Updated July 2021
Target by 2030
1,000,000 (CA Goal)
1,000 (CA Goal)
Initiatives, Programs, and Policies
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its Hydrogen Program Plan in November 2020. The Plan is a coordinated effort across multiple offices within the DOE and provides the framework for hydrogen research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities. The Hydrogen Program Plan focuses on advancing affordable production, transport, storage, and use of hydrogen across different sectors of the economy.
- Programs and activities in states and various regions continue. For example, in October 2020, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a $384 million plan for clean transportation focusing on the adoption of zero-emission cars and trucks to help California reach its emission reduction, energy, and public health goals. Included in the plan is $70 million for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, as well as $129.8 million for medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure, and more. The funds will be available over the next three years.
The 2020 budget for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies (HFTO) Office is $150M (compared to $120M for 2019) covering hydrogen and fuel cells R&D infrastructure, technology acceleration, systems analysis and safety, codes & standards activities (note that the official name of the DOE office leading hydrogen and fuel cell efforts reverted closer to a former name- HFTO, rather than Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) to be consistent with its congressional budget chapter nomenclature).For future reference, HFTO is the correct name. Additional congressional appropriations included $30M for fossil energy, including solid oxide fuel cells and $11M for nuclear energy (along with $10M from HFTO for a nuclear to hydrogen demonstration).
The U.S. DOE HFTO is currently updating its strategic plan (“Multiyear Plan”) which will set strategic priorities and key R&D area to focus on for the next several years. The plan will be released in the Fall 2020 timeframe. A major focus will be on heavy duty transportation as well as industrial end use applications.
The US Industry Hydrogen Roadmap was released in early 2020. Industry stakeholders developed this report using McKinsey’s analysis team, similar to Hydrogen Council documents and it projects the potential for hydrogen across applications across the United States.
Mr. Dan Brouillette was sworn in as Secretary of Energy upon departure of Secretary Perry. He had attended the first Hydrogen Energy Ministerial in 2018 and has also had an opportunity to drive FCEVs at DOE.
California is developing a medium and heavy-duty zero-emission fleet regulation with the goal of achieving a zero-emission truck and bus California fleet by 2045. Other efforts are also underway focused on heavy duty vehicles. The current proposal (as of May 2020) would require truck manufacturers sell zero-emission electric trucks as an increasing percentage (from 5% to up to 50%, depending on the truck class) of their California sales from 2024 to 2030.
Research and Development
DOE presented new fuel cell and hydrogen R&D targets during the DOE Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review plenary to reflect increased focus on heavy duty transportation for fuel cells and alignment with the new DOE Hydrogen Shot. The 2030 cost target for heavy duty fuel cell system is $80/KW and the cost target for hydrogen production is $1/kg.
DOE released fuel cell R&D program records documenting the fuel cell bus durability as 17,000 hours, and the projected cost of an 80-kW PEM fuel cell system as $76/kW (assuming a 10,000 units/yr. volume).
DOE continues to expand its efforts across offices that include not only renewables but also fossil fuels with CCS, nuclear, and basic science, strengthening coordination through the Under Secretary’s Science and Energy Tech Team on hydrogen.
- The DOE launched the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck (M2FCT) and the H2NEW consortia on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day 2020 (October 8). Each consortium will be led by a DOE National Laboratory and will identify ways to make hydrogen and fuel cell technologies more affordable and competitive. The M2FCT consortium will focus on fuel cell durability, performance, and cost for the long-haul trucking market. The H2NEW consortium will focus on improving the durability, efficiency, and affordability of large scale electrolyzers.
- The DOE announced $34 million in R&D funding for solid oxide fuel cells, electrolyzers and reversible fuel cells to advance the commercial readiness of hydrogen production and power generation.
- The DOE released fuel cell performance, cost, and durability targets and status for automotive fuel cells, early market transportation and reversible fuel cells for electric energy storage applications. The fuel cell stack specific power target for light-duty vehicle applications has been updated to 2.7 kilowatts per kilogram of hydrogen. Commercially available automotive fuel cell systems were estimated to cost $165 per kilowatt at a manufacturing volume of 3,000 systems per year. The target for reversible high temperature fuel cell system capital cost is $1,300 per kilowatt at 65% system efficiency.
