Last week the 43rd Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition (FCS&EE) took place at the Long Beach Convention Centre, hosting over 600 attendees from more than 30 countries.
Putting forward a jam-packed schedule across the three days, the FCS&EE showcased itself as a hub for industry professionals, researchers, stakeholders and customers, providing an opportunity to network, build new partnerships, and learn about the industry’s latest developments.
The event kicked off on Tuesday with a [email protected] session at 1pm. Leading up to the event, the Department of Energy held a Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory meeting on the Monday morning which lasted until the Tuesday lunch time. The meeting was open to the public if they wanted to attend.
“The FCS&EE started out strong with a packed [email protected] workshop, put together by the Department of Energy, which led into a very lively Welcome Reception in the exhibit hall,” Erin Lane, FCS&EE Board of Directors President tells H2 View.”
“The reception offered attendees a first look at participating companies and their respective products and services, as well as a wonderful opportunity to begin networking with other attendees.”
“It also reinforced that fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are here today and making tremendous strides in various markets around the world. This message was echoed throughout the entire seminar all week.”
Some of the key themes discussed this year at the FCS&EE included the growing heavy-duty and marine markets, as well as activity and innovation solutions centred around hydrogen production, delivery and supply.
To get the inside scoop of what happened at this year’s event, H2 View sat down with Erin Lane, FCS&EE Board of Directors President to discuss the highlights from the week.
Thank you for taking some time with H2 View today and congratulations on the 43rd Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition. What were some of your personal highlights from the event?
Thank you so much! Personally, since my area of expertise is government affairs, the highlights were having participation from several California US Congressmen. Congressman Ken Calvert provided an opening welcome message, and Congressman Alan Lowenthal, who represents Long Beach, came to the Wednesday evening reception and was able to visit with several exhibitors.
It was great to have him see the technology up close, including Toyota’s Project Portal truck which operates at the Port of Long Beach, Plug Power’s hydrogen dispenser and fuel cell forklift, Hexagon Purus’ hydrogen tanks, and more.
What were some of the most inspirational talks/discussions that took place at the event?
There were so many. The morning plenaries included many companies and organisations that are either current customers or that have a vested interest in how the market may develop to help meet environmental and economic goals. This includes the Port of Long Beach, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Southern California Gas and others.
Plug Power’s CEO, Andy Marsh, was also named the ‘2019 Industry Executive of the Year’, an award recognising executives who have not only led their organisation successfully, but also contributed and impacted the overall growth of the entire fuel cell and hydrogen industry.
There were definitely other highlights and it was great to follow the social media posts from attendees, presenters, and exhibitors throughout the week, leading up to, during, and even after the event. Those efforts showcased the excitement everyone had for not only the event, but the industry as a whole.
Can you tell us more about some of the product announcements that were made throughout the week?
Fuel cell manufacturer PowerCell unveiled its new and improved MS-100 (100 kW) fuel cell system, developed for marine applications and off-road applications such as construction and material handling equipment.
We were also lucky enough to be able to showcase Toyota’s new Project Portal truck. Toyota is working with Kenworth to build ten hydrogen fuel cell electric class 8 trucks that will be used to the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
US Hybrid, another FCS&EE exhibitor and technical presenter, released new high-power density, freeze capable FCe™ 100 (100 kW) and FCe™50 (50 kW) fuel cells systems, also for the heavy-duty market. The company currently has fuel cell trucks operating at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as a fuel cell-powered street sweeper in use by the California Department of Transportation in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.
There were also several companies displaying fuel cell systems and hydrogen generators, as well as component suppliers. We had exhibitors from all around the world.
Can you tell us more about the US Hydrogen Study which was unveiled at the FCS&EE?
Sure, it was very big and exciting news. A coalition of leading companies from the energy, utility, transportation, hydrogen, and fuel cell industries have been working together, along with McKinsey & Company, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and FCHEA on the Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy, for several months. The FCS&EE was the perfect venue to unveil an Executive Summary and delve into some of the comprehensive study’s key findings.
The Road Map outlines how the US can expand its global energy leadership, by scaling up activity in the rapidly emerging and evolving hydrogen economy, as policy makers and industry work together to take the right steps. It also stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy system, an energy vector that can be transported and stored, and a fuel for the transportation sector, heating of building and providing heat and feedstock to industry.
How did this year’s show differ to some of the previous seminars?
The programme content was excellent, and the mood reflected that. The quality of participants not just in title, but in breadth of companies represented was top notch, with a large number of new industries and companies also joining the conference for the first time.
When you bring all the right players together, good things happen for the industry.