DOE proposal boosts fuel cell funding

Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2001 (FY01) programs provides more than $100 million for fuel cell-related programs, including the following:

  • Stationary Fuel Cells-$42.2 million. Programs to be funded in this section will continue R&D to reduce costs and improve performance leading to market-ready fuel cell power systems within three years. In FY01, the program will begin testing a 300 kW to 1 MW size prototype solid oxide fuel cell distributed power generator at a commercial site. Funding will also focus on developing hybrid fuel cell power systems and reducing fabrication costs. The request is 12.2 percent higher than FY2000 enacted funding for this program.
  • Transportation Fuel Cells-$41.5 million. Through the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), the FY01 budget includes funding for integrating fuel cell stacks with fuel processors and balance-of-plant technologies for testing. The program will also address technology barriers to fuel-flexible fuel cell systems for automotive applications. The request is 12.1 percent higher than FY2000 enacted funding for this program.
  • Cogeneration/Fuel Cells-$5.5 million. Formerly the “Fuel Cells for Buildings” program, the Cogeneration/Fuel Cells funding will go towards: developing a prototype fuel processor for a low-temperature fuel cell system; completing the design competition for a 50 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell cogenerator for buildings; and continuing R&D of a membrane that will operate in the 120-140C temperature range. The request is 55 percent higher than FY2000 enacted funding for this program.
  • Hydrogen Research & Development-$23.0 million. Funded within DOE’s “Solar and Renewable Resources Technologies” budget, the Hydrogen Program performs R&D of integrated hydrogen systems for power generation and transportation applications. The FY01 budget includes funding for R&D of hydrogen generation processes, technologies for fueling hydrogen vehicles, and development of a regenerative wind/fuel cell system. The request is 6.5 percent lower than FY2000 enacted funding, and 18 percent lower than DOE’s budget request for the program in FY2000

Funding requests for other advanced technology programs were above FY2000 enacted funding: wind energy systems, $50.5 million (up 55.5%); biomass/biofuels energy systems, $102.4 million (up 44.8%); and photovoltaic energy systems, $82 million (up 24.4%).

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