Members of the hydrogen and fuel cell community are gathering this week in Stuttgart, Germany for the annual f-cell event, which discusses what the future of hydrogen and fuel cell technology will look like.
To mark the two-day event, which finishes today, H2 View is bringing you an exclusive interview every day this week with f-cell speakers and exhibitors, as well as other members of the hydrogen and fuel cell community.
Today’s interview is with f-cell speaker Morry Markowitz, who is President of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).
Founded in 2010, the US national trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen industry represents leading companies and organisations that are advancing innovative, clean, safe and reliable energy technologies.
From its base in Washington D.C, the FCHEA drives support and provides a consistent industry voice to regulators and policymakers. Its education efforts promote the environmental and economic benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies.
Markowitz is speaking this morning in f-cell’s Plenary III session and will discuss the current state of the fuel cell and hydrogen industry in America. As he highlights below, “This is an incredibly exciting time for the fuel cell industry.”
Q. Why did you decide to speak at the upcoming f-cell summit in Germany?
The FCHEA works with and supports international activities and organisations that share a common goal of promoting and advocating for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.
FCHEA has been supporting the f-cell summit for years and is a key part of our annual outreach agenda. f-cell is a signature event for the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry to meet in Germany to share progress and celebrate success. FCHEA is proud to join this conference to discuss the industry growth in the US and learn more about international developments.
Q. What is the FCHEA doing to shape the future of hydrogen and fuel cells – where is the focus?
FCHEA is the US national trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen industry, working to advance the industry across all applications and markets.
One key area of activity for our association and its members is advocating for continued and expanded support for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies across all levels of government in the US.
Fuel cells and hydrogen must be a critical component of any policy strategy or program to reduce our environmental impact, enhance national security, and expand a clean energy economy.
We work to raise awareness of the benefits of our industry to achieve these goals to not only that key audience, but also allied industries, integrators and service providers, supply chain, media, and potential customers in existing and new market sectors.
“Fuel cells and hydrogen must be a critical component of any policy strategy or program to reduce our environmental impact, enhance national security, and expand a clean energy economy”
Q. What challenges do you see ahead in the hydrogen industry?
The fuel cell and hydrogen industry in the US is growing rapidly in several key markets and shows great promise in emerging applications.
Today there are more than 7,000 fuel cell vehicles on the road, more than double the next highest country; there are 40 hydrogen stations fuelling these cars, with another 25 in development; and there are over 28,000 hydrogen-powered forklifts and other material handling equipment in operation at warehouses and distribution centres across the country. Manufacturing, deployment and export of stationary fuel cell systems is at an all-time high in the US.
We are also seeing exceptional potential for emergent deployments for heavy-duty trucks, medium-duty vehicles such as delivery vans, fuel cell trains, ferries, drones and more. This is an incredibly exciting time for the fuel cell industry.
At the same time, it is imperative that we recognise the challenges that we still face. There is still much room for increased awareness and understanding of hydrogen and fuel cells across the country, and around the world. This can be overcome by further outreach and education, and events like f-cell and the Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition, held this November in Long Beach, California, can work to build on that progress.
Like any transformational technology entering the marketplace, reducing higher initial cost can be a challenge. The industry is diligently working to further bring down the cost of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. There are still areas that further research and development can help, in addition, building up the economies of scale will also see reductions in cost.
FCHEA and its members encourage the American government to sustain its efforts in supporting fuel cell and hydrogen research and initial deployments and to continue to work with industry to advance this goal.
Q. Why is the f-cell summit such an important event for the hydrogen industry?
f-cell is one of the few signature industry events, alongside conferences like the biannual Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition, held in the US, and the Fuel Cell Expo in Japan. These are important opportunities for global networking to build connections, drive commercial growth, and learn about the latest developments in this innovative industry.
Q. Finally, if you could leave our readers with just one message about the hydrogen economy, what would it be?
The fuel cell and hydrogen industry is contributing to economic and environmental success today, and will play critical role in our global energy future.