In the Springtime of the past several years the Oval Office has wanted to cut funding for hydrogen research and development. And just as in years past, the U. S. Senate has come to the rescue to restore at least some of that funding.
This year is no different thanks to U. S. Senator Charles E. Shumer who had the foresight to step in and help one of the Senate committees restore funding for fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure.
According to Shumer, “Earlier this year, the Administration proposed eliminating the Department of Energy’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) funding within the DOE Fossil Energy program, which helps fund the development of fuel cell technology and supports approximately 60 jobs in Henrietta and cuts $24 million for fuel cell R&D in the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).”
He goes onto say about rescuing the funding, “This legislation also restored $24 million for a total of $104 million for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for fuel cell development. Moreover, the legislation directs a significant portion of this funding to be used specifically for developing hydrogen refueling infrastructure systems which are vital to making sure hydrogen-fueled vehicles, like those under development at GM’s Honeoye Falls facility, can be commercialized. The more roadside filling stations that can provide hydrogen fuel expands the market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The legislation also provides capacity for technology validation and market transformation activities to grow fuel cell development.”
With tight Federal budgets and a desire to shrink the deficit, hydrogen research has been on the chopping block for the past 3 years. Thank goodness there are still a few advocates in powerful government positions to fight for a hydrogen future for all of us.