DoE News: Bush, Secy Abraham Announce $350 Million in Demos, Other R&D H2 Projects
DETROIT, MI - President George Bushs and the U.S. Energy Departments hydrogen research initiative took a huge step forward late last month with the announcement of $350 million in r&d spending for dozens of projects.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, speaking first in Detroit April 27, followed by another speech that afternoon at the National Renewable Laboratory in Golden, CO and, a day later, at the National Hydrogen Associations annual meeting in Los Angeles (see separate story), laid out the basics for four major project areas - storage; fleet and infrastructure demonstration and validation; fuel cell research; and education - involving 30 lead organizations and more than 100 partners in the United States and Canada, plus one from Russia:
The State Scientific Research Institute in Moscow is partner of the Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC in a chemical hydrides storage project.
The total represents about one-third of the $1.2 billion Bush pledged in his State-of-the-Union address last year (H&FCL Feb.03).
Additional private cost share funds are expected to bring the total to $575 million, the administration said.
A future hydrogen economy offers environmental benefits that current technologies cannot meet, Abraham said in his speech here at Wayne State University, with executives from the Big Three automakers present. This multi-million dollar commitment to research is a down payment on a more energy and environmentally secure future.
Speaking a day earlier in Minneapolis, President Bush, in announcing the new push, said that when we get the hydrogen car up and running, not only will it make America a better place, well become the innovator of the world. Thats what we want to be.
Storage Centers of Excellence
The creation of new centers of excellence for exploratory hydrogen storage, first announced almost a year ago (H&FCL July 03), will fund three national lead laboratories - Los Alamos/Pacific Northwest Laboratories for chemical hydrogen storage, Sandia National Laboratories at Livermore, CA for metal hydride storage, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for carbon-based storage - at $150 million over five years. These centers in turn will work with other universities and industry partners with an additional private cost share of about $20 million (See DoE release for full list of participants, www.energy.gov.)
The Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project, subject of guessing and some doubts recently in Washington (H&FCL April 04), is expected to be funded at $190 million over five years, with a private cost share contribution of another $190 million, according to DoEs announcement.
These demonstrations will assess progress towards the goal of making a commercialization decision by 2015. In addition to the team led by Air Products (see California H2 Highway story), four other teams will be funded (The first company in each team is the prime contractor).
-- DaimlerChrysler and BP America;
Ford Motor Co, and again BP America;
General Motors and Shell Oil Products;
Texaco Energy Systems and Hyundai Motor Co.
Ballard Power Systems, partners in the DaimlerChrysler- and Ford-led teams, claimed in a separate release its fuel cells would be powering about half of the 150 fuel cell vehicles expected to be operating under this project. (For full list of partners on each team, see DoE release, www.energy.gov.)
Small Amounts for Fuel Cell R&D
For fuel cell research, 5 companies plus 13 subcontractors have been selected for funding totaling $13 million over three years, plus another private cost share of about another $10 million. These projects will investigate consumer electronics devices, auxiliary power generation, and off road applications.
For education, DoE has budgeted $4.5 million. The four prime contractors listed are the University of California, Berkeley; National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project; Andersen Creative Group; and Energy International, Inc., as well as more than a dozen partners. Their projects are curricula and teacher professional development and educational materials.
Sources/Contacts: www.whitehouse.gov; www.energy.gov; Ballard Power Systems, www.ballard.com.