US universities get funding to probe hydrogen for energy
The US Energy Department said May 12 that it awarded more than $6mn to eight universities to research hydrogen as a clean-burning fuel.
Eight universities will split the funding more or less evenly. Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said the funding helps support US ambitions to catch up with the rest of the world on climate-friendly energy initiatives.
“Our economic competitors are getting serious about harnessing carbon emissions free power from hydrogen, and so the US must as well,” she said.
Among those receiving federal funding, the University of Central Florida will look at various fuel-blend scenarios for hydrogen. All told, the energy secretary said the funding would support federal efforts to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035.
The Trump administration pushed a decidedly pro-fossil fuels agenda, though parts of the energy sector were already transitioning to a cleaner future. Efforts to adopt hydrogen into the US energy mix are already under way in the private sector. San Diego Gas & Electric, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, said last month it was making good on its promise to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 with the development of two hydrogen pilot projects.
The company said the two projects, tapped for service by 2022, will test about a half dozen different end-use scenarios for hydrogen. Among other things, one test facility would examine how hydrogen can play a role in grid reliability, while another would demonstrate blending hydrogen with natural gas for use as a fuel for an electric generator.
US president Joe Biden has set a goal of achieving a net-zero economy by 2050.