DOE Releases New Reports on Pathways to Commercial Liftoff to Accelerate Clean Energy Technologies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of its Pathways to Commercial Liftoff, a set of reports that represent a new department-wide initiative to strengthen engagement between the public and private sectors to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of key clean energy technologies. The reports provide the private sector and other industry partners a valuable, engagement-driven resource on how and when certain technologies—beginning with clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear, and long duration energy storage—can reach full scale deployment. The new initiative underscores the critical role that DOE plays in enabling widespread commercial adoption of the clean energy technologies that are essential to meeting President Biden’s ambitious goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. 

“As we combat the climate crisis and race towards an equitable clean energy future, public and private partnerships will be more important and critical than ever before,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Liftoff reports will help drive engagement between government and industry to unlock exciting new opportunities and ensure America is the global leader in the next generation of clean energy technologies.” 

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act provided DOE billions of dollars to invest in and support large-scale demonstration and deployment of clean energy technologies over the next decade. These historic investments are intended to drive commercialization and unlock trillions in private investment to set the nation on a course to hit critical long-term decarbonization objectives. The Liftoff reports will provide insights that will help steer those investments and enable the nation’s broader industrial strategy—creating high quality American jobs, strengthening domestic supply chains and global competitiveness, and facilitating an equitable energy transition. 

By 2030, the reports concluded that cumulative investments must increase from approximately $40 billion to $400 billion across the hydrogen, nuclear, and long duration energy storage sectors, with continued acceleration until 2050 required to stay on track to realize long-term decarbonization targets.  

Additional insights from the first three reports include: 

  • Clean Hydrogen: Thanks to transformational policies and programs like the regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs), tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, and ongoing research, development, and demonstration in the DOE Hydrogen Program, the clean hydrogen market is among the best poised to reach full-scale commercialization. The Liftoff reports indicate that, despite increased investor engagement and project announcements, infrastructure buildout, demand uncertainty, workforce development, and other challenges to at-scale adoption need to be addressed for clean hydrogen to realize its full potential.  
  • Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES): Although LDES technology is still maturing, the LDES market has enormous potential to improve grid resilience, increase the adoption of renewable power generation, and strengthen our energy security. However, continued technological progress, cost reductions, and an increase in public and private investment must be achieved to accelerate commercialization and ensure this promising technology can be a critical component of any future energy solutions. 
  • Advanced Nuclear: Advanced nuclear is widely regarded as a clean, firm power source that can reliably complement widespread renewable energy buildout and key to ensuring the United States reaches President Biden’s ambitious decarbonization goals. Additionally, adoption of this technology has the potential to create long-term, high-paying jobs and deliver new economic opportunities for traditional energy producing communities that already have pre-existing power generation infrastructure, such as coal communities. The reports identified several obstacles, including increasing deployment of mature technologies and building efficient and timely delivery models. 

Given the constantly and rapidly evolving market, technology, and policy environment as well as community needs and concerns, the Liftoff reports are designed to be “living documents,” and will be updated as the commercialization outlook on each technology evolves. DOE will continue to solicit input through industry forums, requests for information, and regular interactions across industry, investors, and other stakeholders to help inform decisions. DOE also encourages direct public input, which can be submitted via email to [email protected]

The Pathways to Commercial Liftoff reports were developed through extensive stakeholder engagement and a combination of system-level modeling and project-level financial modeling. Additional reports will be added in the coming months. Find out more information about the reports here, and read the full reports here.  

Later today, DOE will host a virtual fireside chat at 1:30 p.m., ET featuring senior DOE leaders introducing the Pathways to Commercial Liftoff and exploring in-depth the first report to be released, the Clean Hydrogen Pathway to Commercial Liftoff. Register here

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