US DOE invests $33m in green hydrogen

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $33 million in green hydrogen as part of its 2021 R&D budget. The funds will go to support the federal agency’s “H2@Scale” initiative to achieve large scale production, storage, transport, and utilization of hydrogen across multiple sectors and advance the adoption of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in integrated energy systems.

This year, the DOE’s Hydrogen Fuel Technologies Office launched two major collaborative research initiatives: the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck consortium and the H2NEW consortium. The latter will research green hydrogen through electrolysis, the process of splitting of hydrogen from water using electricity.

Under each consortium, DOE will identify innovative ways to make hydrogen and fuel cell technologies more affordable and competitive in today’s market. Each consortium is planned at $50 million over five years, along with a similar level for industry and university FOAs.

The new round of funding will partly go to researching high-temperature electrolysis, which leverages other technologies such as concentrating solar power to scale up green hydrogen production. Significant technological hurdles remain in the field of high-T, but researchers have come a long way so far. Now the DOE’s focus is on lowering the cost of manufacturing high-T electrolyzers.

According to the DOE’s funding opportunity announcements, the DOE’s goal is to increase “the production volume of advanced components, stacks, sub-systems, and systems for multi-MW-scale high-temperature electrolyzers to lower hydrogen production costs.”

“Applicants are encouraged to focus on existing commercial manufacturing techniques rather than entirely novel approaches,” DOE explains. “Applicants are expected to leverage innovations/approaches including reduced part count, increased automation, in-line diagnostics, improved materials deposition processes, and reduced high temperature firing steps.”

Turbomachinery International has been covering hydrogen in-depth, particularly in our latest issue. Stay tuned to our website and magazine for the latest on development of hydrogen and its implications for the turbomachinery sector.