Systems analysis provides direction, focus, and support for the development and introduction of hydrogen production, storage, and end-use technologies, and provides a basis for recommendations on a balanced portfolio of activities. All areas of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office—hydrogen, production, delivery, storage, fuel cells, technology validation, safety, and codes and standards—rely on the conclusions and recommendations drawn from systems analysis results to guide their R&D efforts.

A variety of analysis methodologies are used in combination to provide a sound understanding of hydrogen and fuel cell systems and markets from the basic resources required, to hydrogen production technology, to transportation and stationary applications. Realistic assumptions, both market- and technology-based, are critical to an accurate analytical study. DOE's H2A Analysis Group is developing the common bases for analyzing alternatives at the system, technology or component level in terms of cost, performance, benefit, and risk impact.

The Hydrogen Analysis Resource Center provides consistent and transparent data that can serve as the basis for hydrogen-related calculations, modeling, and other analytical activities. Its Hydrogen Data Book offers a wide range of information about hydrogen and fuel cells, with a focus on hydrogen properties, hydrogen production and delivery data, and fuel cell vehicles.

JOBS FC Model

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office has launched the JOBS and economic benefits of Fuel Cells (JOBS FC) modeling tool for estimating the economic benefits of fuel cells in early market applications. The tool estimates the number of jobs created by deploying fuel cells in forklifts, backup power, and prime power applications. JOBS FC is a spreadsheet model that estimates economic impacts from the manufacture and use of select types of fuel cells.

The modeling tool uses input-output methodology to estimate changes in industry expenditures, and calculates the ripple effects of those changes throughout the economy. As fuel cell production proceeds down the supply chain, fuel cell-related expenditures flow up the chain to their respective economic sectors. Fuel cell-related expenditures include the purchase of the fuel cell itself, its fueling infrastructure, and the fuel or energy it consumes, as well as expenses associated with installing and operating the fuel cell and its fueling infrastructure. As these dollars flow through the economy they provide jobs and income to individuals and establishments directly involved in the provision of fuel cells (direct jobs), to individuals and establishments further up the supply chain (indirect jobs), and to an array of service and support industries whose growth is induced by the re-spending of those dollars in the economy (induced jobs).

DOE held a webinar in December 2012 to highlight recent updates to the tool and to provide a demonstration, including instructions for entering data and interpreting the results. View the recorded webinar.