The Clean Hydrogen Innovation Act of 2021 modifies existing statute for the Loan Program Office (LPO) to expand the types of clean hydrogen projects that qualify for low interest grants. There is growing recognition that clean hydrogen can fill a white space on the path to deep decarbonization, but emerging technologies across the hydrogen value chain can only reach maturity when financial risk is minimized for first movers.
The Clean Hydrogen Innovation Act is a bipartisan bill that supports the development of emerging hydrogen technologies by making financing available for hydrogen technologies, beyond fuel cells, for electrical, industrial, residential, and transportation applications. Additionally, the bill requires a domestic manufacturing base and supply chain review to ensure the U.S. is able to be a lead innovator in hydrogen technologies.
The Loan Program Office was originally established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as an incentive to deploy innovative technologies. The original legislation covers many categories of projects including renewable, advanced fossil, advanced nuclear, carbon capture, and hydrogen projects; however, the hydrogen inclusion only covers fuel cell technologies for residential, industrial, and transportation applications. In the Energy Act of 2020, the LPO statue was expanded to include additional areas in advanced nuclear, carbon capture, energy storage, and industrial process improvements, but did not expand hydrogen technologies. The LPO currently has $40 billion dollars in available financing for innovative projects; the Clean Hydrogen Innovation Act would allow hydrogen developers to tap into that resource.
The Clean Hydrogen Innovation Act supports domestic hydrogen development through:
- Broadening LPO Statute – This bill would make financing available for hydrogen technologies including technology-neutral clean production, infrastructure, storage, and utilization for electrical, industrial, residential, and transportation applications. Many hydrogen technologies are emergent, and access to LPO funding will minimize risk for early movers.
- Domestic Review – The bill requires a report detailing opportunities to increase domestic hydrogen production and utilization which includes a domestic manufacturing base and supply chain review. This review will identify strengths and weaknesses in domestic manufacturing, and will inform future policy to ensure the U.S. is a lead innovator in hydrogen technologies.
Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN-6), Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN-7), Rep. Haley M. Stevens (D-MI-11).
ClearPath Action, Cummins, Fuel Cell Hydrogen Energy Association