- The DOE released various Program Records including on the costs of electrolytic hydrogen production with existing technology, hydrogen production from high temperature electrolysis, and hydrogen delivery and dispensing. Using existing technology, the cost of hydrogen production via today’s polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers (at low manufacturing volumes) can range from $5 to $6 per kilogram of hydrogen assuming electricity prices of $0.05/kWh to $0.07/kWh. Projected hydrogen delivery costs for stations with a capacity of 450 kilograms of hydrogen per day are $11.00 per kilogram for liquid tanker-based stations and $9.50 per kilogram for tube-trailer gaseous stations.
The U.S. DOE continues to focus on enabling innovation through lab-led consortia related to hydrogen production, storage, fuel cells and enabling materials.
Through substantial industry input, the U.S. DOE released performance targets for hydrogen fuel cell trucks to help guide R&D activities in this area.
The U.S. DOE released a Program Record on the cost of hydrogen produced electrolyzers if manufactured at high volumes. The projected, high-volume, untaxed cost of hydrogen from electrolyzers, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, can range from approximately $2 to $7 per kilogram of hydrogen.
Demonstration, Deployments, and Workforce Developments
- The DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office announced approximately $64million in funding for 18 projects that will support the DOE’s H2@Scale vision. The selected projects will focus on the development of durable and cost-effective hydrogen systems, demonstrations of large-scale hydrogen utilization at ports and data centers, and the development of a robust workforce for the hydrogen and fuel cells technology economy.
- The U.S. will now have four nuclear to hydrogen related projects, including demonstrations in Ohio and Minnesota, for electrolytic hydrogen production at existing nuclear plants.
- Four demonstration projects selected by the U.S. DOE for funding are finalizing their siting plans for MW scale demonstrations in Texas, Florida, and the Midwest and will include use of solar, wind, and nuclear power to produce hydrogen for both stationary and transportation applications.
- The U.S. DOE and Hyundai Motor Company announced a partnership to assess and validate the current status and performance of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. This collaboration will include data collection and validation on five Hyundai NEXO fuel cell cars, as well as the installation of the H-Prize H2Refuel winner’s small scale refueler (SimpleFuel Unit) to support refueling and identify infrastructure R&D gaps.
- The U.S. DOE and U.S. Army issued a solicitation to develop and demonstrate H2Rescue, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered emergency relief truck. The solicitation can provide up to $1 million in federal funds and requires an equal match of industry contributions.
- The U.S. DOE HFTO’s most recent funding opportunity announcement included topics to demonstrate integrated hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization systems for maritime applications and data centers. An additional topic focused on workforce development and training programs to support the emerging hydrogen and fuel cell industry.
Events and Solicitations
- The DOE hosted the virtual H2@Airports workshop on November 4 - 6 in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy. Workshop participants identified potential aviation-related opportunities that support the U.S. DOE’s H2@Scale vision.
- The DOE held various H2IQ hours, including one on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day which highlighted three H2@Scale demonstration projects.
- The DOE celebrated National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day with various communications activities including a H2@scale blog, a DOE mailing on how stakeholders could celebrate the day, and social media engagement including a Facebook Live session by DOE Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons.
- The 2020 DOE Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Principal investigator presentations are posted online in lieu of the event.
- The 2021 AMR will be held from June 8-10, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.
- U.S. DOE hosted an H2@Scale workshop on Nov 5 and in conjunction with the Fuel Cell Seminar in Long Beach, CA.
- U.S. DOE held various H2IQ hours, including one highlighting hydrogen and fuel cell stakeholders that have contributed to COVID-19 relief efforts in the U.S.
- U.S. DOE Nuclear Energy and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Offices participated in a webinar organized by the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Hydrogen Initiative (NICE) to identify opportunities from coupling nuclear and hydrogen.
