The U.S. Energy Department announced a new report that shows the fuel cell industry is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate, totaling more than $2.2 billion in sales in 2014. In order to further expand on this emerging market, the Department also announced the investment of more than $20 million in 10 projects to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, and enable early adoption of fuel cell applications such as light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). These projects will accelerate American innovation in clean energy technologies by supporting research and development advancements that will reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and cut harmful carbon emissions.
“These projects announced today will continue to make advances in our rapidly-expanding portfolio of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. “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. We are pleased to support the recognition of the first-ever National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8, aptly chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008).”
The hydrogen and fuel cell market continues to grow rapidly. According to the Energy Department’s 2014 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report, announced today, 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.
To further develop and advance these clean energy technologies, the Department selected seven projects to 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.