, Sunita. So, our NETL study showed that methane leakage is the biggest remaining contributor to carbon intensity for any natural gas technology, and so we're looking to have methane mitigation to reduce the carbon intensity of all the natural gas technologies, whether it's combined cycles or reforming technologies. The other key thing we're looking at are hydrogen combustor systems that enable low NOx operation when firing hydrogen or hydrogen natural gas blends. Thanks.
Sunita Satyapal: Great. Thank you, Bob. So, now, we can go over to Jason.
Jason Marcinkoski: Sure. Nuclear plants are still a really low-cost source of clean energy with very high capacity factors, and when you have a use that's co-located—you know, electrolysis—that especially warrants visibility with a low-cost source of energy, little transmission cost. But the large capital investments required of those plants require a large commitment for customers of hydrogen. So, we need a really strong business case for the end uses of hydrogen near those plants, and we need to look at those in terms of near-term while nuclear plants are looking to serve other sectors. So, an opportunity here, now.
So, on our R&D side, our priority is thermal extraction, distribution, and control to serve the high efficiency solid oxide electrolyzers or high temperature processes, and addressing the associated regulatory processes involved in that technology.
Sunita Satyapal: Okay. Great. Thank you, Jason. So, just a recap, then, as Bob said, really high priority in terms of emissions reduction, obviously the low NOx, low-emissions turbines—a lot of new awards, new activity there. Upstream leakage, the new office as you mentioned, methane mitigation.
As Jason mentioned also, this is very exciting time for those in the nuclear space. The thermal integration—we actually have real projects, now demonstrations, with nuclear. The business case is gonna be really important for all of us. Integration—there's just so much that's needed, and then, fundamental science is gonna be a critical part of all of that as well. So, John, it'd be great to get your view.
John Vetrano: Yeah. Great. Thank you, Sunita. So, as I mentioned in the presentation, the research priorities for Basic Energy Sciences have really been spelled out in the August 2021 roundtable, Foundational Sciences for Carbon Neutral Hydrogen Technologies, and the priority research opportunities defined there will be the focus of our office's efforts. And that's a number of crosscutting challenges in terms of fundamental materials and chemistry underpinning hydrogen that underpin also the Hydrogen Shot.
I also wanted to mention that we think, in basic science—it's important for all of us, I think, in basic science, but also in other parts of the RD&D spectrum to make sure they connect across that spectrum to have a better sense of challenges and solutions there coming up across there to better leverage all of our offices. Thank you.
Sunita Satyapal: Great. Thank you, John, and again, to recap for many of you—and again, we get thousands of people that end of watching this—the big news, of course, was that new roundtable—the hydrogen one—and it was almost two decades ago now that the very first one came out. So, again, a recap, and as John also mentions, keeping track of all the information out there—because things are moving so, so quickly—again, so many offices, so much happening in this space. So, please, do keep track of the websites, the newsletters, and so forth, and, of course, the newest sister office here.
It's great to have you, Todd, on this panel, so it would be great to get your perspectives in terms of what are the priorities that stakeholders out there should pay attention to from your perspective?
Todd Shrader: Most importantly, I think it's market risk. What's it gonna take to launch the new hydrogen economy itself? We can build hydrogen hubs 1 through 4, 1 through 5, with government support, but what's it gonna take to build plants 6 through 100? That's what it's gonna take to move to these goals by 2035 and 2050. So, giving us feedback—we're soliciting feedback—trying to work together to buy down that risk, understand the risk—whether it's regulatory, technical, integration, whatever it might be. That's the biggest priority we have.
Sunita Satyapal: Great. Well, thank you, Todd. So, hopefully, everyone sees we have the entire spectrum from basic science to deployment, so it's really all hands on deck here, and so we need all of you out there in the audience. We can't afford to have stranded assets. We need to have you in all the pieces of the puzzle here to unlock that market potential and to really enable meeting all of our emissions reductions.
Again, many studies out there. Industry reporting 30 million jobs, 2.5 trillion or more in revenues, and obviously, huge opportunity in terms of emissions reductions. So, with that, a big thank you to the entire panel, and join us for the rest of the AMR. And, as you heard, there will be many other office-funded activities also presented throughout the AMR. So, with that, this concludes the cross-office panel, and we'll catch up with you on the next session.