Canada United States

IPHE Country Update: November 2016

Name: Sunita Satyapal; Mike Mills
Contact Information:;
Covered Period: 2016

New Policy Initiatives on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell (Read more)

Policy Decisions since last meeting:

The President’s FY17 Budget Request for the Fuel Cell Technologies Office is $105.5M. The new Technology Acceleration Key Activity shown in the chart is comprised of Manufacturing R&D, Technology Validation, and Market Transformation. The FCTO is currently operating on the FY16 funding level until December 2016, at which time Congress is expected to approve an FY17 budget for the Department of Energy.

Key Activity FY 15 FY 16 FY 17
($ in thousands)
Approp. Approp. Request
Fuel Cell R&D 33,000 35,000 35,000
Hydrogen Fuel R&D 35,200 41,050 44,500
Manufactoring R&D 3,000 3,000 3,000
System Analysis 3,000 3,000 3,000
Technology Validation 11,000 7,000 7,000
Safety, Codes and Standards 7,000 7,000 10,000
Market Transformation 3,000 3,000 3,000
Technology Acceleration 0 0 13,000
NREL Site-wide Facilities Support 1,800 1,900 N/A
TOTAL 97,000 100,950 105,500

The President’s Budget request includes:

  • Increasing investments for clean energy research and development to $5.9 billion in discretionary funds supporting Mission Innovation - the landmark commitment to accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation announced at the start of the Paris climate negotiations. The U.S. is seeking to double clean energy R&D funding in five years and the Department’s investment is about 76 percent of the $7.7 billion government-wide FY 2017 contribution toward this pledge.
  • Investing nearly $1.5 billion in mandatory funding in FY 2017 for clean energy technology development and deployment and $1.3 billion for advanced clean transportation ($11.3 billion over ten years).

Organizational changes:

  • David Friedman, former member of the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee, joined EERE as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in July 2015 and is now serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for EERE (David Danielson left EERE in May 2016).

New Publications since last meeting

DOE released the 2016 Revolution Now Report which highlights the dramatic growth and decreasing costs of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, photovoltaic (PV) solar modules for both utility-scale plants and distributed systems, electric vehicles (EVs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). For full report, download using this link:

California’s Air Resources Board released the report: “2016 Annual Evaluation of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development”. It offers a summary of the activities and lessons from the past year of station installations. For the full report, download using this link:

DOE released the 2015 Fuel Cell Technologies Market report in October, 2016. The report documents the global growth of the fuel cell market, with more than 60,000 fuel cells, totaling over 300 MW, shipped worldwide in 2015. The number of megawatts (MW) shipped grew substantially – by more than 65% – over 2014. The increase in total megawatts shipped in 2015 could be attributed to several factors, including growth in both the stationary and transportation sectors. For the full report, download using this link:

The California Hydrogen Business Council released the report on its “Financing the 101st” workshop held on June 14-15. The report provides insights on financeable business models for building hydrogen fueling stations beyond the 100 covered by the $100M investment from CA. For the executive summary of the report, use this link:

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell R&D Update (Read more)   

The DOE ultimate durability target for fuel cell systems was increased to 8,000 hours to allow for 150,000 miles of driving on a lower average speed drive-cycle.

Fuel cell cost has been cut in half since 2007, still projected at $53/kW (modeled cost based on lab technology projected for high volume manufacturing of 500,000 units/year and $59/kW at 100,000 units/year)

2016 fuel cell system durability status: 4100 hours (automotive); 23,000 (bus maximum lifetime exceeding DOE 2016 interim target of 18000 hours

Storage modeled cost is $15/kWh (at high volume)

Lab Big Idea Summit – H2 @ Scale initiative approved

  • Enables green processes and increased renewable penetration that can decrease all U.S. carbon by ~half by 2050.

Demonstration and Deployments Update (Read more)

Progress continues towards 100 stations in California and 12-25 retail stations are planned for the Northeast U.S. In California there are 28 hydrogen stations that are open (22 retail and 6 non retail) as of Oct, 2016.

As July 2016, there are 331 fuel cell electric vehicles registered in CA – twice the number of cars registered last year at around the same time.

