(Bloom Energy photo of research into the use of hydrogen in ships)
U.S. Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today reintroduced their bipartisan Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, a package of four bills to support the adoption of hydrogen in energy-intensive sectors.
Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are also cosponsors.
Hydrogen does not emit greenhouse gases at the point of use, allowing it to be used in intense and long-duration applications. These traits make it an attractive fuel source, especially for shipping, steel production, and other heavy industries.
Delaware has a stake in the adoption of hydrogen with Versogen, a start-up company, Air Liquide, W.L. Gore, and Bloom Energy, all doing work in that sector.
The Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative includes four bills, according to a release from Coons’ office:
- The Hydrogen for Ports Act would support the demonstration of hydrogen- and ammonia-fueled equipment at ports and in shipping applications. Ports are well-suited to be early adopters of hydrogen fuel, with multimodal transportation applications converging on a single location that can share infrastructure at scale.
- The Hydrogen for Industry Act would support commercial-scale demonstration projects for end-use industrial applications of hydrogen, including in the production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals. Industrial processes have specific technical requirements that limit the options for substituting heat sources. Hydrogen can supply reliable, high-temperature heat, offering favorable characteristics for reducing emissions in the industrial sector. Hydrogen can also serve as a feedstock for the production of ammonia, methanol, or other bulk chemicals.
- The Hydrogen for Trucks Act would support the demonstration of heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations while collecting critical data to inform future investments in hydrogen trucking infrastructure. The legislation would lower cost barriers and reduce risk for fleet operators interested in adopting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by providing data and benchmarks, thereby incentivizing private investment and accelerating demonstration and deployment. In addition, the parallel adoption of vehicles and fueling stations will ensure their immediate utilization in the hydrogen economy.
- 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 projects. This bill also includes a study to address outstanding questions related to technical requirements for transporting and storing hydrogen as well as an assessment of jurisdiction over siting, construction, safety, and regulation for hydrogen transport infrastructure.
“Sustained investments in hydrogen technologies will reduce pollution in our communities, create high-quality jobs, ensure our energy security, and help us meet our climate goals. Delaware is on the cutting edge of hydrogen innovation, manufacturing the membranes, fuel cells, electrolysis stacks, and carbon capture systems foundational to widespread clean hydrogen deployment,” said Coons. “I am proud to reintroduce the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, which shows bipartisan support for hydrogen as a promising, low-carbon fuel source and the jobs and economic activity that will follow, and I urge Congress to bolster U.S. leadership in clean energy solutions by swiftly passing these bills.”
“Hydrogen is a versatile energy source, but we lack the infrastructure to reap its benefits for a wide range of industries,” said Cornyn. “This legislation would help make hydrogen more accessible and cost-effective so businesses and consumers can utilize this reliable energy resource.”
In the 117th Congress, Senators Coons and Cornyn introduced the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative and the Hydrogen for Trucks Act. The bipartisan bills provide incentives for projects with significant economic benefits for Delaware and its workforce.
The Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative builds on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Senator Coons helped negotiate and pass into law in November 2021. Recent federal investments in hydrogen are already catalyzing projects across the United States. By sustaining generational long-term investments, the Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative will help meet the high demand for existing hydrogen funds and accelerate adoption of hydrogen in key sectors.
The full initiative is endorsed by RMI, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Action, Clean Air Task Force, ClearPath Action, 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.
“The hydrogen and fuel cell industry is extremely grateful for the leadership demonstrated by Senators Coons and Cornyn in promoting these bills to advance the deployment of hydrogen technologies across heavy-duty trucking, ports, and industry, as well as advancing the development of vital hydrogen pipelines. This is a clear bipartisan recognition that hydrogen will play a critical role in driving decarbonization across the country, while also enhancing our economy by creating thousands of good-paying jobs and driving private investment here in America,” said Frank Wolak, CEO, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association.
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