DOE awards more than $20M to advance fuel cell technologies; new report highlights strong market growth
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded more than $20 million to 10 projects to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, and to enable early adoption of fuel cell applications such as light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) (DE-FOA-0001224, earlier post).
The announcement of the latest investment come along with release of a new DOE report—“Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report 2014”—showing the fuel cell industry is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, totaling more than $2.2 billion in sales in 2014. The report describes data compiled in 2015 on trends in the fuel cell industry for 2014 with some comparison to previous years.
These projects … will continue to make advances in our rapidly-expanding portfolio of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Energy Department-supported projects have helped reduce the modeled cost of transportation fuel cells by 50% since 2006, and more than double durability and reduce the amount of platinum necessary by a factor of five.—Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson
Seven of the projects address the hydrogen and fuel cells research and development area including hydrogen production via microbial biomass conversion; low platinum group metal catalyst development for fuel cell applications; development of integrated intelligent hydrogen dispensers; and hydrogen delivery pipeline manufacturing.
Three projects were selected to address early market and demonstration. These include the demonstration of mobile hydrogen refueling technology to address the lack of widespread hydrogen fueling stations; and fuel cell-powered range extenders for light-duty hybrid electric vehicles.
In addition, the city of Ithaca, New York has proposed to become home to one of the first commercial hydrogen-electrolyzer fueling stations in the northeastern United States and to ramp up outreach through the use of FCEVs.
Market report. The hydrogen and fuel cell market continues to grow rapidly. According to the new report, the industry grew by almost $1 billion in 2014, reaching $2.2 billion in sales—up from $1.3 billion in 2013. In addition, more than 50,000 fuel cells were shipped worldwide in 2014, totalling 180 MW.
Other items of note:
Almost 10% of Fortune 500 companies now use fuel cells for stationary or motive power generation.
Of the top 100 companies on the Fortune list, 25% use fuel cells. These fuel cells are often deployed in multiple locations, powering forklifts, data centers, cell phone towers, and corporate or retail facilities.
More than 2,500 fuel cells for material handling vehicles were ordered or installed in 2014, bringing the number of fuel cell-powered forklifts in North America to more than 7,500 units, located at more than 60 warehouses and distribution facilities in 20 states and Canada.
Commercial introduction of FCEVs started in late 2014, when Hyundai started leasing vehicles in southern California and in a number of countries around the world. Toyota is beginning FCEV sales in the US, and Honda claims its FCEV sales will start in 2016.
More than 90 new, planned, or upgraded hydrogen fueling stations were announced worldwide.
California’s Energy Commission awarded $46.6 million for 28 new public hydrogen stations and one mobile hydrogen refueler. The state will provide at least $20 million annually until an initial network of 100 hydrogen stations exists in California.