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DOE releases three reports showing strong growth in US fuel cell and hydrogen technologies market

The US Department of Energy (DOE) released three new reports today showcasing strong growth across the US fuel cell and hydrogen technologies market. According to these reports, the United States continues to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.

With support from the Energy Department, its national laboratories and private industry have already achieved significant advances in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, resulting in reduced costs and improved performance. These research and development efforts have helped reduce automotive fuel cell costs by more than 50% since 2006 and by more than 30% since 2008. At the same time, fuel cell durability has quadrupled and the amount of expensive platinum needed in fuel cells has decreased by 80 percent in the last decade.

Building on this progress, earlier this month the Energy Department announced more than $35 million to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. (Earlier post.)

The available funding includes hydrogen production, delivery, and storage research and development (R&D); demonstration of infrastructure component manufacturing, and support for Climate Action Champions deploying hydrogen and fuel cell technologies; consortia topics for fuel cell performance and durability and advanced hydrogen storage materials research; and cost and performance analysis for hydrogen production, storage, and fuel cells.

The three new reports detail continued strength in the US fuel cell and hydrogen technologies market as well as efforts by US businesses and states to increase American competitiveness in this growing global industry.

State Of The States. The State of the States, Fuel Cells in America 2015 report highlights leadership among US states to grow domestic fuel cell manufacturing and deployment. The report recognizes California, Connecticut, and New York for leading the country with continued and expanded support for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. The report also highlights efforts in Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Ohio as rising stars in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry.

Across the United States, a number of businesses are also driving continued US leadership in the fuel cell industry. Nearly 10% of Fortune 500 companies use fuel cells to generate power. When examining the top 100 companies on the Fortune list, the number grows, with almost 25% using fuel cells to power data centers, cell phone towers, corporate buildings, retail facilities, or forklifts.

Customers include companies such as Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Kroger, JPMorgan Chase, Google, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Target, and Lowe’s. Walmart is the largest fuel cell customer for material handling equipment (MHE), deploying the technology to power more than 2,800 forklifts at warehouses in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota, with more sites on the way. Over the last few years, AT&T has deployed fuel cells to provide primary power to almost two dozen data and call centers, as well as backup power to hundreds of cell phone towers in multiple states.

Annual Progress Report. The 2015 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Annual Progress Report documents more than 1,000 pages of accomplishments achieved by Energy Department-funded projects in the last year. The report highlights major programmatic achievements, including:

  • launching the $1-million H2 Refuel H-Prize;

  • demonstrating the world’s first fleet of hydrogen fuel cell airport ground support equipment;

  • establishing national laboratory-led consortia in key R&D areas; and

  • supporting the public-private partnership, H2USA, through national-lab led efforts developing financial assessment tools for hydrogen infrastructure and critical equipment to validate the performance of hydrogen stations as they come on line.

Each individual project team provides a summary of their annual progress.

Pathways To Commercial Success. According to the third report, Pathways to Commercial Success: Technologies and Products Supported by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, the Energy Department’s fuel cell research and development efforts over the last decade have helped develop 40 commercial technologies and 65 new technologies that are expected to reach commercial-scale within the next three to five years. In addition, Energy Department fuel cell R&D has resulted in more than 515 US patents.

Comments

HarveyD

Many good news for lower cost H2 and improved higher performance FCs in the near future?

Will FECVs soon compete favorably with extended range and larger BEVs?

Alain

Once we have platinum-free electrolysers/fuel cells and cheap/lightweight H2 containers, the sky is the limit !

Both are very close...

keep smiling

DaveD

@Alain, and don't forget the unicorns to fart all the hydrogen to make the slurry at every station they'll build out to support this! That's coming real soon too!

SJC

Such a helpful comment DaveD.

HarveyD

Will the world change and produce/use ONLY what everybody likes, in the near future?

I hope not! Diversity is a necessity for our development?

End users should have the final choice on the technology used for the their vehicles. We do not all have the same uses nor the same pocket book. Low cost Junk Food is not for everybody.

Brotherkenny4

Where are the protectors of oil and the right wing media that denigrate EVs. Fuel cells never seem to attract the same vehement hatred by the luddites. Perhaps because the moneyed class believes they will still control the profits. I suspect they are uninformed. Home hydrogen production via solar electrolysis will be just as cost effective as either methane reforming or grid power supplied electrolysis.

Platinum can be and is recycled. The cost of electrolyzed hydrogen is in the electricity and compression energy.

Hydrogen is the most difficult to compress gas in existence. In order to get any real energy density stored it must be compressed to very high pressures and that makes lightweight and low cost containers very difficult. Investing in infrastructure for technologies which are known to have shortfalls is not a great plan.

EVs are already viable and only need lower cost which can be achieve by economies of scale and manufacturing efficiency improvements.

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