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DOE, Biden Administration Open Applications for Hydrogen Hubs Through $7B Program; Jennifer Granholm Quoted

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Submissions are now being welcomed for a $7 billion initiative by the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage the establishment of regional hubs for the production of hydrogen.

The endeavor, which comes via President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, seeks to uplift American communities that have been ill-served by economic disadvantage and lack of access to clean energy sources, the DoE said Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm elucidated that the effort will consult scientists, engineers, community organizers and business leaders in order to execute a long-lasting, innovative hydrogen development strategy.

Granholm additionally stated that she believes, if carried out successfully, the program will “lift our economy, protect the planet, and improve our health.”

The larger $8 billion hub endeavor that the $7 billion project is a part of marks one of the most extensive investments in the department’s history. It is aimed to bolster job availabilities in the areas the hubs are opened while making steps toward instituting a clean energy economy, strengthening energy security and prioritizing environmental health.

With their new offering, the DoE is also attempting to reverse and restore some of the prior damages done to marginalized populations that have suffered as a result of legacy energy-gathering processes and approaches.

Conceptual outlines to apply for the hydrogen hub effort are due on November 7, while full applications must be submitted no later than April 7, 2023. Anywhere from six to 10 hubs will be chosen to move forward into the actualization phase, though further, expanded funding may be available in the future.

Outstanding applicants must demonstrate a commitment to community and labor engagement, America’s workforce, diversity and inclusion, as well as align with President Biden’s overarching objective to divert 40 percent of certain federal income to underserved communities.

Hydrogen, which is able to be made using wind, solar and nuclear resources or with methane through an emission-mitigating carbon process, is seen as an instrumental element of the President’s mission to reach a carbon-free grid by 2035 and net-zero emissions in the next three decades.