Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better plan could spark hydrogen fuel cell industry

Cynthia Bent Findlay
For Columbus CEO
A view of downtown Columbus.

The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better plan have the potential to spark huge growth in the hydrogen fuel cell industry here in Ohio.

Fuel cells use hydrogen to power vehicles, among other things, with zero carbon emissions, and are found in myriad applications including forklifts in Amazon warehouses.

The infrastructure act allocates an $8 billion towards establishing four regional hydrogen hubs throughout the U.S., a step toward making hydrogen as a fuel commercially viable.

The proposed Build Back Better legislation also contains a fuel subsidy of up to $3 per gallon for green hydrogen users.

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Columbus companies pH Matter and sister firm Power to Hydrogen are looking toward manufacturing of green hydrogen electrolyzers within the next few years—machines that produce hydrogen from solar or wind electricity at a cost competitive with natural gas.

“This could be huge for Ohio,” says Alex Zorniger, Power to Hydrogen’s spokesman. “There are situations where we can already produce green hydrogen for $3 per kilogram [equivalent to a gallon of gasoline]. The subsidy could put hydrogen completely on par with fossil fuels, which would be transformational for hydrogen and clean energy.”

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.