Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced up to $644,000 in funding for the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources to assess the economic impacts of fossil energy production in Wyoming and evaluate opportunities and research needs to deploy clean hydrogen technologies. The study also will include direct outreach and engagement with local tribal nations and other traditionally marginalized groups to ensure that the study’s findings represent a diverse set of perspectives. This investment aligns with the recently announced Wyoming Energy Strategy to transition to a clean energy economy and the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“Power and industrial sectors are some of the largest sources of carbon emissions today, and DOE investments like this one support the important role of clean hydrogen in decarbonizing these sectors,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of FECM Dr. Jennifer Wilcox. “Today, roughly 95 percent of the hydrogen in the United States is produced from natural gas without carbon capture, which is not clean. These efforts in Wyoming are a first step in demonstrating how applying carbon capture technologies can advance a cost-effective and low-carbon hydrogen economy in a just and sustainable way.”
In a recent Report to the President on Empowering Workers Through Revitalizing Energy Communities, the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization cited Wyoming as one of the nation’s most coal-dependent communities, whose current key economic driver is the export of fossil-based energy products. The research activities conducted under this study will support the Wyoming Energy Strategy by mobilizing a whole-of-government effort to reduce climate pollution in every sector of the State’s economy, including addressing Wyoming’s energy exports to neighboring states. The study will also inform a Center of Excellence that could help to accelerate the commercialization of clean hydrogen technologies in these and other states, facilitating the exchange of best practices to advance a net-zero carbon economy.
FECM funds research, development, demonstration and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial sources, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use. To learn more, visit the FECM website, sign up for FECM news announcements and visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory website.