The United States Department of Energy (DOE) today released their new Hydrogen Program Plan. The Plan will promote a strategic framework for the hydrogen research, development and demonstration activities they have already been promoting.
It is a coordinated effort involving participation from many U.S. departments and offices, including:
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Fossil Energy
- Nuclear Energy
- Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy
The program is intended to advance the affordable production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen across every economic area. The recently released 56-page Hydrogen Program Plan is meant to serve as the overarching document to set the Hydrogen Program’s strategic direction. You can read the entire document here.
Hydrogen is an exciting fuel
“Hydrogen is an exciting fuel source that has the potential to integrate our nation’s energy resources, but to fully recognize its potential across the economy, we need to lower costs and see a significant increase in hydrogen supply and demand,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This administration is excited by the Department-wide efforts and collaborations outlined in this Plan that will address these issues and help secure hydrogen as an option in the nation’s energy future.”
There are several kinds of hydrogen being produced – gray, blue, and green.
Gray and blue hydrogen are both made with the use of fossil fuels. The Steam Methane Reform method uses high-pressure steam and natural gas to produce hydrogen and CO2.
Blue differs from gray only because carbon capture technology is employed to prevent the CO2 from escaping and entering the atmosphere. The CO2 is then placed in underground reservoirs, reducing the footprint of the hydrogen creation.
Green hydrogen is produced without emitting any greenhouse gases. Its most common method of production is electrolysis. This method splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using “green” electricity – electricity produced with sun or wind power. Hydrogen produced with this method is of a higher, more pure, quality than blue or gray.
All-of-the-above energy plan
While it is being looked at as the energy of the future, hydrogen isn’t there yet. This is just the beginning. Fossil fuels are incomparable in price, availability, and an already-in-place infrastructure.