In U.S., clean hydrogen draws more dollars than managing carbon

Washington D.C. Correspondent
Source: The Clean Investment Monitor, Rhodium Group and MIT CEEPR. • Investments are measured from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2023. Cancelled projects represent $0 of investment and are not displayed. Clean hydrogen includes hydrogen produced from zero-emitting electricity and from natural gas and oil with carbon capture.

Making clean hydrogen has attracted more investor interest than managing carbon dioxide emissions in the United States during the past five years, Cipher’s new Cleantech Tracker shows.

Since 2018, one and a half times more investment has gone into making clean hydrogen ($45.7 billion) compared with capturing, storing and utilizing carbon emissions ($29.98 billion).

Clean hydrogen and carbon management technologies are viewed as globally proven yet costly approaches for reducing emissions from industrial sectors, including concrete, steel and fertilizer manufacturing, which are considered particularly difficult to clean up.

Investors are now flocking to both these technologies because the U.S. government is subsidizing their high costs through a combination of funding and tax credits authorized under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act and the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Across all categories of technologies we’re tracking, it’s clear most investments are going into projects that so far have only been announced and aren’t under construction (yet). With the rollout of tax guidance from the IRA for clean hydrogen and other technologies, more of these investments should shift into the “under construction” category.

Cipher is choosing to track investments in clean hydrogen, carbon management, electrolyzer manufacturing and sustainable aviation fuel because they are emerging technologies aimed at tackling emissions from hard-to-abate industries.

The chart and the accompanying map feature data culled and analyzed from the Clean Investment Monitor, a database by research firm Rhodium Group and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.