Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry – Full Speed Ahead

April 3, 2020

Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies are already making an impact in several markets – there are hundreds of thousands of systems operating around the world. Existing sectors include transportation, including cars, buses, and material handling vehicles; and stationary/backup power generation. This is for a range of customers’ data centers, retail sites, corporate headquarters, residences, and communications networks. From there, we are seeing exciting expansion into new markets, such as medium and heavy-duty delivery vehicles, trucks, and trains, as well as microgrids and large-scale energy storage.

Supply Chain with an International Reach

While based in the U.S., FCHEA members have an international reach and represent the full global supply chain for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA), is the United States (U.S.) national trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen industry. While based in America, our members have an international reach. This includes companies located in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Korea, Norway, South Africa, and Japan. FCHEA members represent the full global industry supply chain – fuel cell manufacturers, industrial gas companies, hydrogen fueling companies, automakers, component suppliers, service providers, and more.

The bulk of FCHEA’s advocacy and outreach work centers on the federal, state, and local levels here in the United States. We are also are heavily involved in promoting hydrogen and fuel cell development globally through collaboration and coordination by harmonizing international codes, standards, and regulations.  We work with international counterparts and organizations to ensure proper representation, maximum cooperation, and a unified industry voice.

Fuel Cell Technologies are Well Funded

The fuel cell and hydrogen industry has seen substantial success in the U.S. in the past few months. Late last year, the President signed an Appropriations bill that provided significant funding increases for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The bill also maintained funding for the Office of Fossil Energy’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program. This funding includes several items that will provide a considerable impact in advancing the industry, including:

Funding initiatives for research, development, demonstration, and deployment programs will continue bringing down the costs of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.

  • $45 million for Hydrogen Fuel Research and Development
  • $35 million for Technology Acceleration activities
  • $25 million for Hydrogen Infrastructure Research and Development
  • $10 million for Safety, Codes, and Standards activities
  • $10 million to cost share the Office of Nuclear Energy’s hydrogen demonstration project in the Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program
  • $3 million for Systems Analysis
  • Funding to support fuel cell and hydrogen technical and workforce development and training programs
  • Continued investments to advance the H2@Scale concept to enable wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States
  • $30 million for the Office of Fossil Energy’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell efforts

These funding initiatives for early, medium, and late-stage research, development, demonstration, and deployment programs will continue bringing down the costs of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. This will increase performance and durability, and reduce commercial barriers for the industry.

Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

In 2019, FCHEA and its members were also hard at work leading an effort to retroactively reinstate for 2018 and 2019, and extend through 2020, both the Section 30B federal fuel cell vehicle motor vehicle credit and the Section 30C alternative fuel refueling property credit for hydrogen stations.  These credits were included in the signed package and now FCHEA continues to advocate for a long-term extension of those credits to provide parity with other clean energy and conventional technologies.

The hydrogen industry could generate $140 billion per year in revenue and 700,000 jobs by 2030. By 2050, it could drive growth by generating $750 billion per year in revenue and 3.4 million jobs.

Outside of Washington D.C., states are advancing policies to ensure reliable power, energy storage, and clean, efficient transportation and electricity generation, that include fuel cells and hydrogen.  Both the public and private sector are taking advantage of the benefits the technologies offer, including the ability to reduce emissions, provide resiliency, and drive our economy forward.

FCHEA at the Hydrogen Forefront

A recent McKinsey and Company report highlights the critical importance of hydrogen to achieve a lower-carbon energy mix. With the right support from both the public and private sector, the hydrogen industry could generate $140 billion per year in revenue and 700,000 jobs by 2030. By 2050, it could drive growth by generating $750 billion per year in revenue and 3.4 million jobs.

There is tremendous opportunity for the fuel cell and hydrogen sector, and at FCHEA, we are intent on making sure our industry has the support that it needs. Our members are doing their part, deploying commercial products, forging key partnerships, and making the investments in R&D and innovation. We are excited to be at the forefront and can’t wait to see what is next.