Approximately 18,000 additional fuel cell forklifts and backup power units (combined) deployed or on order by industry (without DOE funding).

In July, DOE, in partnership with the Department of Interior’s National Park Service launched a new technology demonstration hydrogen refuelling station in Washington D.C. Though not a public station, this station will showcase cutting-edge hydrogen generation technology and provide opportunities to demonstrate FCEVs at federal agencies and throughout the surrounding region. This happened in conjunction with the incorporation of the world’s first commercially available fuel cell electric vehicles into the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S Department of Interior (DOI) fleets through a no-cost loan and test program for technology demonstration and education & outreach purposes.

Events and Solicitations (Read more)

Provide information on upcoming hydrogen-related events that will include international participants. Also, please provide any information regarding solicitations1 that can lead to collaboration among IPHE members.

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Celebration: DOE celebrated Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day (10/8) with a several education and outreach activities during the weeks leading up to and after 10/8. Activities included celebratory events at the National Press Club Building in Washington DC with the participation of Assistant Secretary David Friedman, Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Sarkar, Former Senator Byron Dorgan and representatives from FCEV automakers and H2 suppliers. Other activities included tweets from DOE and Secretary Moniz’s twitter, Facebook Live with Fuel Cell Technologies Office Director Sunita Satyapal and the release of several blogs on the DOE website. In addition to DOE activities, industry and national lab stakeholders participated in the celebration with different activities of their own. For a full list of the activities from non-DOE stakeholders, visit

U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program 2016 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting: Hydrogen and fuel cell projects funded by DOE were presented and reviewed for their merit fro June 6-10, 2016.

  • Former Senator Dorgan offered keynote address

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC): Upcoming biannual meeting will take place December 6-7, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

  • HTAC biennial report will soon be published: Response to Findings and Recommendations of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee: Fifth Biennial Report to Congress

Sustainable Transportation Summit: will be held on July 11-12, 2016, at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center and will bring together shareholders from Fuel Cell, Vehicle, and Bioenergy Offices

Investments: Government and Collaborative Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Funding (Read more)  

In December 2015, DOE announced up to $35 million to support hydrogen production, delivery, and storage research and development; demonstration and deployment of infrastructure components; consortia topics for fuel cell performance and durability and advanced hydrogen storage materials research; and, cost and performance analysis for hydrogen production, storage, and fuel cells. Below is the detailed breakdown of topics that will be covered:

Research and Development (R&D)

  • Hydrogen Production R&D: Advanced High-Temperature Water Splitting
  • Advanced Compression
  • Advanced Vacuum Insulation for Automotive Applications

Demonstration and Deployments

  • Component Manufacturing and Standardization for Hydrogen Infrastructure (e.g., hose/piping, dispenser/station technologies)
  • Crosscutting: America's Climate Communities of Excellence

Consortia Topics

  • Fuel Cell – Performance and Durability (FC-PAD)
  • Hydrogen Storage Materials – Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC)


  • Cost and Performance Analysis for Fuel Cells; Hydrogen Storage; Hydrogen Production and Delivery

In February 2016, the Energy Materials Network (EMN), a National Laboratory-led initiative leveraging $40M in federal funding that will assist American entrepreneurs and manufacturers pursue clean energy, was launched at an event at the White House. Each EMN consortium will bring together National Labs, industry, and academia to focus on specific classes of materials aligned with industry’s most pressing challenges related to materials for clean energy technologies. For example:

  • Electrolysis Consortium (ElectroCat) - dedicated to finding new ways to replace the rare and costly platinum group metals currently used in hydrogen fuel cells
  • Advanced Water Splitting Materials - accelerate the research, development, and deployment of advanced water splitting technologies for renewable hydrogen production

In March, the Small Business Vouchers Pilot program awarded vouchers to 7 fuel cell companies. The project duration is 12 months and value of the award is between $100,000 and $200,000.

