- Category: Politics
23 Dec 2010
- Published on Thursday, 23 December 2010 06:09
- Hits (358)
The Department of Energy launched a $74 million funding program to support the research and development of fuel cell technologies for stationary and transportation applications, which could help the United States emerge as a leader in the fledgling global fuel cell market.
The program set aside $65 million over three years for continued research and development on fuel cell components, such as catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies, to help minimize costs, improve durability and increase fuel cell efficiency.
It also allocated $9 million for independent cost analyses that will determine the economic viability and technological advancement of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for applications such as light-duty vehicles, forklifts, buses, stationary power plants and hydrogen storage systems.
Life cycle cost studies will be conducted for various manufacturing volumes to identify the near-term, low-volume market feasibility for these technologies and long-term potential.
"The investments we're making today will help advance fuel cell technology in the United States," said Steven Chu, energy secretary. "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," he added.
Applicants for the $65 million research and development program may submit their applications until March 3, while applications for the cost analysis solicitation are due on February 18, 2011.
The funding opportunity can help the country gain a footing in the hybrid drivetrain market, where commercial trucks are expected to be the fastest growing segment, according to Pike Research.
The market analyst predicted the hybrid truck sector to increase dramatically over the next few years, surging from just 9,000 vehicles sold this year to over 100,000 vehicles sold per year in 2015.
“An increased focus on efficiency and regulatory compliance among fleet managers, combined with a variety of new models being introduced by truck manufacturers, will lead to substantial growth in this market over the next five years,” said Dave Hurst, a senior analyst at the firm.