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Monday, Feb. 14, 2011

"Don't Outsource the Clean Energy Economy"

Obama Administration Set To Give Away Historic Lead In Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies

WASHINGTON DC — The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) today called proposed cuts to the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program misguided and harmful to American competitiveness.

“After investing billions of American dollars and years of effort, we simply cannot walk away from our commitment to these critical technologies,” said Ruth Cox, president and executive director of the FCHEA. “Fuel cells are the microprocessors of the Energy Age and they are already transforming the energy network through distributed generation of clean, efficient and reliable power.”

Thousands of American jobs are at stake right now, with more being created every month - and potentially millions in the future. Japan, Korea, China, Germany, and other European countries have made substantial economic and policy commitments to fuel cells and hydrogen energy. Several are implementing programs to dramatically increase the domestic use of fuel cells and hydrogen in preparation for delivering a key export technology.

“We ask Congress to act now and restore funding to fuel cell and hydrogen energy programs, or risk ceding our leadership to strategic competitors as we have done with wind, solar, and batteries,” said Cox. “Keeping these clean energy jobs in America will also strengthen our national security by ensuring unfettered access to the technologies that enable efficient utilization of our vast domestic fuel and energy supplies, including renewable energy.”

U.S. Government investment in fuel cells and hydrogen has been one of the most successful research, development, and deployment programs in DOE’s history—fuel cells are more than twice as efficient, more than twice as durable, and at least ten times less expensive than they were ten years ago.

Leading corporations like Coca-Cola, Google, FedEx and Walmart are using fuel cells to meet mission critical power needs for 7/24 materials handling, grocery store refrigeration and data center operations.  The U.S. military is relying on fuel cells and hydrogen energy for light, long duration soldier power and to power unmanned vehicles, increasing efficiency and effectiveness on the battlefield, as well as for materials handling and stationary power generation in non-tactical base operations.

“FCHEA fully realizes budget cuts are necessary throughout the government, but these cuts are disproportionate and the facts don’t support the Administration’s position,” said Cox. “Fuel cell and hydrogen programs have met or exceeded every benchmark for success, and these technologies are either being commercially deployed today or are at the cusp of commercialization. Why are we spending billions of dollars to deploy advanced energy technologies from other countries at the expense of those that are creating American jobs today?”

“The Obama Administration shouldn’t pick winners and losers with clean energy. Studies from the National Academy of Science, McKinsey and Company, and others, conclude that a clean energy portfolio approach is necessary to meet our economic, environmental and national security goals. 

“Even the President acknowledged the need for a portfolio approach in his State of the Union address,” continued Cox.  “Just as American leadership in microprocessor technology led to the greatest economic expansion in the U.S. since post-World War II, fuel cells and hydrogen technologies have the transformative power to drive similar economic growth in the Energy Age. 

“We look to Congress for leadership to ensure the position of fuel cells and hydrogen in America’s clean energy future.”

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About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association 

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the world’s premier advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. FCHEA and its membership are at the forefront of efforts to transform the energy network, fundamentally altering the way energy is generated and used. Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are being commercially deployed today to solve critical problems in our energy infrastructure and deliver clean, reliable power to leading edge corporate, academic and public sector users.  FCHEA’s membership represents the full spectrum of the supply chain from universities, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users. 

 

CONTACT:

Pete Barkey

Director of Communications

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association

(O) 202-736-5750

(C) 248-202-2805

pbarkey@fchea.org