The Green Car Congress published an interesting blog indicating that, if the California Air Resources Board gets its way (which, on a separate note, it did today when the EPA granted a waiver enabling the state to enforce its own greenhouse gas emissions standard), hydrogen fuel cells may not be that far off after all. That is granted Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's "four miracles" are performed by the scientific community.
Earlier this year, the Obama Administration unveiled its renewable fuel strategy for the next decade, but one alternative energy was blatantly missing: hydrogen fuel cells. Unsurprisingly, when the Department of Energy then released its fiscal year 2010 budget, the federal hydrogen fuel cell research and deployment budget was cut by more than two-thirds ($130 million), and funds were outright eliminated for the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle program and market transformation programs.
This all came not long after the DOE released in February its Fuel Cell School Buses: Report to Congress,” which cited a lack of fuel cell availability as a major obstacle to the technology being ready for the school bus market as well as high costs and questions about durability. DOE Secretary Steven Chu reiterated the basic findings of the study later to MIT Research magazine that "four miracles" needed to occur before hydrogen fuel cell vehicles would be considered viable in transportation, those being fuel cell durability and cost, hydrogen production, hydrogen storage and hydrogen distribution infrastructure.
But CARB recently weighed in on the subject with a visit paid to Chu by CARB Chair Mary Nichols to ask that the funding reinstated. CARB followed up with a letter to the DOE on June 19 highlighting how the issues of cost, production, storage and infrastructure could be solved.
5 months ago