The Biden Administration’s Prioritisation of Hydrogen

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President Joe Biden has made returning the United States to the forefront of the world’s effort to combat climate change a main priority in his first few months in office. Not only has he directed the US to rejoin the UN Paris Accords, he also hosted a virtual, global climate summit with influential world leaders, where he announced the US will aim to cut their carbon emissions in half by 2030. To reach this ambitious goal, Biden is acknowledging the role that hydrogen must play, providing an incredible opportunity for innovation, development, and market proliferation internationally. The administration’s decisions and leadership in the area will have tremendous positive impacts on the economy, job creation, and most importantly, the environment.

In his announcement, Biden details vast opportunities for hydrogen to take a prominent role in the reduction of emissions across several sectors. He specifically targets areas such as electricity, buildings, industry, and transportation as sectors for improvement, all areas in which hydrogen has played an increasingly crucial role in lowering pollution. With a new climate-focused administration in office, the momentum is certainly rising for the hydrogen sector.

Biden’s Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, has recently announced a plan to ensure affordability of clean energies by decreasing costs, including among the plans fuel cells and hydrogen. To increase its competitiveness against other fuels for similar applications, such as natural gas, Granholm hopes to shrink hydrogen’s price by 80% by 2030. Along with hydrogen, she proposed across-the-board price cuts to renewables, including electric batteries and solar, all of which will be used by the administration to reach the aforementioned emissions reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

Furthermore, Granholm’s department awarded several million dollars in research funding for hydrogen R&D projects and opened a $100 million solicitation that includes hydrogen and fuel cells for heavy-duty demonstrations. Granholm is certainly thrilled about the future prospects of hydrogen, quoted during an interview as saying green hydrogen is one of the most exciting clean energy developments. With several mentions of the fuel by President Biden himself, the administration has shown it is taking hydrogen’s potential seriously and considering an integral part of the country’s energy and emissions ambitions.

Recently, President Biden has been building support for his American Jobs Plan to Congress, a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure and the economy throughout the 2020s, which would create significant economic and employment opportunities in the hydrogen sector. One of the main priorities of this plan is a massive investment in low-emissions vehicles, including hydrogen transportation. The plan also calls for hydrogen to be used to decarbonize industrial processes, such as in the steel and cement industries. Likewise, Biden wants to retrofit commercial and residential buildings to make them more sustainable, another up-and-coming area for hydrogen use.

Not only would the passage of this bill spur tremendous economic growth, but it would also open thousands of good-paying jobs in the hydrogen sector, allowing for further investment and innovation in the fuel. According to FCHEA’s Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy, the US is uniquely positioned to quickly become a world leader in hydrogen production and export. If the sector continues expanding, over $750 billion in revenue and 3.5 million jobs would be created by 2050, which is President Biden’s target for the US to become a net-zero country. With such bountiful benefits, it is no surprise the Biden administration is so interested hydrogen’s future role in the US energy supply and economy.

This article was originally published by Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association, for additional information visit: https://www.fchea.org/

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