US DOE Seeks Info on Fuel Cells that May Lead to New Funding

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The US Department of Energy is seeking information on fuel cells, in particular their research and development needs and technical barriers, to help it develop a request for proposals.

The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy issued a request for information May 5 on both stationary and transportation fuel cells. Comments are due June 2. It seeks feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

No funds are being offered through the RFI; however, the federal agency expects information gleaned to lead to the development of a solicitation offering funds.

The request for information notes that fuel cells offer many benefits, among them increased energy security and reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Current federal R&D focuses on improving fuel cells in several ways: reducing the cost, improving durability, and increasing performance.

The work is being done by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO). Details of the federal fuel cell program are here.

The RFI is meant to solicit feedback on the technical barriers to the widespread commercialization of fuel cells for transportation, stationary, and early market segments.

The federal office seeks information in six categories:.

  • Catalysts and supports
  • Membrane electrode assembly  component integration
  • Stack and component operation and performance
  • Automotive balance-of-plant component development
  • Fuel cell systems for stationary and emerging market applications
  • Subject areas for programmatic consideration

For more inforation, see the RFI announcement described as DE-FOA-0001133 or email questions about the RFI to [email protected] with “question” in the subject line.

The FCTO will also hold a pre-solicitation workshop on possible funding Thursday, June 19.  The workshop, held as part of the 2014 Annual Merit Review, will focus on specific topics that will help the DOE determine the scope of the future  solicitation.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.