Welcome to the latest newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), with collaboration from other offices in the DOE Hydrogen Program! This newsletter is a quarterly resource that includes a recap of recent news and events, as well as a preview of upcoming activities. Visit the archives for past newsletters.
In this issue:
In the News
DOE Announces $7 Billion for America's First Clean Hydrogen Hubs
This month, DOE announced the selection of seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs), which will receive $7 billion in funding. The selected H2Hubs span the nation and will accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of low-cost clean hydrogen. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and managed by DOE's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), the H2Hubs will kickstart a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure while supporting the production, storage, delivery, and end-use of clean hydrogen. The H2Hubs are a key pillar of the national clean hydrogen strategy and are aligned with the priorities of the Hydrogen Interagency Task Force, which is coordinating a whole-of-government approach to advancing clean hydrogen. These efforts include tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act and ongoing research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) to drive down the cost of clean hydrogen and achieve the Hydrogen Shot goal of lowering the cost of hydrogen to $1 per kilogram by 2031. Funding for the seven selected H2Hubs is subject to award negotiations.
Groundbreaking Hydrogen Interagency Task Force Launched to Advance Clean Hydrogen Nationwide
In August, during a special DOE webinar event to discuss plans to implement the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, Deputy National Climate Advisor Mary Frances Repko and Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk announced the launch of the Hydrogen Interagency Task Force (HIT), a groundbreaking collaboration among U.S. federal agencies to ensure a whole-of-government approach to advancing the production and use of clean hydrogen. The HIT will leverage the strengths and capabilities of the entire U.S. government to develop technologies, implement policies, and overcome remaining barriers to the clean hydrogen economy. Interagency coordination will continue to expand, and other agencies may be added to the HIT as the clean hydrogen economy develops over time. More information about HIT activities will be available in the coming months. Stay tuned!
DOE Launches Demand-Side Initiative to Jumpstart Clean Hydrogen Economy
In July, DOE announced a notice of intent to invest up to $1 billion in a demand-side initiative to support the H2Hubs. This initiative aims to ensure that during the initial years of production, both producers and end users in the H2Hubs have the market certainty needed to unlock private investment and realize the full potential of clean hydrogen. Developing a hydrogen demand-side initiative is critical to ensuring the early commercial viability of the H2Hubs since the demand for a new energy source typically lags behind the creation of reliable supply. This new initiative will support the growth and sustainability of the H2Hubs program by providing the revenue certainty that hydrogen producers require to attract private-sector investment. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and managed by OCED with support from HFTO, the H2Hubs will help form the foundation of a national clean hydrogen network vital to reducing emissions from energy-intensive sectors, including industrial and chemical processes and heavy-duty transportation. (See also, "DOE Seeks Independent Entity to Support H2Hubs Program," in the Funding Opportunities section below.)
DOE Invests $61 Million to Advance Manufacturing—Including in Clean Hydrogen Technologies
In September, DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy selected 31 projects led by national laboratories, industry, and academia to accelerate research, development, and demonstration efforts in domestic manufacturing. With over $61 million in federal funding, the selectees will drive innovation to advance the next-generation materials, manufacturing processes, and related energy technologies required to strengthen our national economic competitiveness and move the U.S. towards a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office is leading this funding opportunity, in collaboration with the Building Technologies Office and Office of Electricity. HFTO and the Wind Energy Technologies Office are each co-funding one project in the next-generation materials and manufacturing topic. Learn more about the selected projects.
DOE Announces Nearly $48 Million to Advance Clean Hydrogen Technologies
In support of President Biden's Investing in America agenda, DOE in September announced $47.7 million in funding for 16 RD&D projects across 13 states to advance clean hydrogen technologies. The selected projects aim to lower technology costs, enhance hydrogen infrastructure, and improve the performance of hydrogen fuel cells—supporting DOE's efforts to reduce costs and enable commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen. Together with the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, and ongoing RD&D in DOE's Hydrogen Program, these investments will help DOE realize its Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per kilogram by 2031. Managed by HFTO, these projects will complement ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of producing clean hydrogen by focusing on several key areas in the clean hydrogen value chain, including hydrogen delivery and storage technologies, as well as affordable and durable fuel cells. Fuel cell RD&D projects will focus particularly on applications for heavy-duty trucks to reduce CO2 emissions and eliminate tailpipe emissions that are harmful to local air quality.
