The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the importance of making major investments in innovative energy and climate solutions like hydrogen and direct air capture (DAC) to achieve a net-zero economy by mid-century. These two technologies offer distinct opportunities and challenges but are related in their potential to provide solutions for hard-to-decarbonize sectors of our economy. To unlock these technology sets and reach our climate goals, significant policy support for deployment and demonstration activities at-scale is needed over the coming decade to drive down costs and establish the requisite supply chains and workforce for long-term operational success. Taking stock of this, last year a bipartisan Congress provided $11.5 billion to the Department of Energy to deploy four Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs and four Regional DAC Hubs as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
What are Hubs and why are they important?
“Hubs” are targeted investments in a region to deploy a technology (or set of technologies) through shared infrastructure and resources. These new IIJA programs offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to innovate and deploy clean hydrogen and DAC technologies through a multi-decade, multi-sectoral network of projects, suppliers, and end-users that can leverage their collective infrastructure and institutional knowledge within a region. Hubs can multiply the impact of federal investment and provide a range of benefits. Hubs can integrate the power, transportation, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors together, de-risking clean energy innovation and building a low carbon supply chain simultaneously. Hubs can also strengthen the public-private partnerships necessary for establishing a net-zero carbon economy in the United States that some early movers in the private sector have already begun to invest in. In creating the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs and the Regional DAC Hubs programs, Congress provided critical investments in technology innovation, emission reduction, and workforce development as summarized in Table 1.
Support Research Like This
With your support, BPC can continue to fund important research like this by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans.Donate Now