Saturday, July 4, 2009

Future of fuel cell and hydrogen economy: US budget cut

President Obama's Fiscal Year 2010 budget request for the Department of Energy (DOE) has cut $100 million from the Fuel Cell Technologies program (formerly Hydrogen Technology), reducing it by nearly 60% compared with the FY 2009 appropriation. The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) and US Fuel Cell Council were quick to criticize the program cuts, saying in a joint statement that the cuts threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise, and beginning to gain market traction.

The National Hydrogen Association's mission is to foster the development of hydrogen technologies and their utilization in industrial and commercial applications and promote the transition role of hydrogen in the energy field. Hydrogen's transitional role requires that it be part of a National Energy Strategy that utilizes the experience of private industry, academia, research organizations and government to address opportunities for environmentally compatible production and greater utilization of hydrogen as a fuel in the long-term energy mix of the U.S. and the world. The transition strategy must address the economics of hydrogen production, storage and transport; the need for environmentally acceptable production technologies; development of application technologies and markets; and the development of safety guidelines and information that will allow hydrogen to be used in a manner the public perceives as safe.

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