The D.O.E.’s Hydrogen Program Plan


The U.S. Department of Energy (the D.O.E.) released the Hydrogen Program Plan in 2023. This plan outlines the importance of hydrogen, the purpose of the program, and the focus of research and development (R&D). The release of this plan serves as a pivotal moment in the U.S.’s commitment to transitioning towards a more sustainable and greener future. Hydrogen, known for its exceptional energy density and low environmental impact, has the potential to revolutionize the way we power our industries, transportation systems, and communities.

The Program’s Focus

The primary objective of the D.O.E.’s Hydrogen Program is to accelerate the commercial adoption of hydrogen technologies. The three goals they are prioritizing are: targeting strategic, high-impact uses for clean hydrogen, reducing the cost of clean hydrogen, and focusing on regional networks. By fostering partnerships between government agencies, industry leaders, and academic institutions, the program aims to create an ecosystem that incentivizes investment in hydrogen-related R&D projects.

One key aspect of the program’s focus is the advancement of hydrogen production, storage, and utilization technologies. Clean hydrogen can be produced by many avenues, including water-splitting using renewable or nuclear power, from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage, and biomass or waste feedstocks. The DOE is funding an increasing amount of carbon capture and storage projects around the U.S.. Hydrogen can also utilize technologies by enabling renewables through long-duration energy storage and offering flexibility and multiple revenue streams to clean power generation.

The plan outlines a comprehensive roadmap that entails developing efficient and cost-effective methods for producing and storing hydrogen, while also catalyzing advancements in fuel cell technologies for its utilization. Through these endeavors, the D.O.E. aims to establish hydrogen as a readily available and economically viable solution for meeting the U.S.’s energy demands.

The Hydrogen Program Plan Roadmap

The roadmap outlines three categories: National decarbonization goals, strategies to enable the benefits of clean hydrogen, and guiding principles and national actions guiding principles.

The first category, national decarbonization goals include 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Achieving net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050 requires transformational advances in energy infrastructure and many other sectors of the economy.

Graph showcasing the U.S.'s decarbonization goals.

The second category, strategies to enable the benefits of clean hydrogen, outlines three key strategies to ensure a clean hydrogen future. First, the use of clean hydrogen will be focused in sectors that are hard to decarbonize rather than potentially competing with existing low carbon solutions like electric vehicles for personal transportation. Second, the U.S. can dramatically lower the delivered cost of clean hydrogen by developing sustainable and supply-resilient pathways. Third, scale can be achieved strategically by focusing on regional networks, ramping up hydrogen production and end-use in close proximity to drive down transport and infrastructure costs and create holistic ecosystems that provide local benefits.

The third category, guiding principles and national actions guiding principles, ensure federal agencies will use the guiding principles showcased below as the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap is developed and continuously refined. Principles of equity and justice are a high priority, consistent with the Biden Administration’s commitments to ensure that overburdened, underserved, and underrepresented individuals and communities have access to Federal resources.

Graphic describing the eight categories of the guiding principles for federal agencies.

Furthermore, the Hydrogen Program Plan seeks to facilitate the deployment and integration of hydrogen technologies across various sectors. By fostering early-stage market developments and promoting demonstrations of hydrogen-driven applications, the program aims to build confidence in the viability of hydrogen as a mainstream energy source. This strategic approach not only allows for sustainable economic growth but also contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.


In conclusion, the D.O.E.’s Hydrogen Program Plan represents a significant milestone in the U.S.’s pursuit of a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. By prioritizing R&D efforts, fostering collaboration, and promoting the deployment of hydrogen technologies, this plan paves the way for a brighter tomorrow. As we continue to face challenges in meeting our energy needs without harming the environment, it is reassuring to witness the commitment and dedication of government agencies in supporting innovative solutions.

The European Commission’s Investment Agenda

The European Union (EU) is looking to the future of energy and has identified hydrogen as an important component of its ongoing energy transition. To this end, the European Commission has proposed a dedicated investment agenda to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technologies.

