Roadmaps and Vision Documents Provide Direction for U.S. Hydrogen Programs

Hydrogen Shot Program

The DOE’s Energy Earths Initiative encourages the creation of more abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy solutions. The first Energy Earthshot, which launched in June 2021, seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 Kilogram in 1 decade. Currently, hydrogen costs about $5 per kilogram.[1]

Department of Energy Hydrogen Program Plan

This report is published by the Department of Energy outlines the strategic focus areas of the Hydrogen Program which refers to the cohesive and coordinated effort of multiple offices surrounding hydrogen technologies. The purpose of the report is to disseminate information on the key RD&D needs to enable the large-scale use of hydrogen technologies, such as fuel cells and turbines, and how the various offices are addressing those needs.[2]

Hydrogen Strategy, Enabling a Low Carbon Economy

Published in 2020, the DOE Hydrogen Strategy report summarizes current hydrogen technologies and spotlights the DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) strategic plan to accelerate research, development, and deployment of hydrogen technologies in the U.S.

Hydrogen in Electricity’s Future

Released in June 2020, the Hydrogen in Electricity’s Future report was prepared for members and committees of congress by the Congressional Research Service. The analysis by the U.S. Global Change Research Program found that if Green House Gas (GHS) emissions continued at forecasted rates and adaptation actions were not undertaken, climate change impacts would damage U.S. infrastructure, communities, and the economy. The report notes that if Congress chooses to pursue further GHG emissions reduction, then addressing carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas may be an option. Moreover, Congress may examine the question of whether and how to lower the costs of producing and using hydrogen for power generation. Alternatively, Congress may also consider how to address the negative externalities of carbon dioxide emissions, with a tax or some other limit on CO2 emissions as a potential option.[3]

Pathway to Lower Cost of H2 Distribution and Dispensing

In September 2018, the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office presented its pathway for U.S. hydrogen distribution and dispensing, in slide 6 of its presentation at the International Hydrogen Infrastructure Workshop.[4]

California Renewable Hydrogen Roadmap

Published in 2018, this California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) sponsored roadmap was developed by Energy Independence Now (EIN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing fuel cell electric vehicles and the hydrogen-fueling infrastructure. While most hydrogen is currently produced from natural gas, this latest California roadmap focuses on hydrogen produced without the carbon byproduct of fossil fuels – that is, hydrogen produced using renewable energy or electricity derived from renewable sources as defined and accepted by California policy.[5]

“Primarily using the lens of the transportation market in California, this roadmap identifies the opportunities and challenges for renewable hydrogen to provide zero-emission or even carbon-negative transportation fuel as well as critical energy storage for renewables. It considers the many aspects of the current hydrogen ecosystem and identifies the steps and policy decisions that are necessary to stimulate growth in the renewable hydrogen marketplace and clean energy economy.”[6]

Hydrogen Road Map for The U.S. Midwest Region

Published in July 2017, the Hydrogen Roadmap for the U.S. Midwest Region was developed for the Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative (RHFCC) and the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence (MHCoE). The RHFCC was established to propel the Midwest to become a national leader in the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. The RHFCC is a collaboration between the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. A key initiative of the RHFCC is the MHCoE, which supports regional advancement and adoption of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in Midwestern public transit. There is currently a multistate (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania) effort underway by these organizations to encourage and support the utilization of hydrogen as the energy source for the states’ transportation needs.[7]

Updated June 2022 by Erin Bennett