Newswise — RICHLAND, Wash.—The Department of Energy today announced $7 billion to launch seven regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) to develop clean hydrogen energy that meets the nation’s energy needs. The regional hydrogen hubs will establish a national clean hydrogen network over the next decade.

Realizing this goal requires the expertise and experience of a true multi-sector partnership. DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is lending its expertise across several fields of study to support the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2). Public and private groups represented in PNWH2 are working with leaders in Washington, Oregon and Montana to leverage the region’s renewable energy sources to produce clean hydrogen for the region.

“Unlocking the full potential of hydrogen—a versatile fuel that can be made from almost any energy resource in virtually every part of the country—is crucial to achieving President Biden’s goal of American industry powered by American clean energy, ensuring less volatility and more affordable energy options for American families and businesses,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With this historic investment, the Biden-Harris Administration is laying the foundation for a new, American-led industry that will propel the global clean energy transition while creating high quality jobs and delivering healthier communities in every pocket of the nation.”

Clean hydrogen energy impact

PNNL’s Daniel Gaspar, serves as a senior technical advisor to the PNWH2 consortium.

“It’s important to evaluate the carbon impact of hydrogen production from the moment it’s produced to the moment it’s used, or what’s called cradle-to-gate emissions,” said Gaspar, a PNNL chemist with expertise in clean hydrogen and sustainable fuels. “PNNL is helping the Pacific Northwest projects determine their life-cycle impacts, including a framework to measure other impacts besides greenhouse gas emissions.”

PNNL experts are also providing economic analyses and evaluations of hydrogen production, integration with the electrical grid, and other areas as the region builds out a clean hydrogen economy.

“We are fortunate to be able to leverage existing clean, renewable electrical power in the Pacific Northwest to produce hydrogen at scale,” Gaspar added. “With our abundant Pacific Northwest hydroelectric power providing renewable electricity, we see clean hydrogen produced from clean electricity as being critically important to getting to net zero for greenhouse gas emissions in the heavy-duty transportation sector and other hard-to-abate applications.”

PNNL has a track record of working with regional partners to explore the feasibility of using clean hydrogen as a renewable energy source in a decarbonized energy economy. For example, PNNL researchers previously assisted partners at the Port of Seattle and Seattle public utility, Seattle City Light, to study the use of hydrogen at the Port.

Going forward, PNNL scientists, engineers and analysts are providing ongoing support to the PNWH2 consortium as they make progress toward lowering the cost of producing hydrogen in the Pacific Northwest and expanding its use in hard-to-abate sectors.

DOE’s H2Hubs will kickstart a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure while supporting the production, storage, delivery and end-use of clean hydrogen. Funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the H2Hubs will accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen—helping generate clean, dispatchable power, create a new form of energy storage and decarbonize heavy industry and transportation. Together, they will also reduce 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide) emissions from end-uses each year—an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars—and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs across the country while supporting healthier communities and strengthening America’s energy security.