DOE to issue funding for hydrogen fuel storage endeavors

September 8, 2014 0 By Stephen Vagus

Agency to invest in the development of better storage technologies for hydrogen

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it will be investing $7 million in funding in order to promote improvements to hydrogen fuel storage and distribution. The federal agency has been growing more aggressive on the matter of fuel infrastructure in recent years, hoping to accommodate the major shifts that are occurring in the transportation landscape. Automakers have plans to launch a new generation of clean vehicles in the coming years, many of which will be powered by hydrogen. In the U.S., a hydrogen infrastructure is nearly non-existent.

Clean transportation could help cut down on emissions

The U.S. intends to meet the emission reduction goals it has established for itself and has begun focusing on clean transportation in order to do so. Conventional vehicles are responsible for a major portion of the country’s emissions. By creating an environment where clean vehicles are attractive to consumers, the federal government may be able to severely cut down on the emissions produced by the transportation sector. In order to make these vehicles attractive, however, there must be a fuel infrastructure that can support their operation.

Inefficient technology makes it difficult to establish a working infrastructure

doe funding - hydrogen fuelOne of the major challenges currently facing the establishment of a comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure is the lack of efficient storage technologies. Hydrogen storage is an energy intensive process that is also considered unnecessarily expensive. The most popular storage solutions are not considered efficient, especially when it comes to the distribution of hydrogen fuel and better solutions are not likely to be available for several years.

Funding may help accelerate the introduction of new storage technologies and the establishment of a working fuel infrastructure

Funding from the Department of Energy may help expedite the development of new storage technologies that can be used in infrastructure efforts. As these new technologies are made more available, a more comprehensive fuel infrastructure may begin to take form throughout the country. Currently, only California has what would be considered a modest infrastructure that would be capable of supporting a relatively small number of fuel cell vehicles.