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DOE to issue a funding opportunity announcement on H2@Scale

The US Department of Energy DOE intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0002022) to advance the H2@Scale concept. The focus of H2@Scale is to enable affordable and reliable large-scale hydrogen generation, transport, storage, and utilization in the United States across multiple sectors. (Earlier post.)

The US produces more than 10 million metric tons of hydrogen per year, used primarily for petroleum refining and fertilizer production. However, there are a number of opportunities to increase hydrogen generation and utilization across the country.

H2@Scale is an initiative to enable affordable and reliable large-scale hydrogen generation, transport, storage, and utilization in the United States across sectors.

For example, electrolyzers can produce hydrogen by splitting water when power generation exceeds demand. This can reduce or prevent curtailment of renewables, optimize baseload (e.g., nuclear power) assets, and enable grid stability and resiliency, while also producing hydrogen as a fuel or feedstock for end users. In addition, hydrogen produced from existing baseload assets can be stored, distributed, and used as a fuel for transportation, stationary power, process or building heat, and industrial sectors (e.g. steel manufacturing), creating an additional revenue stream for those assets.

The DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) anticipates that the FOA may include the following Areas of Interest:

Area of Interest 1 ‐ Early Stage H2@Scale‐Enabling R&D

  • Topic 1: Advanced Hydrogen Storage and Infrastructure R&D. Reducing the cost of hydrogen storage and infrastructure technologies would allow hydrogen and fuel cells to be more accessible to every day consumers, whether through vehicles, stationary power, or portable power applications. This topic seeks early stage concepts with the potential to reduce the cost of the storage, use, and transportation of hydrogen.

    The two focus areas are: 1A) Hydrogen carrier materials R&D, with a focus on bulk storage and transport of hydrogen (selected projects will be integrated into the Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC)); and 1B) Hydrogen materials compatibility R&D, with a focus on metallic and non‐metallic materials required across the infrastructure value chain (selected projects will be integrated into the Hydrogen Materials (H‐Mat) consortium).

  • Topic 2: Innovative Concepts for Hydrogen Production and Utilization. Hydrogen production and utilization technologies need to be more affordable for hydrogen and fuel cells to become more mainstream. This topic seeks applications for early stage foundational research in technologies for widespread hydrogen production and fuel cell concepts to hit $4 per gasoline gallon equivalent and $40/kW cost goals.

    Focus areas include: 2A) Advanced water splitting materials research (selected projects will be integrated into the HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials consortium); 2B) Affordable biological hydrogen production from biomass resources; 2C) Co‐production of hydrogen and value‐add byproducts from diverse resources; and 2D) Reversible fuel cell development where hydrogen can be produced and utilized in a single system.

Area of Interest 2 ‐ H2@Scale Integrated System R&D

  • Topic 3: Integrated Production, Storage and Fueling System. There is little existing information available on the integration and optimization of advanced technologies for hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and utilization into a complete system and then evaluating its performance to meet consumer needs. FCTO intends to seek applications for industry‐led efforts to demonstrate a hydrogen‐focused integrated energy production, storage, and transportation fuel distribution/retailing system and to enable integrated energy systems using high or low temperature electrolyzers with the intent of advancing the H2@Scale concept.

    In addition to the use of renewables, this topic seeks to encourage the use of nuclear baseload operation and systems optimization R&D for a viable value proposition.

    This first of‐its‐kind R&D demonstration of an H2@Scale integrated approach can enable viable business cases for increasing asset utilization across the entire energy production to end‐use value chain. The effort would serve as a real world demonstration with multi‐ sector industry‐led validation of innovative technologies that will help guide future R&D needs. FCTO encourages regional clusters that enable economies of scale, rather than disparate, geographically unconnected demonstrations. Multiple regional end users in one demonstration can generate larger volumes (e.g. several hundred kilograms of hydrogen per day) that can reduce overall hydrogen cost.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue the FOA in January/February 2019.



Interesting projects to reduce H2 production cost with excess base load energy and surplus energy from REs to maximize the efficiency of e-energy production facilities.

Use of reversible higher efficiency FCs, to produce and use H2, is also interesting.

REs, H2 and FCs are complimentary to ensure future availability of clean energy.

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