Office of Fossil Energy (FE); the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (NE); and the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Sciences (BES) Program. Overall responsibility for HFI rests with the Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Program Manager in EERE. Important elements of the program are hydrogen production, hydrogen delivery and dispensing, hydrogen storage, safety codes and standards, infrastructure validation, and education. For FY05, funding is $169 million for the entire HFCIT program, which includes about $75 million for fuel cells and $38 million for projects in hydrogen production, delivery, and storage (see Chapter 5, Table 5-1). For FY05, $37 million of the HFI program funds are congressionally directed (earmarked). (See Chapter 3, “Vehicle Technologies,” for discussion of onboard hydrogen storage for the vehicle and Chapter 2, “Major Crosscutting Issues,” for discussion of safety, codes, and standards.)
The NRC/NAE report The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs (NRC/NAE, 2004) noted the central importance of the HFCIT program to improving U.S. energy security and environmental protection. It presented recommendations on program plans and operations. In particular, the report emphasized the development of technologies both to facilitate the early transition to the hydrogen economy and to ensure its long-term viability. That report also recommended that the program shift its emphasis in several key areas. The program’s management has responded rapidly to these recommendations, most of which have been incorporated into the program during the past several months.
The principal recommendations of the 2004 report on The Hydrogen Economy may be summarized as follows:
DOE should take a systems approach to understand the complex interactions across the well-to-wheels hydrogen system.
Increased emphasis should be placed on breakthrough research in on-vehicle hydrogen storage systems, fuel cell cost and performance, and photoelectrochemical hydrogen processes. In addition, efforts on distributed—at the filling station—hydrogen generation technologies should be increased to support the early introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles into the market. Further, given the potential importance that coal may play in a future hydrogen system, there should be closer coupling among DOE’s hydrogen, fuel cell, and carbon capture and sequestration efforts.
Increased emphasis should be placed on developing technologies for hydrogen generation and on developing solutions to nontechnical issues for the transition period to the fully functional hydrogen economy.
The committee compliments DOE on rapidly implementing most of the recommendations in The Hydrogen Economy and encourages program management