In Oct 2016, the DOE announced a notice of intent (NOI) to invest $30 million, subject to appropriations, to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. These projects will leverage national lab consortia launched under DOE’s Energy Materials Network (EMN) this past year, and will support the President’s Materials Genome Initiative and advanced manufacturing priorities. National lab consortia that will be leveraged include:

  • Electrocatalysis Consortium (ElectroCat)–this consortium will accelerate the development of catalysts made without platinum group metals (PGM-free) for use in transportation fuel cell applications.
  • HydroGEN Consortium (HydroGEN)–this consortium will accelerate the development of advanced water splitting materials for hydrogen production, with an initial focus on advanced electrolytic, photoelectrochemical, and solar thermochemical pathways.
  • Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC)–this consortium aims to address unsolved scientific challenges in the development of viable solid-state materials for storage of hydrogen onboard vehicles.


Federal websites relating to hydrogen and fuel cell policy, research programs, and stakeholder associations:

Key stakeholder associations:

Reports & Publications

Planning Documents

In 2006, the DOE's hydrogen and fuel cell activities were documented at a high level in the Hydrogen Posture Plan PDF 2.46MB), which also included U.S. Department of Transportation activities. In 2011, the Department of Energy released the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Plan that outlines the strategy, activities, and plans of the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program. Detailed discussions of the barriers as well as current and planned RD&D activities can be found in the hydrogen R&D plans of the individual DOE offices, as follows:

Reports to Congress


Member Statements

Member Statements (Read more) - Last updated November 2016


Involvement (Read more) - Last updated May 2009

A number of agencies within the U.S. Federal Government are collaborating on research, development, and demonstration of hydrogen and fuel-cell-related technologies. Agency representatives meet regularly to share research results, technical expertise, and lessons learned about program implementation and technology deployment in order to coordinate interagency programs and activities related to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Participating U.S. Federal Agencies:

The U.S. Government's principal effort in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development, and demonstration is the Fuel Cell Technologies Program, within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).  

U.S. Department of Energy (Read more) - Last updated May 2009


The DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program conducts comprehensive efforts to overcome the technological, economic, and institutional obstacles to the widespread commercialization of fuel cells and related technologies.  The Program works with partners in industry, academia, non-profit institutions, and the national labs. In addition, the Program coordinates closely with other programs in four DOE offices—Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Science, Fossil Energy, and Nuclear Energy.

Key Accomplishments

DOE has achieved several significant accomplishments since hydrogen and fuel cell RD&D was accelerated in 2004:

  • Significant cost reduction of automotive fuel cells (Costs dropped from $275/kW in 2002 to $61/kW in 2009, based on projections of high-volume manufacturing costs.)
  • Two-fold increase in the durability of fuel cell systems in vehicles operating under real-world conditions (Data in 2006 showed 950-hour durability; today, this number is 2,500-hour durability — equivalent to approximately 75,000 miles of driving.)
  • Demonstration of fuel cell membrane electrode assembly durability — more than 7,300 hours (with cycling at < 80°C) in single-cell laboratory tests, exceeding DOE's 2015 target of 5,000 hours
  • Cost reduction of hydrogen production from both renewable resources and natural gas (Hydrogen can now be produced by distributed reforming of natural gas at a projected high-volume cost of $3.00/gallon gasoline equivalent—a cost competitive with gasoline.)
  • Identification of several new materials that show a 50% improvement in on-board hydrogen storage capacity
  • Validation of hydrogen technologies by demonstrating 140 fuel cell vehicles and 20 refueling stations nationwide

Mission and Key Goals

The mission of the Fuel Cell Technologies Program is to enable the widespread commercialization of fuel cells in diverse sectors of the economy. This mission is to be accomplished 1) with emphasis on applications that will most effectively improve our stewardship of the environment and expand economic opportunities, 2) through research, development, and demonstration of critical improvements in the technologies, and 3) through diverse activities to overcome economic and institutional obstacles to commercialization.  The Program's primary goal is to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the marketplace, making them competitive with incumbent and other emerging technologies. The Program has defined its key goals based on the technical advances that are needed and the timeframe in which they can be accomplished, as identified through discussions with the research community and stakeholders from all relevant energy sectors.


