Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it's accepting applications for up to $74 million in grants for, "the research and development of clean, reliable fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications." A significant portion of the money – $65 million to be exact – will be set aside to fund the research and development of vital fuel cell components, such as catalyst materials and electrode assemblies. The DOE hopes that the grants will provide companies with the means to develop fuel cell systems that display improved durability, increased efficiency and, perhaps most importantly, reduced costs.
The remaining $9 million in grants will be used to conduct cost analysis of fuel cell technologies and to research hydrogen storage systems. The DOE claims that its monetary support will guide, "U.S. leadership in the emerging global fuel cell market, while limiting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the country's reliance on fossil fuels."
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu summed up the goal of the DOE fuel cell grants:
Applications for the DOE grants must be submitted no later than March 3rd, 2011.The investments we're making today will help advance fuel cell technology in the United States. This is part of a broad effort to create American jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and help ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the growing clean energy economy.
[Source: U.S. Department of Energy]
Department of Energy Announces up to $74 Million for Fuel Cell Research and Development
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced it is accepting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of clean, reliable fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications. The solicitations include up to $65 million over three years to fund continued research and development (R&D) on fuel cell components, such as catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies, with the goal of reducing costs, improving durability, and increasing the efficiency of fuel cell systems. The funding also includes up to $9 million to conduct independent cost analyses that will assess the progress of the technology under current research initiatives and help guide future fuel cell and hydrogen storage R&D efforts. These awards will help support U.S. leadership in the emerging global fuel cell market, while limiting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the country's reliance on fossil fuels.
"The investments we're making today will help advance fuel cell technology in the United States," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This is part of a broad effort to create American jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and help ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the growing clean energy economy."
Fuel cells use the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity or heat with minimal byproducts, primarily water. They can produce power in large stationary systems such as buildings or for vehicles such as commercial forklifts, buses and automobiles.
The Department will be funding research and development initiatives related to fuel cell system balance-of-plant components, fuel processors, and fuel cell stack components such as catalysts and membranes, as well as innovative concepts for both low and high temperature systems to help meet commercial viability targets in terms of cost and performance. Applicants will likely include teams of university, industry and national laboratory participants.
The cost analysis funding opportunity will help to determine the economic viability and technical progress of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for stationary, transportation, and emerging market applications, including light duty vehicles, forklifts, buses, and stationary power plants, as well as hydrogen storage systems. Under the program, the grantees will be expected to conduct life cycle cost analyses for different manufacturing volumes to help gauge the near-term, low-volume market viability for these technologies, along with their long-term potential.
Applications for the $65 million research and development program are due by March 3, 2011. Applications for the cost analysis solicitation are due on February 18, 2011. Funding for both programs are subject to congressional appropriations. Read about the application requirements and instructions for the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Storage System Cost Analyses and Fuel Cells R&D opportunities.
The Fuel Cell Technologies Program has a comprehensive portfolio of activities that address the full range of barriers facing the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cells with the ultimate goals of decreasing our dependence on oil, reducing carbon emissions, and enabling clean, reliable power generation. For more information on the Fuel Cell Technologies Program, please visit the Fuel Cell Technologies Program Web site.