Thursday, May 23, 2013

DOE initiative aims to support hydrogen fuel infrastructure

DOE initiative aims to support hydrogen fuel infrastructure

Hydrogen fuel has become a major focus for the global auto industry and this focus is likely t transform the transportation sector around the world. As automakers put more emphasis on clean transportation, global markets are beginning to respond by supporting the promotion of hydrogen fuel in the transportation sector. Much of this support comes in the form of governments working to establish a working hydrogen fuel infrastructure that will be capable of supporting a new generation of fuel cell vehicles. This is the case in the U.S., where the Department of Energy has launched a new initiative with infrastructure as its primary focus.

H2USA partnership brings private companies and federal government together

The Department of Energy has announced the official launch of the H2USA initiative, a public-private partnership that aims to promote and establish a working hydrogen fuel infrastructure throughout the U.S. The partnership has brought together the federal government and several automakers, gas suppliers, and fuel cell developers for this endeavor. Among those participating in the H2USA partnership are Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Hyundai, and Toyota, as well as various state-based agencies and private companies from around the country.

The Department of Energy had once considered hydrogen fuel to be an inadequate solution to the environmental issues associated with transportation. This was largely due to the perceived faults of hydrogen fuel cells. In recent years, the federal agency has been warming to the concept of hydrogen fuel and has begun to consider this form of renewable energy as a promising alternative to traditional forms of power.

Availability of natural gas makes hydrogen fuel more attractive

According to the Department of Energy, hydrogen fuel has been growing more attractive due to the rising availability of natural gas. Natural gas can be used to power hydrogen fuel production, and the U.S. has an abundant supply of this fuel. Using natural gas is somewhat less expensive and more efficient than using other fossil-fuels to produce hydrogen. Backed by new technologies from the industrial gas sector, the agency believes that a large-scale hydrogen fuel infrastructure can finally take form in the country.

H2USA to examine market trends and support adoption of fuel cell vehicles

The initial goal of the H2USA initiative is to identify the measures that can be taken to encourage the early adoption of fuel cell vehicles. The initiative will also be responsible for examining market trends and determining how to improve infrastructure efforts throughout the country. With the federal government showing stronger support for hydrogen fuel, clean transportation is expected to become a much more feasible reality in the near future.