Treasury Pitches Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit Rules

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Treasury Pitches Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit Rules

In a groundbreaking move, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has revealed highly anticipated rules for the revolutionary clean hydrogen production tax credit. The proposal, released on Friday, not only outlines key eligibility criteria but also invites public input on critical technical aspects that could impact the credit amount.

Defining the Path: Clean Hydrogen Production Eligibility

In an effort to shape the future of clean hydrogen, the Treasury proposed definitions under Internal Revenue Code Section 45V. These definitions aim to distinguish qualifying clean hydrogen production facilities and establish a method for calculating life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions to determine the credit amount.

Navigating Complexity: Procedures for Documenting Renewable Power

The proposal introduces procedures to validate that facilities are indeed producing renewable power. This involves the use of energy attribute certifications and renewable energy certificates, adding a layer of transparency to the credit allocation process.

Treasury Pitches Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit Rules : Building a Decarbonized Future

White House senior adviser for clean energy innovation and implementation, John Podesta, expressed optimism, stating that the tax credit “will help build a clean hydrogen industry critical in reducing emissions from harder-to-decarbonize sectors like heavy industry and transportation.”

Call for Public Discourse: Addressing Controversies

While the proposal marks a significant step forward, Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo emphasized the need for public input. The credit has stirred controversy, especially regarding the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from clean hydrogen facilities. Adeyemo highlighted the complexity of clean hydrogen projects, drawing billions in investments this year, and the importance of addressing unresolved questions.

Treasury Pitches Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit Rules: Incentivizing Low Emission Production

Enacted as part of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, the credit operates on a four-tier system based on life-cycle emissions rates. Projects producing the lowest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, utilizing electrolyzers, stand to gain a credit of up to $3 per kilogram of clean hydrogen.

Model for Measurement: 45VH2-GREET

To calculate emission rates, businesses will utilize the 45VH2-GREET model from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory. This model assesses the life-cycle impact of hydrogen production, considering feedstocks and other factors involved in the manufacturing process.

Seeking Balance: Striking a Chord with Industry Experts

The Treasury’s proposal enjoys support from the U.S. Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, who contributed technical papers and interpretations supporting the implementation of Section 45V.

Treasury Pitches Clean Hydrogen Tax Credit Rules: Praise, Critique, and Divergence

Investors have expressed eagerness to support clean hydrogen projects, but some groups find fault with the proposed rules. The American Clean Power Association and the National Hydropower Association raised concerns about stringent guidelines affecting their respective industries, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce accused the Biden administration of not heeding expert advice.

Future Steps: Publication, Comment Period, and Hearing

The proposed rules are set to be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 26, kicking off a comment period lasting until Feb. 24. A hearing on March 24 will provide a platform for further discussion on the ambitious clean hydrogen tax credit initiative.