Senate Committee on Energy and Water approves legislation for fuel cell fundingMay 1, 2012
Senator Charles Schumer campaigns to promote hydrogen fuel cells
Last month, Senator Charles Schumer called upon the federal government to renew funding for hydrogen fuel cell projects from General Motors and Delphi, a manufacturer of solid state fuel cells. The Senator had introduced a new bill that would secure funding for both companies and help them establish new fuel cell production facilities and research departments. The initiative had initially been met with skepticism from the Department of Energy, but the bill quickly garnered support from the alternative energy and business communities. This support has gone a long way, as Senator Schumer has announced that the bill has gained the approval of a key Senate committee, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.
Government seeks to cut funding for fuel cell R&D
Earlier in the year, the federal government had sought to eliminate the funding that supports the Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program, which is partly responsible for the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells. The program supplied approximately $24 million to Delphi, much of which was used for the development of the company’s solid oxide fuel cells. Delphi claims that this funding is required in order for the company to begin mass production of its fuel cells by 2014. Senator Schumer believes that the money would also create hundreds of jobs as the demand for fuel cells rose.
General Motors calls for funding in order to meet future demand
General Motors has been making significant advancements in its development of fuel cell technology. The company has been able to make quick progress due to financial assistance provided by the federal government. GM suspects that hydrogen fuel will play a large role in the future, as it is a powerful form of energy. The auto industry has recently become enthralled with fuel cells, with most major companies building cars that run on hydrogen gas. GM claims that funding is necessary in order to meet the demand that is expected to come from the commercial market in the coming years.
Committee approves law with the hope of improving economy
Senator Schumer has announced that the Senate Committee on Energy and Water has passed his legislation. The committee believes that funding for the development of hydrogen fuel cells will be a step toward economic recovery for the country and may help the U.S. become energy independent.