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The Capitol Corner: Realizing the Need for Hydrogen Infrastructure Investment

The Capitol Corner: Realizing the Need for Hydrogen Infrastructure Investment

The use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source provides an exciting path to a cleaner, more sustainable future. However, this path does not come without obstacles, including technology transition costs and the need for investment in infrastructure to support a hydrogen economy.  

This month’s Capitol Corner focuses on a bipartisan initiative that addresses these challenges while supporting the early adopters of hydrogen as an alternative energy source.  

Senators Chris Coons (D- NJ) and John Cornyn (R- TX) are veterans of the U.S. Senate and have a reputation of working across the aisle for the advancement of the nation. This is evident as they have come together to address America’s energy needs in a responsible, sustainable way.  

You must walk before you can run, and any approach to developing a sustainable system for hydrogen will require investment and infrastructure before it can become a viable energy alternative. The Coons/Cornyn Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative does just that. It is a comprehensive plan to support the deployment of hydrogen technologies while also focusing on the buildout of requisite infrastructure needs for the transport and delivery of the fuel. It is a smart, strategic plan that continues our nation on a path of energy sustainability.  

The initiative consists of two bills that would focus on shipping and heavy industry – two hard to abate energy sectors – and a bill focusing on investment in the infrastructure needed to make the hydrogen economy a reality. 

The Hydrogen for Ports Act establishes a grant program to support hydrogen fueled equipment at ports and shipping applications. The maritime industry is viewed as well-suited for adopters of hydrogen fuel, and this legislation focuses on laying the groundwork for this expansion.  

The Hydrogen for Industry Act takes a similar approach by establishing a grant program to support commercial scale demonstration projects for end use applications of hydrogen. Examples of this would be the production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals. Hydrogen can supply the needed heat to facilitate production while reducing emissions in the industrial sector.  

Finally, the Hydrogen Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act pulls this all together by realizing the importance of infrastructure investment. The measure creates a pilot financing program to provide grants and low interest loans for retrofitted or new hydrogen transport infrastructure, storage projects and refueling stations. The bill also produces a study to address outstanding questions related to transport and storage of hydrogen and an assessment of jurisdiction over siting, construction, safety, and regulation of hydrogen transport infrastructure.  

This sweeping initiative serves as an example of how bipartisanship in Congress can lead the way to solving America’s challenges. This legislative package has been introduced in the Senate and is receiving positive support across both aisles. Efforts like these will be key to the future of hydrogen as a clean energy source and the overall goal of developing clean, sustainable energy sources to propel our world forward into the 21st century.

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