California is undoubtably setting an example of what can be achieved with hydrogen as an alternative energy source both in the US and across the globe. Once more, the state is showcasing its commitment towards the clean fuel by hosting the 43rd Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition at the Long Beach Convention Centre between 5th-7th November.
Running for over 40 years, the Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition (FCS&EE) has established itself into one of the most comprehensive fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry conferences in the US.
Through the course of time, the FCS&EE has evolved from a research and development focused conference for academics and researchers into a gathering to celebrate commercial accomplishments and facilitate growth in the fuel cell and hydrogen sector.
The seminar has now positioned itself into a “must attend” event for industry professionals, researchers, stakeholders and customers, providing a venue for attendees to network, building new partnerships, connect with suppliers, make sales, and see and hear the latest international developments.
Palm Springs, Orlando and San Diego are just some of the previous locations for the event, but this year the FCS&EE will return to Long Beach for the second year running.
“We are excited to be headed back to Long Beach, which was a great venue for this event, especially since the city has so many real-world examples of fuel cells and hydrogen in operation,” Erin Lane, FCS&EE Board of Directors President tells H2 View.
This year the FCS&EE puts forward jam-packed schedules across the three days, featuring workshops, presentations, panels, networking opportunities and track sessions.
H2 View understands that the 2019 FCS&EE will feature a big emphasis on medium and heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and trains, along with the hydrogen fuelling protocols and regulations that will support the vehicles.
Hydrogen production, storage, and transportation will also be a key topic of discussion this year. The event will feature great focus on the topic in both morning plenaries and afternoon technical sessions.
In the lead up to the event, H2 View got the chance to speak with Erin Lane, President of The Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition Board of Directors about her passion for hydrogen, event preparations and predicted highlights.
Thank you for taking some time out with H2 View ahead of the event, you must be very busy. Firstly, could you tell us where your passion for hydrogen came from?
I began my professional career working on Capitol Hill in the Office of Representative Jack Quinn (R-NY), managing the Congressman’s energy and environment portfolio, and my interest in energy efficiency and clean energy grew from there. I was so lucky to have a job right out of college that taught me I could make a difference.
I began working with fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power in January 2000. It never occurred to me then that I would still be working in this innovative and exciting industry 20 years later, but now it is integral to who I am as a person and as a professional.
Working with the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is an incredible privilege. FCHEA has been instrumental in growing awareness of fuel cell and hydrogen technology both in Washington D.C. and across the country and working to ensure that this industry gets a fair consideration in policies and programmes for clean energy and zero emission transportation. I am proud of the work we have done together to promote this incredible industry.
I understand this won’t be your first time involved in the planning of the Seminar, how have things changed over the years?
It is very exciting to be part of the team responsible for ensuring this important conference takes place for our industry. I have been involved on the Fuel Cell Seminar Board for several years, but actually started attending the event 16 years ago!
It has been amazing to watch as the technical and plenary talks have evolved from research and development and ‘concepts’ to real products and significant achievements in a range of market sectors around the world.
How have preparations been on the run up to the Seminar?
The preparations have been great – we have secured very high-level plenary speakers, as well as a full roster of over 100 impressive technical presentations, more than 30 posters, and both new and returning companies to the Exhibit Hall.
What do you think the highlights of the event will be?
We are excited to have multiple fuel cell company CEOs and other high-level speakers, including a US Congressman, the Assistant Secretary of the of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as ExxonMobil, Microsoft, SoCalGas, The Port of Long Beach, and more.
In the Exhibit Hall, Toyota will be showcasing its Project Portal heavy-duty truck, as well as its fuel cell passenger car, the Mirai. Honda and Hyundai will also bring fuel cell vehicles, with Hyundai displaying its NEXO for the first time at the Fuel Cell Seminar.
Plug Power is bringing a fuel cell-powered forklift and hydrogen dispenser and other companies will feature technologies from the full supply chain. There are currently exhibitors from the US, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Korea.
What do you hope attendees will take away from the seminar?
That fuel cells and hydrogen have a key role to play in advancing a secure and clean energy future and are making great strides towards achieving that today. The industry is growing around the world and there are no limits to what this clean, versatile, reliable, and scalable technology can do for the world.