The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 13 firms and educational institutions in 12 states to receive US$75 million in cost-shared awards to fund new research in advanced fuel cell technology for vehicles, buildings and other applications.Washington D.C. – July 23, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Combined with recent awards to an additional 11 firms and universities in eight states for US$21 million in hydrogen storage, production, and sensor technologies, the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a total of US$96 million in new awards in support of the President’s FreedomCAR and Hydrogen Fuel Initiatives. Several additional solicitations are in process or planned that address other key hydrogen technologies. “In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush launched his Hydrogen Fuel Initiative by proposing US$1.2 billion over five years in research funding to enable America to lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles that would free us from our dependence on foreign petroleum,” Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. “The projects selected today will enable us to move forward to carry out the President’s vision of a clean and efficient energy future.” These projects are integral to DOE’s commitment to research, develop, and validate hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies. Hydrogen technology will play a major role in enabling our nation to: – Dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil. – Promote the use of diverse, domestic, and sustainable energy resources. – Reduce carbon emissions from energy production and consumption. – Increase the reliability and efficiency of electricity generation. The projects will enhance the nation’s ability to achieve the FreedomCAR goal of producing vehicles that are more efficient and cleaner than today’s vehicles. In particular, the projects on Hydrogen Storage technologies support DOE’s priority to develop methods to safely store hydrogen to enable at least a 300 mile vehicle range – a critical requirement for successful vehicle commercialization. Fuel cell research will primarily focus on overcoming technical barriers to commercialization, including durability, high costs, heat utilization, and catalyst development. Hydrogen technology research will focus on overcoming the technical barriers of storage capacity and cost, along with improving life cycle cost and energy efficiency, improving methods of hydrogen production, and sensors for detecting hydrogen. DOE will negotiate cost-shared agreements with the 24 firms and educational institutions for a total of approximately US$136 million (US$96 million government and US$40 million applicant cost sharing). For the complete list of awards and their recipients see the following link.