DOE Announces up to $74 Million for Fuel Cell Research and Development

    December 22, 2010

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is accepting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of clean, reliable fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications. The solicitations include up to $65 million over three years to fund continued research and development (R&D) on fuel cell components, such as catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies, with the goal of reducing costs, improving durability and increasing the efficiency of fuel cell systems. The funding also includes up to $9 million to conduct independent cost analyses that will assess the progress of the technology under current research initiatives and help guide future fuel cell and hydrogen storage R&D efforts. These awards will help support U.S. leadership in the emerging global fuel cell market, while limiting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the country‚Äôs reliance on fossil fuels.

    "The investments we're making today will help advance fuel cell technology in the United States," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This is part of a broad effort to create American jobs, reduce carbon pollution and help ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the growing clean energy economy."

    DOE will be funding research and development initiatives related to fuel cell system balance-of-plant components, fuel processors, and fuel cell stack components such as catalysts and membranes, as well as innovative concepts for both low and high temperature systems to help meet commercial viability targets in terms of cost and performance. Applicants will likely include teams of university, industry and national laboratory participants.

    The cost analysis funding opportunity will help to determine the economic viability and technical progress of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for stationary, transportation, and emerging market applications, including light duty vehicles, forklifts, buses and stationary power plants, as well as hydrogen storage systems. Under the program, the grantees will be expected to conduct life cycle cost analyses for different manufacturing volumes to help gauge the near-term, low-volume market viability for these technologies, along with their long-term potential.

    Applications for the $65 million research and development program are due by March 3; a letter of intent for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is required and is due by January 28, 2011. Applications for the cost analysis solicitation are due on February 18, 2011. Funding for both programs are subject to congressional appropriations. More information, including application requirements and instructions, can be found on the related FedConnect Funding Opportunity Announcement page (search for DE-FOA-0000360 and DE-FOA-0000420).