Hydrogen Forward publishes recommendations for US hydrogen hub funding applicants

US coalition Hydrogen Forward has today (November 15) published recommendations for establishing ‘effective’ hydrogen hubs as potential applicants look to receive funding from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) $7bn funding opportunity.

Having opened applications in September (2022), the DOE has said it is aiming to select six to 10 hubs to receive the combined total of $7bn in federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Read more: US DOE opens applications for $7bn hydrogen hub funding programme and unveils draft hydrogen strategy

Read more: President Biden dedicates $9.5bn for the hydrogen industry un $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

With the deadline for concept papers having now passed, prospected hubs have until April 2023 to submit full applications. Drawing on conversations with its coalition players, Hydrogen Forward has offered four key elements which in its view would offer an effective hydrogen hub.

  1. Cross-sectoral deployment to scale demand

The coalition believes demonstration of cross-sectorial deployment will have a strong case to prove hydrogen’s scalability and solidify its Role in the clean energy system.

It has said that hubs can incentivise the uptake and early adoption of hydrogen in sectors such as ports, manufacturing/industrial facilities, transportation, and production, through a lower cost of hydrogen and investment in demonstration projects.

  1. Market-based carbon intensity framework to enable competition and innovation

With the Inflation Reduction Act incentivising the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Clean Hydrogen Production Standard (CHPS) with clean hydrogen production tax credits, Hydrogen Forward has stressed the need for hub applicants to utilise low-carbon sources for hydrogen production.

In its fact sheet, the coalition said, “An effective H2Hub should establish processes to share useful data and feedback with the DOE and other relevant experts to test and refine the standard, ensuring transparency, and promoting collaboration. As the DOE and industry continue to work together, H2Hubs and other related programmes should encourage open dialogues, optimise and adapt the process as we learn new insights from the roll-out.”

  1. Continuous community and workforce engagement

The hydrogen hubs are expected to invest in the US’ workforce and communities in their bid to support the nation’s energy transition. Hydrogen Forward has said that an effective hub will need a ‘social license and community acceptance’ to successfully integrate and reach its full potential.

  1. Strong private-public partnerships

By bringing together inclusive groups of stakeholders, the coalition says hubs will ensure a broader consensus and alignment among diverse perspectives which will aid industry growth.

“Public-private partnerships like these will help sustain the development of a hydrogen hub for the long term, providing a forum for industry, government, academia, NGOs, labour, and communities to work together to garner community buy-in and streamline permitting efforts to build out the physical infrastructure, resolve disputes, and ensure that the hub is achieving the goals established under the IIJA and benefiting all stakeholder interests.” Hydrogen Forward wrote.

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