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H-Prize: Hydrogen Shot Incubator

Accelerate breakthroughs in clean and affordable hydrogen production technologies with the H-Prize: Hydrogen Shot Incubator!

The Hydrogen Shot Incubator—a $2.6 million prize contest—is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) comprehensive strategy to reduce the cost of hydrogen production and meet the Hydrogren Shot goal. The Hydrogen Shot—the first of DOE’s Energy Earthshots—seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade ("1 1 1"). The Hydrogen Shot Incubator encourages entrepreneurs and inventors to compete for cash prizes and vouchers to accelerate the development of their novel concepts and transformative technologies.

H-Prize: Hydrogen Shot Incubator Introduction

The Hydrogen Shot Incubator aims to incentivize breakthrough clean hydrogen production technologies—it is designed to incubate novel ideas in hydrogen production, particularly from entities that have not previously engaged with DOE.

Hydrogen is a uniquely versatile energy carrier with the potential to solve some of our toughest decarbonization challenges across multiple sectors. Achieving an affordable and abundant supply of clean hydrogen at scale could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions while spurring economic growth. However, most of the hydrogen used today is produced from natural gas through a process known as steam methane reforming, which releases 10 kg CO2/1 kg H2. Transitioning to low- or zero-carbon hydrogen production will require significant cost reductions. Improvements will be needed in the technologies for producing hydrogen from electrolysis using renewable or nuclear electricity, and from fossil-based thermal conversion using carbon capture, use, and sequestration.

a graphic showing wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels near hydrogen storage containers.

The Hydrogen Shot Incubator supports teams as they develop transformative concepts into early-stage prototypes ready for lab-scale demonstration, through two phases: Propose! and Prove! Competitors will develop their concepts, designs, analysis, and technology validation with the help of national laboratory experts. This approach will drive the accelerated development of the most promising ideas and provide a stepping stone for American entrepreneurs to secure additional investment.

Graphic of the American-Made Challenges Hydrogen Shot Prize framework; Propose and Prove.

Technologies that will not be considered for the Hydrogen Shot Incubator include steam methane reforming, autothermal reforming, coal gasification, or partial oxidation.

Solutions that help shape the future

Transform your conceptual idea into a laboratory scale demonstration!

For more information, including complete eligibility requirements, please review the official prize rules.

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