Following last month’s Hydrogen Business Partnership meeting, Enterprise Florida approved the designation of the hydrogen energy industry as a Qualified Target Industry (QTI). The designation provides financial incentives for businesses investing in Florida’s hydrogen economy.Tallahassee, Florida – May 20, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “This designation further supports Florida’s investment in ‘next generation’ clean energy technology,” said Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Energy Allan Bedwell. “Providing a strong business climate for hydrogen technology brings environmental and economic benefits to the State of Florida.” Administered through the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, QTI incentives are available to companies that create high wage jobs in targeted industries. Tax incentives include refunds on corporate income, sales and ad valorem taxes. Valuable for attracting businesses and furthering advanced technology, targeted industries help strengthen and diversify Florida’s economy and workforce. Designation of the hydrogen energy industry as a QTI is also an investment in Florida’s air quality. Depending on how the hydrogen is produced, hydrogen fuel cells can be pollution-free – powering cars, homes and businesses by combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity — emitting only steam. “More than $1.5 billion is invested in hydrogen technology each year,” said Deputy Secretary Bedwell. “Florida’s leadership in the development of hydrogen technology would protect the environment and bring new investment, companies and jobs to the State.” The Hydrogen Business Partnership was formed last month between hydrogen technology developers, fuel and power producers and major energy consumers to assist the State with a business plan for Florida’s hydrogen future. Over the next three months, the Hydrogen Business Partnership will recommend government and industry approaches to accelerate the development, demonstration and commercialization of hydrogen technology.