US DOE to issue new funding for innovative hydrogen fuel cell projectsNovember 28, 2013
Fuel cells win more support from federal agencies
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced as much as $30 million in new funding that will be issued through the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). The agency is an offshoot of the Department of Defense’s DARPA agency and has a specific focus on energy. ARPA-E is expected to be a powerful force behind the development of innovative new forms of energy and clean technologies. The funding being issued through the agency is part of its Reliable Electricity Based on Electrochemical Systems (REBELS) program, which has a focus on the development of hydrogen fuel cells and other types of fuel cell technology.
DOE grows more interested in fuel cell technology
In the U.S., fuel cells have received modest support in the past. The Department of Energy had once considered fuel cells to be a far-future solution to an immediate problem. The agency has changed its stance on these energy systems over the past two years, however, partly due to the focus that the auto industry has placed on fuel cell technology. Now, the Department of Energy is a prominent advocate for finding ways to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cells and make them more available to a wider range of people and businesses.
REBELS program seeks new participants
ARPA-E’s REBELS program is meant to make breakthroughs in the field of fuel cell technology and distributed power generation systems. The program is also meant to find ways to stabilize the national energy grid and improve energy security through the use of new technologies. Funding will be issued through ARPA-E for projects that adhere to the endeavors of the REBELS program. ARAP-E is encouraging inter-disciplinary and cross-organizational collaborations to participate in the program, believing that such groups could be a major benefit to fuel cell technology.
Fuel cells are becoming more popular outside of transportation
Throughout most of the world, hydrogen fuel cells have become popular for their uses in transportation. These energy systems are being used to power a new generation of vehicles that will produce no harmful emissions. Fuel cells are also gaining popularity as residential energy systems and have long been used in several industrial sectors around the world.