DOE Announces $264 Million for Basic Research in Support of Energy Earthshots™
In September, DOE's Office of Science announced $264 million in funding for 29 projects to develop solutions for the scientific challenges underlying the Energy Earthshot Initiative. This funding will support 11 new Energy Earthshot Research Centers led by DOE national laboratories and 18 university research teams addressing one or more of the Energy Earthshots, including the Hydrogen Shot™.
DOE Awards $34 Million to Advance Fossil- and Biomass-based Clean Hydrogen
In August, DOE announced nearly $34 million for 19 industry- and university-led research projects that will advance cutting-edge technology solutions to make clean hydrogen a more available and affordable fuel for electricity generation, industrial decarbonization, and transportation. The National Energy Technology Laboratory, under the purview of DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, will manage the selected projects, which will focus on developing technologies to help produce clean hydrogen at lower cost and with less energy; exploring ways to produce hydrogen using biomass, effluent waters from oil and natural gas development and production, and other wastes; and expanding options for safe and efficient hydrogen transport and storage.
DOE Announces $8.6 Million in Small Business R&D Grants for 43 Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Projects Across 16 States
In July, DOE announced $72 million in funding for small businesses to pursue scientific, clean energy, and climate research, development, and demonstration projects. This funding includes $8.6 million for 43 hydrogen and fuel cell projects across 16 states. The announcement underscores the Biden-Harris administration's commitment to advancing innovative climate solutions and strengthening America's global scientific leadership, which are critical to achieving the president's goal of a carbon-free grid by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Visit the link above to view a summary table with information about each of the hydrogen and fuel cell-related projects.
International Hydrogen Partnership Launches Groundbreaking H2-DEIA Platform
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, and in partnership with the Hydrogen Council, the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) announced in early October the launch of the H2-DEIA platform at the Hydrogen Americas Summit in Washington D.C.
Committed to increasing diverse representation and building a culture of inclusion and equity, H2-DEIA (pronounced "dia") serves a global purpose—uniting governments, industry, academia, non-profit organizations, research institutes, capital investors, and the broader stakeholder community to help shape a skilled, diverse workforce for the clean hydrogen industry. Recognizing the importance of assessing workforce needs—particularly technical knowledge and capabilities unique to the field of clean hydrogen—H2-DEIA supports various initiatives to identify skill gaps; address challenges faced by underrepresented groups; and strengthen the recruitment, retention, and advancement of clean hydrogen professionals.
DOE Congratulates IPHE on Its 20-Year Anniversary
In early October, DOE congratulated the IPHE as it celebrated 20 years of international collaboration and coordination on clean hydrogen. Founded in 2003, IPHE is an independent entity that functions as a direct government-to-government partnership to facilitate and accelerate the transition to clean and efficient energy and mobility systems using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies across applications and sectors. IPHE is composed of 24 members from six continents and serves as a general coordinating mechanism for government officials at the senior working level. IPHE's members coordinate to inform stakeholders and the public about the benefits of and challenges to expanding the deployment of commercial clean hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the global economy.
DOE Seeks Independent Entity to Support H2Hubs Program
To support the H2Hubs program, DOE released a Request for Proposal in September seeking an independent, not-for-profit U.S. entity with world-class market and financial expertise to execute DOE-designed measures to de-risk clean hydrogen through demand certainty. The entity will work directly with the H2Hubs awardees and incorporate their input to structure the program and ensure regional differences and needs are accounted for. Responses are due by October 26, 2023.
DOE Announces $19 Million to Advance Hydrogen Technology to Convert Waste into Clean Energy
In September, DOE announced up to $19 million in funding for research that will focus on using hydrogen systems to convert various waste materials—such as biomass, plastics, common household garbage, and other wastes—into clean energy. This funding opportunity solicits applications in three areas of interest: (1) advancing viable gasification energy systems that convert varied waste feedstock materials such as coal waste, biomass, waste plastics, municipal solid waste, and industrial waste into clean energy; (2) improving the performance of gasification-based systems that use waste feedstock materials through wireless sensing technology; and (3) developing components that advance monitoring, detection, and security for hydrogen-based systems that utilize carbon capture. Responses are due by November 14, 2023.
