04 January 2011
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is accepting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of clean, reliable fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications.
Fuel cells use the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity or heat with little byproduct (primarily water). Fuel cells can also provide balance of power for systems using solar and other varying sources of power and can produce power in large stationary systems such as buildings or for vehicles.
The DOE solicitations include up to $65 million over three years to fund continued research and development on fuel cell components such as catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies. The work should have the goal of reducing costs, improving durability and increasing the efficiency of fuel cell systems.
The funding also includes up to $9 million to conduct independent cost analyses assessing the progress of the technology under current research initiatives and help guide future fuel cell and hydrogen storage R&D efforts.
"The investments we're making today will help advance fuel cell technology in the United States," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This is part of a broad effort to create American jobs, reduce carbon pollution and help ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the growing clean energy economy."
The DOE will fund research and development initiatives related to fuel cell system balance-of-plant components, fuel processors, and fuel cell stack components such as catalysts and membranes. Applicants will likely include teams of university, industry and national laboratory participants.
The cost analysis funding opportunity will help to determine the economic viability and technical progress of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for stationary, transportation, and emerging market applications.
Applications for the $65 million research and development program are due by 3 March, 2011. Applications for the cost analysis solicitation are due on 18 February, 2011. Funding for both programs are subject to congressional appropriations. More information and application requirements and instructions can be found at https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/?doc=DE-FOA-0000360&agency=DOE.
Written by Nancy Lamontagne, Contributing Editor - US