Ohio’s fuel cell industry shows economic promiseMay 3, 2012
Economics of alternative energy gaining more attention
The economic implications of alternative energy are gaining more attention in the U.S. The issue is often one steeped in politics, but it is quickly becoming one of economics. Alternative energy has the potential to help improve local economies by granting communities access to free energy. These energy systems are not autonomous and thus require upkeep from trained professionals. Because of this, alternative energy can create jobs wherever it takes root. A new report from NorTech, a regional technology advocacy group, and the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition suggests that hydrogen fuel cells could bring a large number of jobs to the state.
Report suggests fuel cell industry could create more than 1,650 jobs
According to the report, Ohio’s fuel cell industry could have positive effects on the economy if the state were to take aggressive steps in developing it. Legislation that would give companies incentives to adopt hydrogen fuel cells would help drive up demand for the energy systems. The report suggests that more aggressive action should be taken by politicians to encourage investors to support the state’s hydrogen fuel cell industry. If the appropriate steps were taken, the industry could create more than 1,650 jobs by 2018.
Lawmakers and investors wary of fuel cells
The report indicates that the fuel cell industry is being held back by the lack of enthusiasm state legislators and investors have shown for it in the past. Lawmakers are torn on the issue of fuel cells because of the significant upfront investment required to purchase and install these energy systems. Investors are reluctant to support the industry because the lack of widespread demand and concerns regarding the efficiency and safety of fuel cells. The report suggests that the auto industry may be able to provide enough proof that fuel cells are a viable energy system once hydrogen-powered vehicles begin entering the market.
Manufacture may be key to success for Ohio
The auto market is brimming with possibilities for the fuel cell industry. Most major car manufacturing companies are working on producing hydrogen-powered vehicles. These companies are developing their own fuel cells but rely on production facilities to create a physical product. If Ohio can find a way to play a vital role in this production, it may be able to establish itself as a leader in the nation’s fuel cell industry.