The Hydrogen Stream: US government wants to reduce green hydrogen cost by 80% to $1 per kilogram in one decade


The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Energy Earthshots Initiative to accelerate energy breakthroughs within the decade. The first Energy Earthshot — Hydrogen Shot — seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram in one decade, the DOE said in a statement released on Monday. At the moment, hydrogen from renewable energy costs about $5 per kilogram. “The Hydrogen Shot establishes a framework and foundation for clean hydrogen deployment in the American Jobs Plan, which includes support for demonstration projects. Industries are beginning to implement clean hydrogen to reduce emissions, but there are still many hurdles to deploying it at scale,” the DOE stated, adding that its Hydrogen Program issued a request for information (RFI) on viable hydrogen demonstrations, including specific locations, that can help lower the cost of hydrogen.

Swiss energy company Axpo and Swedish-Swiss electrical equipment giant ABB committed to combining their technologies and skills for several projects related to green hydrogen in Italy. “The companies will work together to develop a pilot project in Italy which will research technologies along the entire green hydrogen supply chain and carry out production feasibility tests,” the companies announced Wednesday. “The letter of intent also covers mutual involvement in research and development projects funded by the European Union and support for green financing.” Axpo Italia's hydrogen strategy is taking shape. It recently announced its collaboration with the Italian services and consulting company RINA. “The initiation of this agreement with Axpo, with whom we have a long-standing collaboration, is a first step in exploring the potential of green hydrogen in Italy,” said Sergio Durando, head of ABB Energy Industries Italia. “We believe it is very important to collaborate with other players in the industry to make the transition to a clean energy future a reality.”

Germany’s gas transmission system operators Gascade and Ontras plan to set up a platform for the hydrogen industry in eastern Germany with an initial grid covering 475 kilometers of pipelines. “Around two-thirds of this transport system will be formed through the conversion of the existing natural gas infrastructure and a third through the addition of new H2 pipelines,” the companies said earlier this month. “This will produce an initial grid totaling 475 kilometers in length and interconnecting the production and consumption points in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Berlin.” The hub plan in eastern Germany made it onto the shortlist of 62 large-scale hydrogen projects selected for the €8 billion IPCEI program.

Pennsylvania-based Air Products and Texas-headquartered oil field services company Baker Hughes announced on Wednesday a global collaboration to develop “next generation hydrogen compression to lower the cost of production and accelerate the adoption of hydrogen as a zero-carbon fuel.” Baker Hughes will provide Air Products with hydrogen compression and gas turbine technology in several projects worldwide, including Canada and Saudi Arabia. “Our transformative hydrogen compression and gas turbine technology lowers the overall production cost for new energy frontiers such as hydrogen and is a strategic enabler for key projects,” said Rod Christie, executive vice president for Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes. The Houston-based company has more than 2,000 hydrogen compressors operating around the globe. Its hydrogen portfolio includes “gas turbines that can burn methane gas and hydrogen blends from as little as 5% to as much as 100% hydrogen.” On Wednesday, Air Products also announced a partnership with the government of Canada and the province of Alberta: The multi-billion dollar plan to build a net-zero hydrogen energy complex “will make Edmonton, Alberta, the center of western Canada’s hydrogen economy and set the stage for Air Products to operate the most competitive and lowest-carbon-intensity hydrogen network in the world.”

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Spanish-German engineering company and inverter manufacturer Siemens Gamesa published on Wednesday a white paper to drive down the cost of green hydrogen in the next decade, saying that it will reach price parity with fossil-based hydrogen between 2030 (onshore wind) and 2035 (offshore wind). This is conditional on the “appropriate policy frameworks and market mechanisms in place.” The company listed four requirements to deliver low-cost green hydrogen by 2030: an increase in renewables capacity; the creation of a demand-side market for green hydrogen; supply chain development; and building the right infrastructure in terms of logistics, storage and distribution. “The world needs up to 6,000 GW of new installed renewable energy capacity by 2050, up from 2,800 GW today to generate the expected demand for hydrogen (500 million tonnes, according to the Hydrogen Council),” Siemens Gamesa said in the press release.

Hydrogen Europe, an organization representing the interests of the European hydrogen industry, is calling for the inclusion of the maritime sector in the European Emission Trading System and for targets to be set on the demand of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels. “The IMO discussions on the decarbonisation strategy are progressing but this must be accelerated in order to meet the European Green Deal objectives of carbon neutrality by 2050,” reads the executive summary of the paper, explaining why the EU should take the lead to promote a transformation of the maritime sector. The organization makes the point that since the lifetime of ships is high, the introduction of zero-emission vessels must start now.


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