A driver fills his car with gasoline near a hydrogen fuel pump at a hydrogen refueling station in Los Angeles on June 26, 2008. (David McNew/Getty Images)
California was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy—after submitting an application in April—to receive up to $1.2 billion to develop infrastructure and deploy hydrogen energy, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“Today we are moving from concept to reality – advancing clean, renewable hydrogen in California which is essential to meeting our climate goals,” Mr. Newsom said in an Oct. 13 press release
The funding will create a so-called Hydrogen Hub meant to expedite the development and delivery of hydrogen fuel to power vehicles.
“We would not be here without President Biden’s leadership and his signature Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which has served as a catalyst for the nation in addressing climate change. California’s Hydrogen Hub will cut pollution, power our clean energy economy and create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs,” Mr. Newsom said.
Through the oversight and establishment of ARCHES, short for the Alliance for Reliable Clean Hydrogen Energy System—the state’s hydrogen fuel development initiative—funds are slated for expanding hydrogen projects for public transportation, trucking, and port operations, among others.
Hydrogen fuel can be produced from a variety of resources, primarily natural gas, and when consumed as energy—used to power vehicles, homes, and other applications—only water is produced.
U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla CA (D-Calif.) said such is needed to achieve the state’s renewable energy goals and to boost economic activity.
“The production and implementation of clean, renewable hydrogen is essential to fully decarbonize our region’s industries, foster clean energy job growth, and meet California’s ambitious carbon neutrality goals,” he said in the same press release. “This monumental federal investment … will bring together leaders from across government, industry, labor unions, national labs, [non-governmental organizations], and more to jumpstart the market for renewable hydrogen and establish a sustainable, clean Hydrogen Hub by 2030.”
The projects are expected to create approximately 220,000 jobs—130,000 in temporary construction roles and 90,000 permanent positions—according to the governor’s press release.
Funding will first be prioritized to lower emissions at power plants, ports, and in heavy trucking industries, with shovel-ready projects identified by the state.
“The project will bring tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, cleaner air, and reduced fuel costs to our state—all while focusing their work on environmental justice and equity for disadvantaged communities,” Sen. Padilla said. “Today marks a significant and decisive investment in our green economy, and I am proud to see California and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law pave the way to a clean energy future.”
President Joe Biden speaks about Bidenomics, announcing clean manufacturing investments in regional clean hydrogen hubs at Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, Pa., on Oct. 13, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Stated goals include cutting up to 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year—equivalent to that produced by 445,000 traditional gasoline-powered vehicles annually.
Such follows through on the state’s objectives announced by the governor in August to prioritize hydrogen fuel development strategies.
“This award is a testament to California’s unrivaled commitment to a carbon-neutral future,” Dee Dee Myers, founding ARCHES board member and senior advisor to the governor, said in the press release. “There is no better place to showcase the benefits of clean, renewable hydrogen – and the role it can play in decarbonizing our economy while creating green jobs and sustainable business at scale.”
Expected benefits include nearly $3 billion in annual savings—with approximately 40 percent flowing to disadvantaged communities—from improved health, which will reduce healthcare costs, according to the press release.
Hospitalizations are also expected to decrease by more than 1,700 each year, according to an ARCHES press release from Oct. 13 (pdf
Some said the projects will serve as a model for national policies.
“Today’s announcement is an extraordinary investment not just in California’s future, but for the entire country,” Angelina Galiteva, ARCHES CEO, said in the governor’s press release. “ARCHES is honored to have been chosen for such substantial funding, and we are eager to get to work to bring cutting edge projects to life up and down the state.”