The European Commission’s investment agenda covers the production, transport, storage, and use of hydrogen, as well as the research and development of new technologies. The Commission’s plans aim to ensure a secure, reliable, and sustainable energy supply in the EU, while also helping to meet the EU’s climate goals.

stock image of hydrogen storage

The Commission’s plans include an initial 180 billion euros of public and private investments, including 100 billion euros from the EU and its Member States, to finance the deployment of hydrogen technologies over the next decade. The Commission is also setting up the first-ever fuel cell and hydrogen observatory (FCHO), which will provide comprehensive data and analysis on developing and deploying hydrogen technologies in the EU. The FCHO was created for the use of policymakers, industry stakeholders, and the general public and is funded by the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).

image of the FCHO website
graphic of the world with highlighted areas to show the suppliers the eu will be working with per the REPoowerEU plan

The Commission’s investment agenda also includes several measures to support the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies. These measures include support for research and innovation and funding for demonstration projects. REPowerEU, for example, plans to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels by diversifying supplies from international partners. Read more about REPowerEU here. The Commission is also looking at ways to remove regulatory and other barriers to the use of hydrogen. 

In addition to these measures, the Commission is also looking at ways to ensure that the benefits of hydrogen technologies are shared among all Member States. The Commission is proposing a common framework for market development and access, as well as the establishment of an EU-wide certification system. 

In conclusion, the European Commission’s investment agenda for hydrogen presents a major opportunity for the EU to move towards a clean energy future. The proposed measures and investments will help to ensure a secure, reliable, and sustainable energy supply while also helping to meet the EU’s climate goals. However, a number of challenges need to be addressed to ensure that the benefits of hydrogen technologies are shared among all Member States.

To learn more about the European Commission’s support of hydrogen, visit

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a groundbreaking consensus reached by 195 nations in 2015 to address the pressing issue of climate change. The Agreement sets a global target of limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below two °C above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5°C. This is essential, considering global temperatures have been rising for decades, leading to devastating effects, such as more frequent and intense heatwaves, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and more severe storms.

To achieve this target, countries agreed to cut emissions and take other measures to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some measures include transitioning to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, improving energy efficiency, and promoting sustainable transportation. Every country is expected to take responsibility and play an active role in reducing GHG emissions.

The Paris Agreement was officially enacted on November 4, 2016, after being ratified by more than 55 countries that represented over 55% of global emissions. As of October 2017, 175 countries had ratified the Agreement, accounting for more than 96% of global emissions. This is a significant milestone in the fight against climate change and a testament to the worldwide community’s commitment to sustainability goals.

The Agreement calls for regular reviews of progress, known as “stocktakes,” every five years to assess countries’ progress in meeting their commitments and to identify further actions needed. The first stocktake took place in November 2017, allowing nations to come together and review their progress toward achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. These two-year long reviews are critical in ensuring that countries are accountable for their commitments and are taking the necessary steps to reduce GHG emissions. The most recent stocktake was in 2022 and is scheduled to conclude at the UN Climate Change Conference at the end of 2023.

The Paris Agreement also established the Paris Agreement Foundation, a mechanism to provide financial support to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. To date, the Foundation has received pledges totaling $2.3 billion. This financial support is essential in ensuring that developing countries can participate fully in the global effort to address climate change, as they often lack the resources and capacity to implement the necessary measures.

In conclusion, the Paris Agreement is a critical global consensus in the fight against climate change. It sets ambitious goals for limiting global warming and provides a framework for countries to work together towards these goals. Although the road ahead may be challenging, the Paris Agreement is a significant step in the right direction and provides hope for a sustainable future.

Introduction to Hydrogen and Its Applications


Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that has the lightest weight among all elements. Its molecular structure consists of two atoms of hydrogen that bond together to form an H2 molecule. Hydrogen has a wide array of properties that makes it ideal for use in various industrial applications. For one, it has a high energy content that makes it a valuable fuel source. Additionally, it burns cleanly without producing pollutants that harm the environment. Overall, hydrogen is a versatile element that continues to gain popularity as a sustainable solution for a variety of industries.

Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen production is one of the most critical aspects of the fuel’s adoption for industrial applications. Current production methods include:

  • Steam Methane Reforming, the most common method, uses natural gas to produce hydrogen. First, methane reacts with steam in the presence of a catalyst, producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Subsequently, the carbon monoxide reacts with steam, leading to the production of additional hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
  • Another method, electrolysis, is when an electric current passes through water, splitting the molecule into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Biomass gasification is the process where biomass is converted into synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, by exposing the biomass to heat, steam, and pressure. Syngas can be used to produce ammonia and methane, or as fuel source.

