Hydrogen fuel cells developer receives more funding from Department of EnergyMarch 12, 2014
DOE issues funding to FuelCell Energy through ongoing initiative
FuelCell Energy, a leading developer of fuel cell technology, has been awarded $2.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. The money is linked to an initiative that is focusing on encouraging innovations in the manufacturing field. Such innovation could lead to a reduction in the costs associated with producing fuel cell energy systems. By reducing manufacturing costs, hydrogen fuel cells could become more attractive to a wider range of consumers and businesses.
Fuel cells remain expensive when compared to other forms of clean technology
Currently, hydrogen fuel cells are among the most expensive forms of clean energy technology. Hydrogen fuel cells make use of a significant amount of platinum, which is one of the reasons they are so expensive to produce. Hydrogen itself is also somewhat costly to produce, despite its abundance. Fuel cells have become very popular due to the focus that the global auto industry has put on them, but these energy systems are still far from becoming mainstream due to their high costs.
Funding to aid in the research and development of third generation fuel cell technology
The funding from the Department of Energy will enable FuelCell Energy to continue the research and development of its third generation Direct FuelCell systems. These fuel cells are typically used for industrial purposes and have become quite popular within that sector. Industrial organizations often turn to fuel cells when looking for clean energy solutions. This is because fuel cells can produce large quantities of electrical power without also producing harmful emissions, making them ideal energy systems for indoor use.
Other clean technologies could win favor over hydrogen fuel cells in the future
Improving fuel cells has been a focus of the fuel cell industry for many years, and significant progress toward making these energy systems more efficient and less expensive has been made. Despite this, fuel cells are often criticized for being too expensive and inefficient. Without further progress being made quickly, hydrogen fuel cells may run the risk of losing traction within the renewable energy sector as other forms of clean technology begin to gain more attention.