Fuel cell technologies getting a £12.9m boost in the U.S.

The U.S. Energy Department recently announced it will invest more than $20 million (£12.9m) in the fuel cell and hydrogen technologies industries, following the revelation that the industry is basically exploding.

A total of 10 projects will be funded, aiming to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and to enable early adoption of fuel cell applications such as light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).

The end goal is, according to Energy.gov, to accelerate American innovation in clean energy technologies and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Cutting carbon emissions was also mentioned as an important goal.

“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 modelled cost of transportation fuel cells by 50 per cent 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 investment follows a report by the Energy Department, which shows that the fuel cell industry is growing at an amazing rate. It totalled more than $2.2 billion (£1.43bn) in sales last year. That means the industry grew by almost $1 billion (£650m) in a year – back in 2013 it was worth $1.3bn (£840m).

In addition, the city of Ithaca, New York has proposed to become home to one of the first commercial hydrogen-electrolyser fuelling stations in the north-eastern United States and to ramp up outreach through the use of FCEVs.