SACRAMENTO, CA — Today the Biden Administration and the DOE announced seven recipients of funding through the Hydrogen Hubs program, the $8 billion program created in 2021 as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). One of the funded projects is California’s Alliance for Reliable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) proposal, anticipated to include major deployment clusters in the Los Angeles Basin and Bay Area and extend into the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and other regions.
This is just the first step in the process to move this Hydrogen Hub forward in the state. More detailed information about the timeline and next steps for the project in California is expected in the coming week.
The funding in the IIJA statutorily mandates the administration fund at least four hydrogen hubs that produce different types of the fuel, at least one hub each for green, blue, and pink (powered by nuclear) hydrogen. The fuel at these hubs must also be designated for assorted end uses, among other requirements.
The Sierra Club only supports the use of hydrogen made through electrolysis that is powered by renewable energy, known as “green” hydrogen, with targeted end uses in sectors that can not easily be electrified, like the steel or concrete sectors. Even green hydrogen has limited applications due to safety and cost restraints. Fossil fuel-based hydrogen, like “blue” hydrogen, is not a climate solution. Electrification is almost always a better investment to address climate change and offer consumers clean, affordable energy.
In response, Sierra Club California Director Brandon Dawson released the following statement:
“First and foremost, it is absolutely essential that the development of California’s ARCHES proposal be done in direct partnership with the communities it will impact the most. The engagement of environmental justice communities to date has been completely insufficient, and we look forward to seeing ARCHES leadership listening and learning from those communities more intentionally as this project progresses. It’s also critical that ARCHES only advances the use of electrolytic green hydrogen made using renewable energy. That’s the only way to avoid condemning California to continued fossil fuel use as we work to achieve our state’s climate goals.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.