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Hydrogen Strategy - Enabling A Low-Carbon Economy

Jul 1, 2020

The strategic plan promotes the acceleration of hydrogen technologies in the U.S., highlighting its potential for carbon-neutral or negative emissions. The plan covers production methods, costs, applications, and challenges, underscoring the DOE's dedication to a sustainable hydrogen-driven, low-carbon economy.

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Hydrogen Strategy document, titled "Enabling A Low-Carbon Economy," outlines the strategic plan to accelerate research, development, and deployment of hydrogen technologies in the United States. Here's a summary of the key aspects:

  1. Introduction (Page 1):

    • Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that can play a vital role in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

    • It can be produced from various sources, including fossil fuels, biomass, and water, with potential for carbon-neutral or negative emissions.

  2. Background (Pages 2-3):

    • The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) focuses on four major R&D areas: Carbon-Neutral Hydrogen Production, Large-Scale Hydrogen Transport Infrastructure, Large-Scale Hydrogen Storage, and Hydrogen Use for Electricity Generation, Fuels, and Manufacturing.

  3. Hydrogen Production and Cost (Pages 5-6):

    • 99% of U.S. hydrogen production is sourced from fossil fuels, with natural gas being the primary source.

    • Gasification and methane reforming with CCUS are likely to be the lowest-cost sources of large-scale hydrogen.

    • Hydrogen from zero-carbon electricity (e.g., nuclear or wind) is more costly than from fossil resources.

  4. Hydrogen Uses and Equivalent Costs (Pages 7-8):

    • Hydrogen's applications include ammonia production, chemical feedstock, food and drug production, petrochemical processing, and emerging as a low-carbon fuel option for transportation, electricity generation, and manufacturing.

  5. Hydrogen Demand (Page 8):

    • The document discusses the growing interest in hydrogen and its projected increase in many countries through 2050.

  6. Emerging Markets and International Initiatives (Page 10):

    • Highlights the global interest in hydrogen and the potential for U.S. hydrogen export to markets shifting towards greater hydrogen use.

  7. Hydrogen Transportation (Page 11):

    • Discusses the challenges and opportunities related to hydrogen transport infrastructure.

  8. Hydrogen Storage (Page 13):

    • Focuses on large-scale onsite and geological hydrogen storage.

  9. Office of Fossil Energy (Pages 13-15):

    • Describes the Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management Hydrogen R&D Program, Office of Oil and Natural Gas Hydrogen R&D Program, and future R&D to accelerate the hydrogen economy.

  10. Safety and Regulatory Requirements and Challenges (Page 17):

  • Addresses the safety and regulatory aspects related to hydrogen production, transport, and utilization.

Overall, the document provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of hydrogen technologies and the U.S. DOE's strategic approach to fostering hydrogen's role in a low-carbon economy. It emphasizes the potential of hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier and outlines the key areas of focus for research, development, and deployment.

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