On October 8th, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) and its members, as well as the larger fuel cell industry, allied organizations, supporters and friends around the world came together to celebrate the fourth official National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day.
The standard atomic weight of hydrogen is 1.008, so in 2015, the inaugural National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day was launched on October 8th (10/08) to draw attention to the myriad of applications fuel cell and hydrogen technologies power and the range of benefits they provide. Now four years later, it has expanded beyond the one day, with activities promoting fuel cells and hydrogen throughout that week. It has also grown into more than just a ‘national’ event, with industry and organizations around the globe taking part.
National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day is celebrated October 8th (10/08), symbolic of the atomic weight of hydrogen, 1.008.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Support from Federal Government
2018 was the most successful celebration to date, especially from the federal and state government standpoint. The U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution (SR) 664 by unanimous consent on October 1, officially declaring October 8, 2018, as National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day for the fourth consecutive year. SR 664 had bipartisan sponsorship from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rob Portman (R-OH).
The U.S. House of Representatives backed this effort up with House Resolution 1115, introduced by Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and cosponsored by Representatives Jim Costa (D-CAT), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), John Faso (R-NY), John Larson (D-CT), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Tom Reed (R-NY), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Joe Wilson (R-SC). Both the Senate and House resolutions demonstrated a true bipartisan show of support for fuel cells and hydrogen in Congress.
Also at the federal level, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office was once again a key proponent of National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day, conducting outreach to stakeholders, hosting a webinar on loan programs, and most significantly for the industry, announcing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Army to collaborate in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for military and civilian use.
Both the Senate and House passed resolutions demonstrating a true bipartisan show of support for fuel cells and hydrogen in Congress.
Strong Support from States
At the state level, there was also an impressive collection of support:
- The Pennsylvania State Senate adopted a resolution recognizing October 8, 2018, as National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day.
- Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper issued a proclamation declaring October 8 “Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day” for the state.
- Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy also officially recognized October 8, 2018 as “Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day” in the State of Connecticut with a proclamation.
- The New Jersey State Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee and the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee held a hearing on October 11 on the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in motor vehicles, material handling equipment, and stationary power applications. There were two fuel cell cars available for a ride and drive afterwards.
Other events throughout the week included:
- Air Liquide opening hydrogen stations in California and the Northeast
- Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Hydrogenics announcing a new manufacturing facility in California
- Air Products conducting a lecture and displaying a Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle at the America on Wheels Museum in Pennsylvania
FCHEA members and allied organizations issued multiple press releases and published op-eds in various media outlets, including ACT News. There were also several webinars during the week, including one from the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology and FCHEA on export controls and cyber compliance and fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power and FedEx on zero-emissions goods movement.
Unique “Borrow a Bus” Program
One of the coolest new ways the day was commemorated was in Ohio, where the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) launched “Borrow a Bus,” a program where any transit agency in the country can borrow one of SARTA’s fuel cell buses for free. SARTA boasts one the largest fleets of fuel cell-powered buses in the U.S. and will have 13 buses once they are all delivered, as well as a hydrogen refueling station to support them. The Central Midlands Transit Authority in Columbia, South Carolina will be the first agency to take advantage of this program.
On social media, there was a lot of activity, mainly via Twitter. FCHEA captured all of the tweets via a “Twitter Moment” that showcases the impressive widespread support from every corner of the industry as well as its allies.
Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are here today, with hundreds of thousands of fuel cell units in operation around the world in a range of market sectors and applications. Customers include Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, utilities and municipalities, military branches, and even individual home owners and drivers. They will continue to play an increasing role in providing clean and efficient power generation and transportation around the globe, as they are a viable solution for a range of applications and we are just beginning to realize their potential.
For a more complete recap and details of all the announcements, activities and coverage of National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day, please visit the official website page at www.fchea.org/h2-day-2018.