‘First ever’ clean hydrogen strategy and roadmap

14 June 2023

The Biden-Harris Administration on 9 June released the ‘US National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap’, intended as a comprehensive framework for accelerating the production, processing, delivery, storage, and use of clean hydrogen. Achieving commercial-scale hydrogen deployment is a key component of president Biden’s ‘Investing in America’ agenda, and critical to building a strong clean energy economy while enabling the country’s long-term decarbonisation objectives.

Estimates indicate that America’s growing hydrogen economy has the potential to add 100 000 (net) new direct and indirect jobs by 2030. Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership other federal agencies, the Strategy and Roadmap is said to underscore the president’s whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis and achieving a carbon-free grid by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

Ali Zaidi, National Climate Advisor and presidential assistant commented: “This roadmap will align the private and public sectors on a shared path to drive faster toward a cleaner, more secure energy future.” 

The Strategy and Roadmap provides a snapshot of hydrogen production, transport, storage, and use in the United States today and a vision for how clean hydrogen will contribute to national decarbonisation goals across multiple sectors in the future. It examines future demand scenarios – with strategic opportunities for the domestic production of 10 million metric tonnes (MMT) of clean hydrogen annually by 2030, 20 MMT annually by 2040, and 50 MMT annually by 2050. It also complements a historic $9.5 billion investment for clean hydrogen through the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ongoing research and development efforts across the federal government, as well as strong policy incentives – including a new production tax credit for clean hydrogen – in the Inflation Reduction Act. 

The Strategy and Roadmap identifies three key strategies:

  • Targeting strategic, high-impact uses for clean hydrogen, to ensure that clean hydrogen will be utilised in the highest benefit applications, where limited alternatives exist (such as the industrial sector, heavy-duty transportation, and long-duration energy storage to enable a clean grid); 
  • Reducing the cost of clean hydrogen by catalysing innovation and scale, stimulating private sector investments, and developing the clean hydrogen supply chain; and 
  • Focusing on regional networks with large-scale clean hydrogen production and end-use in close proximity, enabling maximum benefit from infrastructure investment, driving scale, and facilitating market liftoff while leveraging place-based opportunities for equity, inclusion, and environmental justice.

To ensure that the Strategy and Roadmap addresses the needs of and incorporates input from the broadest possible array of hydrogen stakeholders, it was released in draft form for public comment in September 2022. The final version now released reflects feedback from across the Biden-Harris Administration, stakeholders in industry, academia, and the non-profit sector, as well as state, local, and Tribal governments. It also incorporates findings from DOE’s March 2023, ‘Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Clean Hydrogen’ report. The Strategy and Roadmap was designed to be a ‘living document’ and will be updated at least every three years. 

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