The annual NHA Conference and Hydrogen Expo attracted 2,000 public visitors, in addition to the more than 700 registered attendees - nearly twice as many as previous years.

Now in its 21st year, the largest hydrogen event in the US, held in Columbia, South Carolina, from March 30th to April 3rd 2009, showcased the latest innovations presented by nearly 80 exhibitors, from hydrogen-powered video cameras, to electrolyzers and fuel cells for forklifts.

The overarching theme was the potential for growth in the industry, interest was high amongst the visitors, and exhibitors reported numerous enquiries about the purchase of their products.

Eleven hydrogen-fueled vehicles were on hand, including a Proterra hydrogen bus.
More than 500 people eagerly lined up to test drive cars from General Motors, Honda, Daimler and Hyundai.

Despite dismal financial reports from the auto industry, auto manufacturers reiterated their commitment to hydrogen development alongside other alternative fuel sources in keynote addresses, further confirming that hydrogen vehicles will be a more common sight in the coming years.

Jeffrey Serfass, President of the National Hydrogen Association was thrilled with the attendance, he said, $quot;Despite the challenges of working in a tightening economy, the event is a true testament to the strength and vitality of the hydrogen industry and the public's extremely high interest in alternative fuels.$quot;

He added, $quot;As more hydrogen products are sold to meet materials handling and reliable power needs, people are realising its abundant uses, benefits and ultimately the vast economic growth potential.$quot;

In 2010, the event will continue to focus on advancing the industry, with the theme of Green Energy, Green Jobs, Green Planet.

Renamed as the NHA Hydrogen Conference and Expo, the event will be held at Long Beach, California, on May 3-6.