The Program has a comprehensive strategy that incorporates a broad-based, technology-neutral approach with highly focused efforts in specific technologies and applications.  The Program pursues the advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for a wide range of applications, supporting core research in areas common to many applications and technologies.  Specific targets and milestones for all R&D pathways are developed in close consultation with experts in industry and the research community, and Program activities are selected on the basis of their ability to make progress toward these milestones. 

The Program's approach for making technical advances includes integrating basic and applied research, technology development, and technology validation and demonstration. Communication and feedback among these areas allow the Program to more rapidly identify challenges and roadblocks as they emerge and to more effectively allocate resources to R&D efforts.

Program Activities

To address the key challenges facing the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, the Fuel Cell Technologies Program conducts the following activities:

Hydrogen Production & Delivery R&D

The Program is developing lower-cost methods for producing and delivering hydrogen. The ultimate goal is for several different domestic production and delivery pathways to be used (at a variety of scales ranging from large, centralized production to very small, local [distributed] production) depending on what makes the most economic and logistical sense for a given location.  The key objective for all production/delivery pathways is to reduce the cost of hydrogen to $2 to $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge), delivered and untaxed.  

Hydrogen Storage R&D 

The Program is developing hydrogen storage systems that are more compact, have higher capacity, and are less costly.  The key objective is to enable a driving range of at least 300 miles for all light-duty vehicle platforms, without reductions in interior space or performance, and without increases in cost.  The principal focus of these efforts is on advanced materials having the potential to store hydrogen at lower pressures and near-ambient temperatures, with reduced volume and weight.

Fuel Cell R&D 

The Program's fuel cell R&D efforts are aimed at reducing the cost and improving the durability of fuel cells.  The key applications under development are as follows:

  • Stationary fuel cell system with 40% efficiency and a 40,000-hour lifespan at a cost of $750/kW

  • Combined-heat-and-power fuel cell system with 90% overall efficiency and a 60,000 hour lifespan at a cost of $450/kW

  • Auxiliary power fuel cell operating on standard ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel with an efficiency of 40% and a 20,000-hour lifespan, at a cost of $500/kW

  • Vehicular fuel cell system with 60% peak efficiency and a 5,000-hour lifespan (150,000 miles) for a cost of $30/kW (projected to manufacturing volumes of 500,000 units/year)

Manufacturing R&D 

This effort is aimed at developing and demonstrating processes and technologies that reduce the manufacturing cost of fuel cell systems and systems for the production, delivery, and storage of hydrogen while ensuring quality and reliability.  These low-cost, high-volume manufacturing processes are critical tools that industry needs to produce affordable hydrogen and fuel cell components and systems and to develop a domestic supplier base.

Technology Validation

The Program conducts technology validation activities to fully assess and validate the results of its R&D efforts (e.g., demonstrations of stationary power systems, vehicles, and hydrogen infrastructure).

Safety, Codes & Standards 

The Program is addressing critical needs regarding hydrogen safety concerns and the development of codes and standards, which are essential for establishing a receptive market environment for hydrogen-based products and systems. 


The Program is addressing the knowledge barriers that may impede the acceptance of hydrogen technologies. Overcoming these barriers is critical to enabling the successful implementation of near-term hydrogen demonstration projects and early-market fuel cell installations, as well as the longer-term market adoption and acceptance that are required to realize the full benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. 

Market Transformation

To ensure that the benefits of its efforts are realized, the Program conducts activities to facilitate the growth of early markets for fuel cells, particularly in the areas of backup power and specialty vehicles (e.g., forklifts).  The growth of early markets will help reduce costs by enabling economies of scale, which will result in increased market opportunities for fuel cells. The Program has focused most of its efforts in this area toward facilitating federal early adoption of fuel cells, through technical and financial support.

Systems Analysis

The Program conducts systems analysis activities to ensure that its efforts are directed in the most effective way.  These activities involve extensive cross-cutting lifecycle analysis, emissions analysis, and environmental analysis to enable a comprehensive understanding of the major issues involved in potential hydrogen and fuel cell energy systems.   Some specific issues include: the impacts of various technology pathways (well-to-wheels energy and environmental issues), resource needs and impacts, cost elements and drivers, key cost and technological gaps, alternative means for meeting Program goals, progress toward Program targets, and energy-related economic benefits.