 Ultimately, the method used depends on cost, efficiency and sustainability. Steam Methane Reforming is typically more economical, while electrolysis presents a less carbon intensive option. Biomass gasification is better suited for regions with abundant biomass feedstocks. Despite the different methods, hydrogen production is an essential step towards achieving the energy transition to cleaner and sustainable energy sources.


Transportation of Hydrogen

Now that we’ve examined how hydrogen is produced, let’s discuss how it can be transported. Compressed hydrogen gas and liquid hydrogen are the two main methods for transporting hydrogen. Compressed hydrogen gas is exactly what it sounds like – hydrogen gas that has been compressed under high pressure to reduce its volume. This allows it to be transported in tanks and cylinders like those used for compressed natural gas. Liquid hydrogen, on the other hand, is hydrogen that has been chilled to extremely low temperatures, which causes it to condense into a liquid state. Like compressed gas, it can be transported in tanks and cylinders. However, liquid hydrogen requires much more energy to produce and to maintain its low temperature, making it more expensive than compressed gas.

Hydrogen in Industrial Processes

Hydrogen has enormous potential as a clean and versatile fuel in a variety of industrial processes. The petrochemical industry uses hydrogen in the production of various chemicals, including fertilizers, plastics, and fuels. In metals refining, it is used to remove impurities from metals and improve their yield. Ammonia production is another key industrial use of hydrogen, with the gas used as a feedstock to produce ammonia for fertilizers and other applications. The food and beverage industry also uses hydrogen for a range of applications, including the hydrogenation of vegetable oils to make products like margarine.

Despite the numerous applications of hydrogen in various industrial processes, its adoption is not without its challenges. One hurdle is the high cost of producing, storing, and transporting the gas. Also, the lack of infrastructure for hydrogen storage and distribution further complicates its adoption.

However, with advancements in technology, hydrogen is becoming increasingly viable as a clean and efficient alternative to traditional fuels. The development of more efficient, clean production methods, such as electrolysis, coupled with advances in infrastructure and storage, are paving the way for a future in which hydrogen plays an ever more prominent role in industrial processes. While there are challenges to overcome, the potential benefits of hydrogen in various industrial applications make it an area that is ripe for innovation and investment. Hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce and consume goods.

Net Zero Vehicles

Another significant and growing market for hydrogen is its use as a net zero fuel for vehicles. These vehicles use a fuel cell to convert the energy from hydrogen gas into electricity, which powers the vehicle’s electric motor. Fuel cell vehicles have the potential to be more efficient and emit fewer pollutants than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. One current commercial application of fuel cells is for lift trucks and other material handling equipment. The U.S. Dept. of Energy is also working with the private sector on the feasibility of an expanded U.S. hydrogen-powered trucking fleet. However, these technologies are still relatively new, and the infrastructure required to support widespread use of fuel cell vehicles doesn’t yet exist in most regions.

Hydrogen Storage and Infrastructure

Like most fuels, hydrogen is a flammable gas which makes its storage a point of focus. It is typically stored in the form of compressed gas or liquid. Compressed gas is less dense than liquid but is more convenient for transportation. The highly compressed form of hydrogen can be stored in carbon-fiber reinforced tanks. Liquid hydrogen, on the other hand, is highly dense but requires cryogenic temperatures for storage which makes it less convenient. Building a hydrogen infrastructure is also a significant challenge, as it requires massive investments. Currently, there are only a few hydrogen refueling stations, and they are mostly located in metropolitan areas.

More investment is needed to expand the infrastructure to make hydrogen easily accessible to everyone. The transportation of hydrogen will benefit from dedicated pipelines, which currently do not exist. Building pipelines for hydrogen transportation will be an important step in the adoption of hydrogen. As the hydrogen industry solves these challenges, the molecule has the potential to revolutionize the way energy is produced and used. 



 To sum it up, hydrogen has a critical future in industrial sectors such as petrochemicals, metals refining, and food production. The use of hydrogen as a fuel source also has the potential to revolutionize transportation. However, the adoption of clean hydrogen faces obstacles such as lack of infrastructure. Nonetheless, with advancements in technology, these challenges can be overcome to make hydrogen a key player in the future of energy.