- The 2020 U.S. DOE Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting was cancelled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentations prepared will be posted online.
- The 2021 AMR will be held from June 8-10, 2021 in Crystal City, Virginia
Investments and Funding
- The DOE issued a request for proposals for collaborative projects addresses two priority areas: advancing hydrogen fueling technologies for medium- and heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles and addressing technical barriers to hydrogen blending in natural gas, through a project called HyBlend. Over 20 industrial partners will collaborate with national labs to address technical challenges in the above two topic areas.
- The DOE’s Nuclear Energy and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies offices awarded ~$26 million total for two projects that will advance the operation of light-water nuclear reactors with integrated hydrogen production systems.
- The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy announced $80 million in funding for two projects that will support the development of energy plants with net zero carbon power generation and carbon free hydrogen co-production.
- In November 2020, DOE announced Fiscal Year 2020 small business award topics which include fuel cell membrane assemblies for heavy-duty applications, approaches to minimize boil off losses from liquid hydrogen storage, and efficient chillers for hydrogen pre-cooling at heavy duty hydrogen fueling stations.
- On Jan 23, U.S. DOE announced its Fiscal Year 2020 H2@Scale New Markets FOA, making available up to $64 million in federal funding for projects that demonstrate ways to scale up affordable hydrogen and fuel cell technology options.
- The U.S. DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Nuclear Energy (NE) Offices are funding up to $21 million under the U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Funding Opportunity to projects aimed at leveraging synergies between nuclear and hydrogen technologies.
- The U.S. DOE announced nearly $20 million in small business awards which included projects that will focus on hydrogen R&D challenges and advance progress in hydrogen production from offshore wind.
Regulations, Codes & Standards, and Safety
- Version 3.0 of the Hydrogen Risk Assessment Models (HyRAM) software was released in October 2020. Significant changes to the toolkit include more accurate property calculations for a wider range of conditions (including cryogenic conditions), improvements to component leak frequency characterization, and the addition of default overpressure and impulse results.
- The Center for Hydrogen Safety held two virtual conferences in Fall 2020, one in September with a U.S. focus and another in October with a European focus. A third conference, with an Asia-Pacific focus, is planned for Spring 2021.
- The Center for Hydrogen Safety plans to hold two conferences in the coming months. The first is planned for September 15-16 in Anaheim, CA. The second is planned for October 20-21 in Frankfurt, Germany. The timing of these events is subject to change due to COVID-19.
- The Global Technical Regulation (GTR) Phase II is ongoing. Recent in-person meetings have been cancelled but remote meetings of the individual task forces have taken place.
- Sandia National Laboratories recently released a report, “Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Tunnels.”
California Fuel Cell Parternship
California Hydrogen Business Council
Colorado Cleantech Industries Association
Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition
Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association
Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition
Renewable Hydrogen Alliance
Reports & Publications
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its Hydrogen Program Plan in November 2020. The Plan is a coordinated effort across multiple offices within the DOE and provides the framework for hydrogen research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities. The Hydrogen Program Plan focuses on advancing affordable production, transport, storage, and use of hydrogen across different sectors of the economy.
DOE National Labs published three H2@Scale technical reports related to resource analysis as well as supply and demand potential for hydrogen. Analysis indicates that the demand potential for hydrogen in the U.S. may be 2 to 4 times higher than today’s volumes of 10 million metric tons.
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE): Multiyear Research, Development and Demonstration Plan
Office of Nuclear Energy (NE): Nuclear Hydrogen R&D Plan (PDF 1.81MB)
Office of Fossil Energy (FE): Hydrogen from Coal Program Research, Development and Demonstration Plan (PDF 1.45MB)
Office of Science (SC): Basic Research Needs for the Hydrogen Economy (PDF 7.24MB)
DOE's Fuel Cell School Buses Report to Congress (PDF 783KB)
The Secretary of Energy's First Biennial Report to Congress Responding to Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) Findings and Recommendations during (PDF 123KB)Fiscal Year 2007
Last updated June 2021