The Energy Department’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) has announced the top three states in hydrogen (H2) and fuel cell industry activities while now seeking stakeholder feedback to improve standardised manufacturing in the industry.
According to the newly released State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2016 report, the top three H2 and fuel cell states are California, Connecticut, and New York.
California is home to the greatest number of stationary fuel cells, while Connecticut and Delaware are home to the largest installations.
The fuel cell industry has seen a consistent growth rate of 30% per year since 2010. According to the report, the Northeast H2 and fuel cell supply chain contributed nearly $1.4 bn in revenue and investment, supported more than 6,550 direct and indirect jobs, and industry labour reported income of approximately $620 m just in 2015 alone.
The report also shows that California’s advanced energy economy is growing six times faster than the overall economy and represents 3% (500,000) of workers across the state.
Meeting the demand in certain markets in the US and around the world is helping contribute to a resurgence of manufacturing. In an effort to streamline manufacturing, DOE has issued a request for information (RFI) to obtain feedback from stakeholders regarding how and which components in the H2 and fuel cell manufacturing process can and should be standardised.
The intent of the RFI is to identify manufacturing pathways to reduce costs in both the near and longer-term, as well as how to address any critical barriers regarding manufacturability and supply chain development.
While not all components can or should be standardised, the cooperative development of certain components with universal sizes, functions, and materials will encourage competition and advanced manufacturing to drive down costs and increase product durability. Standardisation can also help to maximise compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, and quality.