DOE Announces New Lab Consortia to Advance Hydrogen, Fuel Cells

On June 23, the US Department of Energy announced that it will invest up to $100 million over five years in two new DOE National Laboratory-led consortia to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies research and development. One consortium will conduct R&D to achieve large-scale, affordable electrolyzers, which use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and can be powered by various energy sources, including natural gas, nuclear and renewables. This R&D will complement and help support large industry deployment by enabling more durable, efficient and low cost electrolyzers. The other consortium will conduct R&D to accelerate the development of fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicle applications, including long-haul trucks. This initiative will set a five-year goal to prove the ability to have a fully competitive heavy-duty fuel cell truck that can meet all of the durability, cost and performance requirements of the trucking industry.

“Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies have the potential to enable resiliency, energy security and economic growth across multiple sectors,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Through these ambitious new initiatives, the US continues its commitment to all-of-the-above energy solutions, providing a wide variety of clean energy options for both power generation and transportation.”

DOE assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R. Simmons gave a preview of this announcement during his remarks at the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) Global Hydrogen Forum, where he represented the United States as the IPHE Chair. “We have made tremendous technological progress on fuel cells, electrolyzers, and fundamental materials, but hydrogen infrastructure remains a critical barrier we are committed to overcome,” Simmons said. “Through these new consortia, the National Labs, industry and academia will work together to improve the cost, durability and distribution of these technologies in order to realize their full potential.”

The two consortia will leverage world-class expertise and state-of-the-art equipment at DOE’s National Labs and support DOE’s H2@Scale vision for large-scale, affordable hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization across multiple applications, energy storage and metals manufacturing.

H2@Scale is led by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE’s) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office. The funding is subject to appropriations.