Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
The Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA) would create a pilot financing program to provide grants and flexible, low-interest loans for retrofitted or new hydrogen transport infrastructure, storage projects, and refueling stations.
The Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA) catalyzes the development of hydrogen transportation and storage infrastructure by establishing a hydrogen transport and infrastructure pilot financing program for new or retrofitted hydrogen transport infrastructure. It also directs a study to assess the cost, feasibility, and environmental impacts of hydrogen pipeline and storage build out. HIFIA also directs federal agencies including the Department of Energy, the Surface Transportation Board, and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, to assess the regulatory jurisdiction of hydrogen pipeline siting, construction, regulation, and possibilities for cost-recovery.
There are currently only 1600 miles of dedicated hydrogen pipelines in the U.S., a critical barrier that must be overcome to connect regions of low-cost hydrogen production with demand centers, helping scale the clean hydrogen industry beyond co-located production to new geographies, applications, and industries. Pipelines are an essential element of midstream infrastructure because they provide the lowest-cost hydrogen distribution option over long distances and high volumes. However, their high upfront capital costs, estimated at $1 million per mile, has limited build out, increasing the costs of delivered hydrogen which limits hydrogen use to areas where co-located production is feasible. This legislation would stimulate the build out of hydrogen pipelines by reducing investment cost and risk of new pipelines, enabling the US to build the hydrogen economy at the scale required.
The Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA) was introduced in the Senate as part of the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, a package of four bills that aim to support the adoption of hydrogen in energy-intensive industries through targeted direction and support for end-use applications as well stimulate the build out of the infrastructure required to move, store, and deliver hydrogen.
The program is modeled after the highly successful Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) programs for highway and water infrastructure and builds on similar goals as the Carbon Dioxide Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (CIFIA) program for CO2 infrastructure. The CIFIA program was part of the bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 which authorized $2.1 billion to support loans, loan guarantees, grants, and administrative expenses to enable deployment of common carrier CO2 transportation infrastructure to scale-up carbon management solutions.
The Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (HIFIA) aims to catalyze the build out of hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure. The bill:
- Directs the Secretary of Energy, in coordination with other agencies, to conduct a study on the potential layout and cost of hydrogen pipeline corridors; determine considerations for hydrogen transport and storage RD&D; evaluate the environmental impacts of hydrogen leakage from pipelines and storage; develop measurement, reporting, and verification of hydrogen leaks; and determine the environmental impacts of blending hydrogen into natural gas pipelines.
- Directs the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with other agencies, to establish a hydrogen infrastructure and innovation pilot program.
- Provides financial and technical assistance to hydrogen pipeline and storage developers as part of the pilot program.
- Authorizes $100 million for each of the fiscal years from FY 2024 to FY 2028.
- Directs the Secretary of Energy, in coordination with other agencies, to assess regulatory jurisdiction over the siting, construction, and regulation of hydrogen transport infrastructure, including blending to natural gas pipelines, and creating a framework for hydrogen pipeline cost recovery.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ)
ClearPath Action, RMI, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Action, Clean Air Task Force, Third Way, the University of Delaware, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Industrial Innovation Initiative, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute, AltaSea, CALSTART, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition, Cummins, Nikola, LanzaTech, Fortescue Future Industries, Air Products, Linde, Air Liquide, Bloom Energy, Chemours, Hy Stor Energy, PDC Machines, ENGIE, and Baker Hughes