Hydrogen Hubs Seek to Build on Regional U.S. Strengths

The Department of Energy recently announced $7 billion to launch seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) across the United States to accelerate commercialization and deployment of clean hydrogen. The energy transition will necessarily look different in different communities; by flexibly supporting the unique and innovative design of each of the selected hubs, this public investment is poised to deliver results that reflect the strengths, interests and capacities of the regions where they’re located.

The Hydrogen Hubs are regional networks of clean hydrogen producers, consumers, and connecting infrastructure. Clean hydrogen has multiple production pathways, including via electrolysis using renewable or nuclear energy. It can also be produced via steam methane reforming using natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS). It is a highly versatile resource and can be used to tackle hard-to-decarbonize sectors like industrial manufacturing and long-haul heavy-duty transportation. The hub model addresses some of the key market challenges for hydrogen, with shared infrastructure and co-located demand helping to develop an entire hydrogen ecosystem in a region.

Each hydrogen hub reflects unique characteristics of the surrounding communities. For example, California’s Hydrogen Hub will focus on decarbonizing transportation, which is a major source of air pollution and emissions in the state. By contrast, the Midwestern Heartland Hydrogen Hub will focus on decarbonizing agricultural fertilizer and offering equity ownership opportunities for tribal nations and local farmers.


Figure 1: Map of Selected Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs

While there is regional variability, all the Hydrogen Hubs are required to create and implement a Community Benefits Plan that will incorporate the perspectives and needs of local communities, tribes, and workers. The California, Heartland, and Pacific Northwest Hubs all highlight Native American tribes as a key stakeholder group in their Community Benefits Plan.

C2ES’s work on Clean Hydrogen:

The hubs reflect the importance of developing climate solutions that can be tailored to the specific needs of a particular community. This is also the key focus of C2ES’s Regional Roundtable program, which convenes diverse stakeholders at the local level to discuss the specific, place-based economic development opportunities in a low-carbon future.

Read more about our place-based work on Hydrogen:

In early 2024, C2ES will also launch a Clean Hydrogen Working Group as part of our Technology Working Group initiative. The Clean Hydrogen Working Group will convene key stakeholders across the hydrogen ecosystem to discuss the technical, market, and policy needs required for rapid commercialization.

Hydrogen Hubs: By the numbers (Federal Projections)

  • The federal government’s $7 billion investment in the H2Hubs could stimulate more than $40 billion in private sector investment in the regions where hubs are located.
  • The H2Hubs could collectively produce over three million metric tons of clean hydrogen annually, which is nearly a third of the 2030 U.S. clean production target.
  • Together, the H2Hubs have the potential to reduce 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars from the road.