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June 17th, 2011

Report released on state-by-state fuel cell activities

Published on June 17th, 2011 | By: Eileen De Guire

Praxair hydrogen fueling station at LAX. Credit: Fuel Cells 2000.

Fuel Cells 2000 has just released its latest report, “State of the States: Fuel Cells in America,” (pdf) which is available free from their website. The 106-page report was assembled by the Washington-based nonprofit organization from public records, websites and communication with state and industry representatives with support from DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program.

The report summarizes the status of fuel cell activity in the categories of new policies and funding, recent FC and hydrogen installations, planned FC and hydrogen installations, and recent activity by state industry and universities.

California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio and South Carolina are named top five FC states – all of which were top five states last year, too. The top five states were chosen based on criteria including “incentive policies to attract fuel cell business to their state, present or planned deployments of hydrogen fueling stations and FC-powered vehicles, buses and forklifts, and university research projects that attract funding to the state while also advancing the industry.” Based on those criteria, five up-and-coming states were also identified: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland and Texas.

States with no appreciable FC activity are Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont.

The report’s introduction provides a nice overview of the industry and provides some useful, general metrics. For example, in the last year, more than 50 megawatts of FC stationary power were installed or purchased, more than 1,500 FC forklifts were purchased or deployed, hydrogen stations were opened in three states and California, alone, plans to have 20 public hydrogen stations in place by the end of 2011.

The general overview does not break out information based on FC type, although some of the state-by-state information refers to specific technologies. The individual state summaries are not intended to be directories of organizations or companies active in the field, but some of the omissions seem surprising. In a spot check of Ohio, for example, the only college-level institution listed individually Stark State College (a two-year degree granting college that is developing FC prototypes and technicians), but is missing several of Ohio’s powerful academic FC research engines, such as Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University. Those universities are major participants in some of the industry projects that are listed, so some extra research would be needed to tease out the full picture of academic activity in Ohio and probably in other states, too.

The report does provide a valuable high-level snapshot of the nation’s FC activities. The catalog of installations and deployments was interesting, and should be of value to anyone interested in the commerce side of FCs. The report makes it easy to identify which states are making serious efforts to build their hydrogen economy infrastructure and are supporting that priority with funding and incentive policies.

The DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies website has a lot of business-related reports, many written by Fuel Cell 2000 staff.


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