The Energy Department on Monday unveiled a roadmap it says will, using hydrogen energy, enable the U.S. to reduce its emissions by 10 percent in 2050, compared to 2005 levels.
The strategy document calls for specifically targeting hydrogen use in key industries, including chemicals, steel, refining and heavy transportation, where the energy source can have the greatest emissions reduction impact.
It also outlines a need to make hydrogen energy cheaper and to focus on regional hubs.
This type of energy is formed through processes that separate hydrogen from water molecules. It can be done using a variety of fuels, including renewable energy and fossil fuels.
The strategy from the Biden administration focuses specifically on hydrogen energy that’s formed using carbon-free sources, which the administration is calling clean hydrogen.
However, there has been some debate as to whether — to be truly clean — hydrogen plants need to use new sources of energy or if they can take electrons currently on the grid. Opponents of using existing energy argue doing so could result in existing energy being replaced with fossil power, but supporters say requiring new energy would be overly burdensome.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm demurred when asked to wade into that debate on Monday.
“It’s a really important consideration, and it’s something that I know we’re weighing,” she said, adding that the administration is looking at the issue for a hydrogen hub program and for hydrogen tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Treasury’s guidance hasn’t come out yet as you’re aware, and so that question about additionality will be part of it, and it’s a very important part because we want to make sure that truly we reduce CO2 emissions … so stay tuned,” she added, referring to a forthcoming tax credit guidance.
Source: The Hill