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DOE seeking input on H2@scale: hydrogen as centerpiece of future energy system; 50% reduction in energy GHGs by 2050

Earlier this year, The US Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories identified the potential of hydrogen to decarbonize deeply a multitude of sectors in a proposal termed “H2@Scale”. Preliminary analysis performed by the national laboratories on the H2@Scale concept indicated that nearly a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is possible by 2050 via such large-scale hydrogen production and use.

The concept sees hydrogen—a flexible, clean energy-carrying intermediate—having the potential to be a centerpiece of a future energy system where aggressive market penetration of renewables (wind and solar) are coupled with renewable hydrogen production to meet society’s energy demands across industrial, transportation, and power generation sectors using clean, renewable resources and processes.

Sankey diagrams showing (top) the energy use difference between a “2050 High Hydrogen Scenario” and the AEO 2040 scenario (quadrillion BTUs) and (bottom) the CO2 emissions difference between the two scenarios. Source: DOE workshop April 2016. Click to enlarge.

In webinar held in July, DOE researchers noted that a number of key recent changes are bringing hydrogen back into the spotlight, including:

  1. renewable energy is getting cheaper, and penetration levels are increasing at an exponential pace;

  2. the costs of greenhouse gas emissions (climate change) and criteria pollutants (health concerns) are being acknowledged and are reaching a point where society is demanding change (renewable portfolio and zero emission vehicle standards); and

  3. commercial viability of fuel cell vehicle technology has been demonstrated (commercial vehicles being sold).

The H2@Scale initiative will develop and enable the deployment of transformational technologies that produce and utilize green, low-cost hydrogen to achieve an economically competitive, deeply decarbonized future energy system across sectors. Click to enlarge.

Envisioned outcomes of H2@Scale include:

  • Increased penetration of intermittent renewable power generation;

  • Low cost green hydrogen for use in liquid fuels production, fuel cells, turbines, and other applications;

  • A decarbonized industrial sector through utilization of low-emission hydrogen production processes;

  • Enable expanded use of nuclear energy, through small modular and/or hybridized reactors;

  • A strong domestic industry and enhanced energy security through utilization of domestic energy sources and development of new technologies; and

  • Increased energy system resiliency and flexibility.

A key goal of the H2@Scale concept is to enable hydrogen production at $1/kg through advancements in electrolyzer technologies, use of low-cost electricity from the grid during off-peak times, and high-volume manufacturing of electrolyzers enabled by the use of hydrogen in a wide range of sectors.

RFI. Research in several relevant areas is currently addressed by many different DOE Offices, including the Offices of Nuclear Energy (NE), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fossil Energy (FE), Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), and Science (OS), along with the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E).

Given the broad scope of H2@Scale, and the need to engage many stakeholders to ensure the proposal’s success, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has now issued a request for information (DE-FOA-0001655) seeking feedback on activities to advance the H2@Scale proposal in both the near and longer-term.

The RFI seeks input on six specific areas:

  1. Concept of H2@Scale

  2. Integration of Hydrogen Production with the Electricity Grid, and with Storage and Pipeline Infrastructure

  3. Integration of Hydrogen Production with Process Heat, such as from Nuclear Generation, Industrial Waste Heat Sources, or Concentrated Solar Power

  4. Leveraging Stranded Renewables, and Value-Added Applications for Hydrogen

  5. Hydrogen from Fossil Fuels

  6. Other

Responses to the RFI must be submitted electronically to H2Scale@ee.doe.gov with the subject line “DE-FOA-0001655 - RFI” no later than 5:00pm (ET) on 4 November 2016.



I think the DOE in this article and the linked pdf nails it.

If you want lots of renewables in the grid you need hydrogen and its derivatives.

It is that simple.


Yes, at $1/Kg, H2 could be the ideal storage medium for excess/surplus REs, Hydro and Nuke energy.

Stored and distributed H2 could also be used competitively for current and future all weather, all size, FCEVs


"..green hydrogen for use in liquid fuels production.."
Combine this with bio fuels production and you could have a winner.
Sell the O2 for making butinol, medical and industrial uses.


I have a problem with H2@scale, quite simply I believe that it is the wrong approach.

Hydrogen on board the EV or on-site in the case of Off-grid houses.

HyPulJet.2.0 is being assessed by a UK University to validate the engine in order that the development of the prototype engine and adapt a four wheel drive vehicle to EV as a Proof of Concept EV.

There are three UK Patent Applications covering the engine-generator, the original Patent Application was voided by the USPTO because someone else had made two previous filings using the GB 14 number assigned to my Ro Engine. Even though one filing was dated Sept 2013 USPTO did not investigate why someone would enter a date of filing 4 months before 2014 when GB 14 numbers were assigned.

The 2nd filing had two names on it My name and the name of another person, USPTO would not provide any information.

When I filed a Freedom of Information Request, I was lied to by the Legal department, its a long story.

Message to the DOE "There is innovation being forced through because government funding is stifled and so it will be Crowd funding, these instances of innovation will not need H2 infrastructure. Mine may well be the first but when people see there are ways around the issues I expect more people to look for different ways.

DOE you will also find a mention of HyPulJet,2.0 in messages to the White House and the President.


Cheers for this, downloaded everything so will submit a plan outline before the 4th Nov, seeing H2 actually is my backup resource so I can take control of all utilities globally too and soon you shall get to add up such a reality the TRUTH - Nini is my Chinese name it!

Enjoy your Day - GLOBALIAN


There are literally hundreds of utility level battery backup systems coming online right now. This is going to be a race to see which one becomes more economically viable first and the batteries have a huge lead.