Competitive Project-Selection and External Input and Review

The Program ensures the most effective use of funds through a rigorous competitive-selection process, cost-sharing with private-sector partners, and extensive use of peer-reviews. The Program also incorporates input and guidance from expert advisory groups and external review boards, such as the National Academies of Science and Engineering, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee, the Government Accountability Office, as well as other sources including Congress and the Administration.  In addition, the Program benefits from ongoing feedback through interaction with a wide range of stakeholders in industry, academia, and non-profit organizations.


Office of Science

The Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the DOE Office of Science supports fundamental scientific research addressing critical challenges related to hydrogen storage, production, and fuel cells; and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research conducts basic research on the biological production of hydrogen. These basic research efforts complement the applied research and development projects supported by other offices in the Program.

Office of Fossil Energy

The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) conducts RD&D of large-scale, centralized, efficient hydrogen production from coal with carbon sequestration, including advanced technologies to reform high-hydrogen-content, coal-derived carriers; advanced processes and technologies to produce lower-cost hydrogen; and technologies to integrate carbon sequestration (capture and containment and/or reuse) with fossil-based hydrogen production systems. FE is also conducting an effort in solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) called the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA). This program is aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of SOFCs, primarily for use in larger, megawatt-scale, near-zero emissions stationary-power applications. 

Office of Nuclear Energy

The Office of Nuclear Energy conducts RD&D of centralized, low-cost production of hydrogen using nuclear energy, including high-temperature electrolysis and sulfur-based thermochemical cycles. 

Policy & Legislation (Read more) - Last updated May 2009

The following acts of Congress have all contained significant provisions for advancing hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and expanding their use:   

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

ARRA provided more than $40 million in funding for deployments of early-market fuel cells nationwide.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)

EISA (PDF 2.1 MB) includes provisions to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security; increased production of clean renewable fuels; protection of consumers; increased product, building, and vehicle efficiency; promotion of research on and deployment of greenhouse gas capture and storage options; and improved energy performance of the Federal Government.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005)

EPACT 2005 (PDF 1.28MB) directed the Energy Secretary to conduct a research and development program—in consultation with other federal agencies and the private sector—on technologies related to the production, purification, distribution, storage, and use of hydrogen energy, fuel cells, and related infrastructure.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992

Energy Policy Act of 1992 directed the Energy Secretary to develop and implement a comprehensive research, development, and demonstration program for fuel cells and related transportation system applications.

Demonstration & Deployment (Read more) - Last updated May 2009


The United States of America has several active hydrogen fuel cell demonstration projects. These projects strive to demonstrate and validate the technology through real-world usage and data collection to compare progress to national and industrial technical targets:



  • 92 fuel cell vehicles
  • ~25 ICE vehicles (converted Prius H2ICE vehicles by Quantum, as part of the South Coast Quality Management District's "5-City" Project)
  • 13 active fuel cell buses (26 fuel cell buses planned by 2009)
  • 21 ICE buses


According to the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, approximately 2,000 stationary fuel cells are installed in the United States.


The U.S. Department of Defense is conducting a fuel cell forklift demonstration at four defense distribution warehouse sites around the nation. The demonstration involves up to 80 forklift units and hydrogen fueling infrastructure.


DOE Hydrogen Technology Validation Overview

DOE/NREL Learning Demonstration Results and Publications

DOE/NREL FCB Technology Validation

FTA National Fuel Cell Bus Program

AC Transit FCB Program

SunLine Transit Agency

Santa Clara VTA

University of Delaware FCB


The U.S. DOT (Federal Transit Administration, FTA) and DOE also support and participate in the International Fuel Cell Bus Workshops. These IPHE-recognized events are held annually in locations rotating among Europe, North America, and Asia. The overall goals are to enhance information sharing on the status of FCB demonstrations worldwide; harmonize data collection and evaluation to maximize possible learnings; and to facilitate coordination and collaboration of research, development, and demonstration of future FCBs. A website is in development to provide general information and data sharing between participants. FTA funds the website and the organization/facilitation of these workshops through its National Fuel Cell Bus Program.