Hydrogen and fuel cell industry positioned for future growth

Hydrogen and fuel cell industry positioned for future growth

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – November 30, 2016 – The Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster (NEESC) and the Connecticut Green Bank co-hosted the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Forum on Thursday and Friday, November 17 and 18 in Hartford, CT. The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Forum featured expert panels that discussed supply chain development, fuel cell markets, fuel cell electric vehicle use and green technology financing strategies.

“I believe the industry is bullish on future growth under the new administration,” stated Joel M. Rinebold, director of energy initiatives at CCAT and NEESC Chair. “This is a technology that is designed, developed, and manufactured in the United States and makes use of a domestic fuel supply to produce clean energy efficiently.”

This is a technology that is designed, developed, and manufactured in the United States and makes use of a domestic fuel supply to produce clean energy efficiently.

Representatives from the major fuel cell companies, including FuelCell Energy, Doosan Fuel Cell America, and Bloom Energy highlighted the progress that the industry has made in developing cost effective solutions for better energy management. The companies also noted the importance of the Investment Tax Credit for fuel cell power plants in order to have parity with other ultra clean technologies.

“With the expansion of production facilities, increase in fuel cell manufacturing, and extension of the natural gas infrastructure, there are growing opportunities for the deployment of fuel cells, both on the grid and behind the meter,” stated Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “It’s critically important that we maintain the momentum of deploying new sources of clean energy. Technologies like fuel cells not only serve to improve the reliability of the system but also help create jobs and economic growth in our communities.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. John Larson also expressed their intent, at the Forum, to work with their colleagues in the Senate and House to support policies that bolster domestic manufacturing and clean energy.

“Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies provide solutions to our most pressing energy challenges,” said Rep. Larson. “They are clean, renewable, and contribute to the strength of our manufacturing sector by employing highly skilled workers. The United States has always been at the forefront of this industry. I commend NEESC and the Connecticut Green Bank for hosting a successful forum and I am proud of Connecticut’s place as the nation’s hub for fuel cell manufacturing.”

A recently commissioned economic analysis of the region’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry suggested that the hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain had a significant bearing on the region’s economy, contributing nearly $1.4 billion in revenue and investment, more than 6,550 direct, indirect and induced jobs, and labor income of approximately $620 million. The study also projected that 2015 state and local tax revenues stemming from the Northeast region’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry exceeded $83 million.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) also supported this event, which bolsters their goal to expand the supply chain for hydrogen and fuel cell systems in the United States.

Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster (NEESC) is a network of industry, academic, government and non-governmental leaders working together to provide energy storage solutions. The cluster is focused on the innovative development, production, promotion and deployment of hydrogen fuels and fuel cells to meet the pressing demand for energy storage solutions. The cluster is based in New York, New Jersey, and the New England States. Its initial formation and development is funded through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Innovative Economies Initiative and administered by CCAT.

Connecticut Green Bank is an entity that accelerates the deployment of clean energy by using limited public dollars to attract private capital investment in clean energy projects. In doing so, it makes clean energy more affordable and accessible to consumers. The Connecticut Green Bank innovates, educates and is active in accelerating the growth of green energy. The Connecticut Green Bank partners with private-sector investors to create low-cost, long-term, sustainable financing to implement green energy measures in the residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and infrastructure sectors.

Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., that creates and executes bold ideas advancing applied technologies, IT strategies, energy solutions, STEM education, and career development. By leading state, regional, and national partnerships, CCAT helps manufacturers, academia, government and nonprofit organizations excel. Learn more at ccat.us, or follow CCAT on Twitter – @CCATInc.