I don't see that changing as the batteries are picking up speed and dropping prices quickly with deployments ongoing already.


I meant to say "...hundreds of utility scale battery storage systems coming online right now".

I still wish GCC would implement an edit system. Sigh.



I am not sure why you are trying to create an opposition between fuel cells and batteries.

They have different characteristics and are employed in different contexts, just as capacitors, batteries, and generators are at the moment.

For instance in data centres fuel cells can do things batteries can't, for instance providing power all the time as well as with their high reliability providing back up if the grid goes down, and incidentally enabling atmospheric control so that the level of oxygen can be reduced enough to prevent fire, but still be perfectly breathable.

The largest grid connected fuel cell is in South Korea, and is 59MW, so it is not exactly tiny:


The engineers can use batteries where appropriate and fuel cells where appropriate.

Neither technology is going to go away.

If you want really large scale energy storage, you need to use hydrogen as well as batteries, as the DOE thoroughly documents.

I really don't understand why some seem to have a thing against fuel cells.

It is rather like not being keen on gravity, and trying to have as little as possible to do with it.


$1/kg H2, is a very optimistic number. If you invest in wind or solar energy you want to sell most of the energy at a highest possible price. You don't want to give away a lot of cheep power to make it possible to manufacture low cost hydrogen.To be able to produce and store 1kg of hydrogen you will need about 45 KWh of electric energy. That means that the cost of electric power alone will have to be less than $0.022/KWh if you don't consider the cost of investment.



All story is in your figures. At $0.022/kWh you can do whatever with electricity. Particularly you can charge Tesla with 90kWh for $2 and drive 300 miles instead of producing hydrogen, filling car 2 kg liquid H2 and driving only 100 miles.
Hydrogen madness is simply waste of energy and money. Those charts are something outrages and calculations for CO2 reduction are simply fake. This stuff has DOE mark and will influence US policy - unbelievable!!!


P.S. - hydrogen fuel economy.

Same is CO2 and energy economy.


Too many posters seems to (voluntary) ignore that:

1) H2 is a very good long time energy storage, as good if not better than very costly batteries.

2) H2 can feed FCEVs of all sizes for extended range in all kind of weather and conditions.

3) FCEVs supply free cabin heat to keep passengers from freezing.

4) Nissan and others will soon build mobile FCs with appropriate converters using bio-fuels and existing infrastructures for extended range cars and trucks.


Davemart, the reason I "pit them against each other" is because here in the US, funding to promote EVs has been drained away by hydrogen bullshyt promises for decades.

We'd be 5 years further ahead and BEVs would be on their way to domination except that Bush tried to top his stupidity of the Iraq war with even more stupidity on promoting hydrogen as "the future of transportation" because he has so many buddies in the oil and gas industry who pushed him to do that.

THEY are the driving force behind H2 and when they go away and we're just dealing with "naturally occurring" H2 situations (e.g. a nuclear plant that can produce H2 as a normal part of it's operation) then I'll be fine with it.

But right now, it's a distraction that steals limited resources and public support that simply slows down our march away from fossil fuels. IT IS SIMPLY A FACT THAT IN THE US, AND MOST OF THE WORLD, THAT H2 COMES FROM SIMPLY USING MORE FOSSIL FUELS.

When everyone stops ignoring that, then I'll listen to their hydrogen dreams.


I always though Bush gave more money to alt fuels AND BEVs than any president before him. (I thought the tax credit program was announced under him, so wealthy people could drive more costly and more net CO2 generating EVs and Hybrids?)

and DaveD, are you for a lithium based economy? We have about 250 years worth of known fossil fuel reserves. We only have a few decades of practical lithium. I think the known reserves would net like 2 billion decent ev cars(like model 3), if that's all we used it for. Likely we'd continue to use cell phones and other things like laptops, then there would be demands from the commercial /industrial sector. Lithium production, and the reserves will be stretched thin.

I'm not saying EVs are bad, just not feasible on a global scale. Lack of supply, cost, and packaging restraints will limit it severely.

A hydrogen economy would make it economically feasible to open a nuclear reactor (or several). The infrastructure is there for hydrogen transport in most major cities (natural gas lines), it give a great sink for excess renewables, and could keep base load powerplants busy (not to have them shutter or otherwise go broke being on standby. It can greatly enable renewables, a dispatchable load when needed.

Even if 1kg of hydrogen was $6 in this imaginary hydrogen economy, it would still be comparable to gasoline/diesel prices of today. So if $0.13/kwh or $.09/kwh for energy (if you included a 30% margin for profit/cost) isn't too bad... its definitely marketable to power companies.

Every FC vehicle would likely be a plug in.... if every FC had 50 miles of range and use the FC as an extender only, you'd have your goal of possible green society quicker. Odds of getting the BEV only mantra into every size truck and car is a near impossible feat, even with future technologies its a very pale outlook.


Where are you getting your numbers...Donald Trump's report sponsored by the Koch brothers?

They have reserves now to last for 90 years and they haven't even started trying to look for more reserves yet. The whole "lithium shortage thing" has been debunked so many times that I can't believe we're having this conversation.


In 2015 (and many other previous years) we sold $1,000,000,000+ worth of very low cost (under $0.04/kWh) clean Hydro Electricity to Eastern United States. A high percentage of that clean exported electricity was not used and could have been used to produce low cost clean H2 but it was not due to lower cost NG?

It seems obvious that new regulations are required in USA to give priority to clean REs over not so clean NG to produce H2. Since $$ are Kings of the Land, a pollution tax on NG would be required to even the playing field.

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