DOE Launches New Community Energy Innovation Prize
In August, DOE launched the Community Energy Innovation Prize, a $7.5 million competition that provides cash prizes and mentorship opportunities to community organizations, local leaders, college students, and others to help them develop solutions for a just clean energy transition. The first phase of the prize, CONCEPT, is now open. See the prize website for information about how to compete and upcoming webinars.
Clean Hydrogen Fellowships Currently Available
DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office is encouraging interested candidates to apply for available fellowships. These fellowships directly support the White House's commitment to advancing innovative climate solutions and strengthening America's leadership in science and engineering, which are critical to achieving a carbon-free grid by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Recent graduates and experienced scientists and engineers are encouraged to apply—fellowship activities are flexible and can be adapted to each candidate's previous experience. Selected fellows will receive a stipend as support for living and other expenses during this appointment. Stipend rates are based on the candidate's academic and professional background. Relocation expenses (not to exceed $5,000) may be reimbursed if the address shown on the application is more than 50 miles from Washington, D.C.
Employment Opportunities and Internships
Interested in becoming a clean energy champion? HFTO has its own hiring page with open positions for technical experts to assist with the office's hydrogen production, hydrogen infrastructure, and manufacturing efforts. There are many other ways to get involved, too, including the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Science, Technology, and Policy Fellowships (such as the Hydrogen Shot Fellowship); careers; and internships. Stay up to date on EERE opportunities and subscribe to the EERE Career Opportunities email list.
Interested in Becoming a Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Project Reviewer?
HFTO is looking for a diverse pool of subject matter experts to review applications for federal funding programs. Desired areas of expertise include (but are not limited to):
- Hydrogen production, storage, and delivery
- Hydrogen fuel cell technologies
- Hydrogen and energy infrastructure
- Integrated energy systems
- Recycling and recovery
- System integration
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Safety, codes and standards.
Webinars, Workshops, and Events
HFTO and NREL Host Two-Day Webinar on Electrolyzer Installations
To support the future growth of large-scale electrolyzer installations, HFTO, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), hosted a two-day Electrolyzer Installation Webinar on September 26–27, 2023. The webinar provided an opportunity to share and discuss lessons learned and best practices for electrolyzer installations. It also included discussions of key challenges and cost drivers associated with installing large-scale electrolyzer systems, and opportunities to reduce costs and streamline processes. Additional topics included water and electrical requirements, safety, siting, standards, and cost analysis.
Presentations from the webinar are coming soon and will be available on the 2023 Electrolyzer Installation Webinar page.
H2IQ Hour Webinar Recordings and Presentations Are Available
HFTO hosts monthly H2IQ Hour webinars to share information about the status and progress of DOE-funded hydrogen and fuel cell projects and initiatives, and to provide a forum for exploration and discussion of general hydrogen and fuel cell topics. September's topic, "Decarbonizing Heavy-Duty Vehicles," featured speaker Ahmet Kusoglu from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and drew more than 300 attendees!
Recordings and presentation slides are available on the H2IQ Hour webinar page.
Join HFTO on October 26 for the Latest H2IQ Hour: HyBlend Initiative
Join our October H2IQ Hour Webinar on October 26, 2023, at noon EDT for an overview of hydrogen blending materials and analysis research conducted under the Department of Energy's HyBlend initiative. Hydrogen blending has been identified as a promising way to help reduce the carbon intensity of the natural gas grid and help meet America’s decarbonization goals by accelerating the transition to a hydrogen economy. Key areas of HyBlend research include technical barriers in materials compatibility, techno-economic analysis, and environmental life cycle analysis associated with blending hydrogen into natural gas pipelines. Register today!
October 26 Webinar: Clean Hydrogen Production/Storage for Iron and Steel
Join the Clean Hydrogen in Iron & Steelmaking Working Group on October 26, 2023, from 10:30–11:30 a.m. EDT for a special webinar on clean hydrogen production and storage for the iron and steel industries. Featured speakers include Dr. Jennifer King with NREL and Dr. Hanna Breunig with LBNL. The Clean Hydrogen in Iron & Steelmaking Working Group is coordinated through Mission Innovation, a global initiative comprised of 23 countries and the European Commission. Register today.
