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Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Clean Hydrogen

Mar 23, 2023

The "Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Clean Hydrogen" report, prepared in March 2023, provides a comprehensive overview of the clean hydrogen market in the United States. Key points from the report include:

  1. Report Objectives and Authors: This report aims to establish a common understanding and ongoing dialogue with the private sector about the path to commercial viability for critical clean energy technologies, focusing on clean hydrogen. It was authored by various offices and laboratories within the U.S. Department of Energy.

  2. Overview of the Clean Hydrogen Market: The report discusses the rapid growth potential of the U.S. clean hydrogen market, driven by various federal funding and incentives such as the Hydrogen Production Tax Credit (PTC), DOE's Hydrogen Shot, and decarbonization goals across sectors.

  3. Production, Distribution, and Use: The report examines the clean hydrogen value chain, which includes upstream production (e.g., electrolysis and reformation with carbon capture and storage), midstream distribution and storage (e.g., pipelines, trucking), and downstream end-uses (e.g., industrial, transportation, power generation).

  4. Commercial Liftoff Phases: It outlines three phases for clean hydrogen's commercial liftoff:

    • Near-term Expansion (2023–2026): Focused on replacing carbon-intensive hydrogen in industrial/chemical sectors.

    • Industrial Scaling (2027–2034): Falling production costs and growing infrastructure will expand hydrogen use in new sectors.

    • Long-term Growth (2035+): A self-sustaining market driven by cost declines and high utilization of infrastructure.

  5. Challenges and Solutions: The report identifies key challenges to commercialization and proposes solutions, including developing hydrogen infrastructure, catalyzing supply chain investments, establishing regulations, and accelerating technical innovation.

  6. Employment and Environmental Justice: The report highlights the potential for clean hydrogen to create jobs and address environmental justice issues. It emphasizes the need for careful implementation to avoid perpetuating existing energy system inequities.

  7. Investment Needs: A significant investment gap through 2030 is noted, necessitating rapid scaling of capital base and development of underwriting expertise for hydrogen projects.

  8. Technical Details: The report provides detailed technical insights into production methods, storage and distribution options, end-use applications, and cost analyses.

  9. Policy and Regulatory Considerations: It discusses the role of policy and regulation in fostering the hydrogen market, including lifecycle emissions analysis and standardization across the hydrogen economy.

  10. Future Prospects and Global Context: The report situates the U.S. hydrogen market within a global context, highlighting its potential role in reducing global CO2 emissions and leading in clean hydrogen production and use.

This summary captures the core themes and insights of the report, providing a comprehensive view of the current state and future prospects of the clean hydrogen market in the U.S.

Read the report here:

Download PDF • 6.33MB

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