U.S. Hydrogen Industry Roundtable - McDermott Will & Emery

U.S. Hydrogen Industry Roundtable



On June 5, 2023, the Biden-Harris administration released the US National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, a comprehensive framework for accelerating the production, processing, delivery, storage and use of clean hydrogen. This is the first-ever national clean hydrogen strategy and roadmap aimed at building a clean-energy future and accelerating a manufacturing boom in the United States.

On June 29, 2023, McDermott Partner Carl Fleming will facilitate the US Hydrogen Industry Roundtable discussion for the White House, the US Department of Commerce, the International Trade Association, the US Department of State, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and 20 leading US hydrogen developers, suppliers and investors to begin implementing the Strategy and Roadmap.


The Strategy and Roadmap:

  • Complements a historic $9.5 billion investment in clean hydrogen through US President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’s (IRA) new production tax credit for clean hydrogen.
  • Provides a snapshot of current hydrogen production, transport, storage and use in the United States and a vision for how clean hydrogen will contribute to national decarbonization goals across multiple sectors in the future.
  • Identifies three key strategies (explained below in the “Deeper Dive” section) to ensure that clean hydrogen is developed and adopted as an effective decarbonization tool.

Carl will lead a roundtable to discuss the following (among other topics):

  • The current state of upstream manufacturing for hydrogen in the United States, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, compressors, storage tanks and other related and enabling equipment.
  • Supply chain constraints, including with respect to platinum-group metals or electrical grid interconnection.
  • US hydrogen producers’ potential contribution to the Biden administration’s overarching clean energy goals as set out in Executive Order 14008.
  • Challenges facing the hydrogen industry, including challenges that may inhibit the export competitiveness of products derived from the US hydrogen industry value chain.
  • How to ensure that the build-out of the hydrogen economy, with an emphasis on hydrogen production, proceeds apace while mitigating carbon emissions.
  • Company expectations on industry readiness for exports, including any potential challenges or obstacles.

The roundtable discussion will be a closed-door meeting, with no outside observers or media permitted.


The Strategy and Roadmap focuses on three parts of the DOE’s strategy:

First, the DOE will target strategic, high-impact end uses in sectors that are hard to decarbonize and lack competing alternatives. The Strategy and Roadmap identifies three key areas where clean hydrogen benefits may be maximized: industry, transportation and the power sector. This strategy will prioritize industries that can build momentum through established supply chains, as well as “early markets where agencies such as the Departments of Defense and those procuring stationary power or commercial vehicle fleets can provide opportunities for early hydrogen offtake.”

Second, the DOE seeks to reduce the cost of producing and delivering clean hydrogen. The DOE’s flagship initiative to achieve this goal is the Hydrogen Shot, which establishes a framework and foundation for clean hydrogen deployment and aims to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per 1 kilogram in one decade—an 80% reduction in cost. To achieve this goal, the Hydrogen Shot builds on progress for a variety of pathways for clean hydrogen development from diverse energy sources, including renewables, nuclear energy and fossil fuels with carbon capture, utilization and storage technology.

Third, the DOE will focus on regional networks with co-located production and end uses to achieve a “large-scale, commercially viable deployment of clean hydrogen.” Co-locating clean hydrogen production with multiple end uses has the potential to foster low-cost hydrogen by spurring the development of shared infrastructure, which is critical to jump-starting the hydrogen economy in key markets and reducing the delivered cost of clean hydrogen. Regional networks investing in shared infrastructure are also estimated to yield benefits such as access to downstream supply chains and transportation systems, knowledge sharing and a stronger labor pool. The Strategy and Roadmap emphasizes the role that regional clean-hydrogen hubs will play in developing these regional networks and accelerating local connective infrastructure.


As a part of McDermott’s Chambers-ranked Energy & Project Finance team, Carl and the team of over 55 energy attorneys have been advising clients on transactions involving the production and marketing of hydrogen for many years, including in the refining, petrochemicals, and mobility sectors. He and his team have extensive knowledge on how hydrogen is produced, used, stored, transported, marketed and sold. He coordinates across his oil and gas team in Houston, renewable energy team in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, and renewable tax team in Miami to lead cutting edge hydrogen and CCUS projects for his clients.


  • A leading hydrogen hub developer in the US and leading clean energy developer in their development of hydrogen hubs across the US, including offtake agreements, supply agreements, IRA support, and policy guidance.
  • An infrastructure fund in the purchase of 10 years of hydrogen production tax credits from a California production facility pursuant to the tax credit transfer option under the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • The potential contract operator in drafting and negotiating an asset and commercial management agreement for a $9.2 billion carbon negative renewable fuel complex in Louisiana that will produce green hydrogen, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuels, as well as perform carbon capture and sequestration at the plant.
  • A major renewables developer in connection with the project development of a 300 MW solar project that will sell power to, and share facilities and interconnect with, a hydrogen production facility expected to produce 30 metric tons of hydrogen per day being developed by a major hydrogen developer in Yuma County, Arizona.
  • Nel Hydrogen US, a subsidiary of Norwegian company Nel ASA, as US counsel in its entrance into a joint development agreement with General Motors to help accelerate industrialization of Nel’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer platform and collectively enable production of more cost competitive sources of renewable hydrogen.


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