Upcoming Webinar: EPA's Clean Ports Program—First Look
On October 31 from 1–3 p.m. EDT, EPA's Ports Initiative will host a webinar on plans for the new Clean Ports Program, a $3 billion Inflation Reduction Act program to fund zero-emission port equipment and technology—including clean hydrogen—and to help develop climate action plans to reduce air pollutants at U.S. ports. Join for an update on key program design elements including anticipated eligible activities and equipment, evaluation criteria, program structure, timeline, and more. EPA anticipates this new funding opportunity will become available for application through a notice of funding opportunity released in late winter 2024. If you require special accommodations, including live interpretation of a language other than English or Spanish, please contact email@example.com one week prior to the event to make arrangements. Register today.
Publications, Outreach, and Resources
NREL Releases Video Series on Steelmaking with Clean Hydrogen
In August, NREL launched a series of videos about using clean hydrogen to decarbonize the steel industry. Funded by HFTO, NREL's Grid-Integrated Steelmaking with Hydrogen project is exploring a pathway to decarbonize the steel industry. NREL is partnering on this project with the Missouri University of Science and Technology and Arizona State University to develop a pilot plant that uses both hydrogen and natural gas, laying the groundwork for larger plants across the country.
At DOE it was National Hydrogen Day All Week Long
Hydrogen Day is October 8 each year. Why? Because the date 10/08 shares the same sequence of numbers as the atomic weight of hydrogen: 1.008. Because October 8 fell on a Sunday this year, DOE celebrated hydrogen for an entire week. Hydrogen Day and Hydrogen Week mark a symbolic opportunity to celebrate hydrogen—clean hydrogen, specifically—and the crucial role this element plays in supporting a robust, equitable clean energy future for all Americans. Most of the activities and facts featured in this year's Hydrogen Day blog can be used or repeated next year, so don't hesitate to start planning now!
STEMtember: Career Development Opportunities for Minority Students
DOE celebrated STEMtember this year with a spotlight on opportunities available to minority students nationwide. Highlights include the Graduate Education for Minority (GEM) Students Fellowship and the Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program (MEISPP). The GEM Fellowship is open to students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees in applied science and engineering, and provides qualified students access to a network of leading corporations, national labs, and top universities and research institutions. This summer, EERE's technology offices hosted 11 postgraduate GEM fellows virtually and in person at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. Through MEISPP, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students at accredited minority-serving institutions can apply for paid summer internship positions with DOE and the national labs. Students receive a 10-week assignment in scientific research, policy, business, or government relations.
HFTO's Pete Devlin to Receive Award from Department of Homeland Security
In September, HFTO Technology Manager Pete Devlin was named as a recipient of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary's Award for Igniting Innovation as a result of his work in support of DHS' H2Rescue initiative. H2Rescue is a first-of-its-kind hydrogen fuel cell/battery hybrid emergency vehicle, which DHS has characterized as a "zero-emissions, self-propelled electric generator that may just be the future of disaster response." This initiative is a collaboration between the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, DOE, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, industry partner Accelera by Cummins Inc., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. DHS Under Secretary Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov will present the award to Devlin during a formal ceremony scheduled for December.
HFTO-Funded Researchers Honored with R&D 100 Award
In August, researchers at LBNL received a 2023 R&D 100 Award for their work on novel multi-metal catalysts to improve methane pyrolysis, which converts methane into hydrogen and carbon without CO2 emissions. The award, presented by R&D Magazine and selected by an independent panel of judges, recognizes one of the year's 100 most innovative and disruptive technology products from industry, academia, and government-sponsored research. A U.S. patent application has been filed for the new technology and a detailed paper was published in Science magazine. The LBNL team was led by principal investigator Dr. Ji Su, who is also a principal investigator with the Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC), one of several lab-led consortia funded by HFTO. Dr. Su's catalysis skills are leveraged to provide solutions across the hydrogen life cycle from production (via pyrolysis of fossil/biofuels) to storage (using liquid organic hydrogen carriers). Other members of the LBNL team include Luning Chen, Shuchen Zhang, Zhigang Song, Gabor A Somorjai, Miquel Salmeron, David Prendergast, Chaochao Dun, Jeff Urban, Jinghua Guo, Xinxin Peng, Yu-Chun Chuang, Chung-Kai Chang, and Jeng-Lung Chen.