A new initiative has been established to help support start-ups within the low-carbon hydrogen value chain with the aim to accelerate the decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors and the energy transition.

The Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator has been launched by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Shell, the City of Houston, Greentown Labs, the Urban Future Lab, and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

The Accelerator will support start-ups developing low-carbon hydrogen production, storage, and distribution solutions. The initiative will also support small companies that are providing business model innovations to enhance the management of hydrogen supply chains.

The initiative will focus on projects or digital solutions that can be applied to reduce the cost of hydrogen projects and enhance the reliability and safety of infrastructure.

Start-ups are requested to apply to participate in the program by February 2022 for selection in March 2022 and to participate in the six-month project from April 2022. Selected startups will collaborate with EPRI, utilities, and Shell on technology validation, feasibility studies, paid pilot demonstrations, and other development and commercial partnerships. 

The startups will leverage EPRI’s testing facilities, demonstration sites, and technical experts to enhance their solutions.

Neva Espinoza, the vice-president of energy supply and low-carbon resources at EPRI, said: “Accelerating low-carbon, hydrogen technologies is essential to achieving global net-zero targets by 2050.”

Julie Ferland, the vice president of innovation excellence at Shell, added that to achieve energy decarbonisation goals stakeholders need to leverage “the power of collaboration, especially for uncovering new, exciting and disruptive technologies.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, added: “Houston has the skilled workforce and infrastructure to develop clean hydrogen at scale and Greentown Labs’ Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator is a great example of the kind of partnerships we need to make it happen.”

The launch of the accelerator follows the US Department of Energy establishing the Hydrogen Earthshot initiative to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram by 2030.

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