The U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday it is offering $750 million for research, development and demonstration efforts to slash the cost of clean hydrogen.
The funding is part of a $1.5 billion effort to advance electrolysis technologies and improve manufacturing and recycling capabilities for hydrogen and fuel cells.The Biden administration aims to cut the cost of hydrogen produced from emissions-free electricity to $1 per kilogram within a decade, down from around $5/kg today.
The just-released funding opportunity specifically aims to improve the efficiency, increase the durability and cut the cost of producing clean hydrogen from water using electrolyzers to less than $2/kg by 2026.
With the first funding round, DOE expects to award over five years up to:
- $300 million for low-cost, high-throughput electrolyzer manufacturing;
- $150 million for fuel cell membrane electrode assembly and stack manufacturing and automation;
- $100 million for electrolyzer component and supply chain development;
- $80 million for fuel cell supply chain development;
- $70 million for advanced electrolyzer technology and component development; and,
- $50 million for a recovery and recycling consortium.
The awards require cost sharing of up to 50%.
Concept papers are due April 19 and full applications are due July 19.
“As demand for clean hydrogen grows, with accelerating global efforts to decarbonize the global economy, so too does the demand for electrolyzers, hydrogen fuel cells, and other hydrogen technologies,” DOE said in the funding announcement.
In a sign of an emerging sector, announced installations of electrolyzers in the United States jumped to about 600 MW last year from about 200 MW as of June 2021, according to DOE.
Clean hydrogen is essential for reaching President Joe Biden’s goal of having an emissions-free electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, DOE said.
The funding offered through DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office is part of two programs enacted in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which authorized $1 billion for efforts to cut the cost of clean hydrogen produced via electrolysis and $500 million for developing improved processes and technologies for making and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials.