United States extends fuel cell funding

The United States Congress has restored the 30 percent investment tax credit for fuel cell power generation and forklifts, extending it through 2022, with a reduction in the final two years. The credit would be 26 percent in 2021 and 22 percent in 2022. This brings the fuel cell incentive in line with incentives for other advanced and renewable energy technologies.

The tax credit was a significant factor for the fuel cell industry. Companies said that its lapse on Dec. 31, 2016, had materially affected their business, although significant sales continued in 2017. Congress restored it effective Jan. 1, 2017, so there will be a windfall for people who purchased systems in 2017, in addition to a boost for buyers going forward. In an odd turn of events, Congress also approved a one-year retroactive credit for fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure purchased or installed in 2017, providing a windfall for early adopters.

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for the vehicle-related fuel cell and hydrogen program is USD 58 million for fiscal year 2019. The president’s proposal has little practical effect given recent congressional actions, but it does reflect the administration’s view that the program – like all renewable energy and energy efficiency programs – should be scaled back and that the focus should be on long-term research. This shift is certainly reflected in recent presentations by Department of Energy staff.

There is still no nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, another sign of the government’s priorities. But it has been reported that Scott Pruitt, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency, would visit a hydrogen generation facility during a planned trip to Japan. No doubt the visit was included at the urging of the Japanese. Nevertheless, it may have some impact.

Written by Robert “Bob” Rose

4 thoughts on “United States extends fuel cell funding

  1. This: “30 percent investment tax credit for fuel cell power generation and forklifts..”
    was the main motivation for companies like Walmart and Amazon, to buy these units.
    Simply, to harvest taypayer`s money. And not, to save the world. Which is a bit difficult, anyway, as long as the hydrogen is still made to 99% from fossil fuels, in the US mainly from “natural” gas. The remaining 1%, which is made from grid electricity, is not a far better solution at all.

  2. No cause for concern here. Lest we forget, had Steve Jobs waited for the US government, we’d still be faxing each other.
    Brilliant minds and entrepreneurial souls will promote hydrogen and put the carbonocracy to bed.
    Even though many in America may be slow to make an effort that yields no immediate gain, they too shall soon find that, indeed, money can also be made with hydrogen.
    And if they only see a cleaner environment as a purely fringe benefit, well then, let them simply make money. Better they do so with hydrogen than with oil.

  3. Clearly not an immediate improvement of the environment as such. But, US is building an infrastructure prepared for 100% environmentally friendly hydrogen. That is trickiest part in the transformation!

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