DOE venture to advance hydrogen-fuel infrastructure



The Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched H2USA, a public-private partnership to advance hydrogen infrastructure, increase affordability of fuel cell electric vehicles, and provide more energy options for the transportation sector. The partnership includes stakeholders from the hydrogen and fuel cell industries, automakers, gas suppliers, and government agencies. Hydrogen-Fuel-Infrastructure Under the partnership, industry and government will coordinate research efforts for cost-effective infrastructure deployment focused on delivering affordable hydrogen fuel to consumers. Hydrogen fuel infrastructure includes pipelines, trucks, storage units, compressors, and dispensers to enable hydrogen delivery from the production point to refueling stations or power sites. The partnership members will conduct technical and market analyses, and strive to motivate acceptance of fuel cell electric vehicles. They also intend to assess the capability of fueling infrastructure developed for alternative fuels, such as natural gas and fuel cell applications, to provide low cost hydrogen. Further, they will evaluate fuel cell facilities that can expedite mainstream hydrogen infrastructure deployment. As part of its efforts to address infrastructural challenges, H2USA will identify methods to utilize low-cost natural gas. In recent years, cheap and abundant natural gas has significantly reduced hydrogen production costs and fuel cell operation costs. DOE is leading efforts to overcome technical obstacles to fuel cell commercialization. Industry and DOE national laboratories have made notable advancements in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, resulting in reduced costs and enhanced performance. According to DOE, automotive fuel costs have reduced by more than 35% since 2008 and fuel cell durability has doubled since 2005. Energy Solutions Forum