This brief discusses the $7 billion funding announcement for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the growing nationwide interest in hydrogen energy generation, and alternative federal funding and financing mechanisms for hydrogen generation projects.
Hydrogen As an Energy Source
Hydrogen is the most simple and abundant element in the universe. While highly combustible and energy-dense, hydrogen only naturally occurs on earth in compounds formed with other elements such as with oxygen to form water (H2O) and carbon to form hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are found in fossil fuels among other resources. Although chemical and industrial uses for hydrogen have been broadly deployed for more than a century, recent market and government investment in hydrogen as an energy source has broadened interest in hydrogen production.
Hydrogen energy is often categorized by producers, marketers, government agencies, and other stakeholders in color categories. Three of the most common color categories for hydrogen are green, pink, and blue:
- Green refers to hydrogen that was created through electrolysis with electricity from renewable sources.