In the good-natured international race to deploy hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), Japan has taken a clear lead, with 74 stations approved to date, a dramatic jump from the 45 stations operating or under construction at the end of 2014. By comparison, California and Germany have about 50 stations in operation or under development.
Eight companies that won a public competition for funds to build hydrogen fueling stations in California are scrambling this summer to meet an October 31, 2015, target date for opening their stations, with at least $4.5 million at stake. The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $46.6 million in 2014 for 28 stations and a mobile refueler. A start-up, FirstElement Fuel, won financing for 19, but there were seven other winners. CEC funding will pay 85% of station costs, but only if stations come on line before November 1, 2015. The subsidy goes to 75% November 2015 through February 2016, and to 70% thereafter.
FuelCell Energy (FCEL, US-$ 1,20) has reported a wide range of orders and technological breakthroughs. At the 2015 Hanover trade show, the biggest fuel cell in the world was presented (4.5 m. long), with an output of 400 kW. The company sees itself to be well on the way to be able to construct innovative, high performance complete FC systems for large scale use (universities, industry, hospitals, and much more) in order to be able to produce clean electricity very efficiently and to put the waste heat to use as well. With the partners O & G Industries and CT Energy + Technologies, an order was gained from the US city/municipal authority Beacon Falls in Connecticut for a 63-MW-FC power plant, which according to the company will be the biggest of its kind in the world when it is complete. It proved possible