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Let’s Hear It for Hydrogen

by Staff
Restructuring Today - February 10, 2005

Hydrogen is the big winner in the 2006 federal budget but hydrogen fuel cells for DG, energy efficiency and hydropower suffered cuts.

An attempt to scare OPEC more than a realistic goal?

Of course the White House requests can face dramatic changes when the Congress agrees on what’s to be spent.

Budgets for fuel cell technologies and the Hydrogen Program — both in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy — would gain a combined $13.8 million over FY2005 funding and other DOE offices got more for hydrogen from coal and nuclear power, said the US Fuel Cell Council, a $20.5 million boost.

Yet the Office of Fossil Energy took a $9.4 million hit for distributed generation fuel cells.

“This program deserves an increase, not a cut,” said Robert Rose, executive director of USFCC, adding he would seek more funds for DG. The Environmental & Energy Study Institute laments $48 million gone from next year’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program.

Funding for industrial energy efficiency would take the biggest dollar blow — $18.3 million, down nearly 25% — with cuts as well in biomass and biorefinery systems, building energy efficiency, hydro, distributed energy resources, geothermal technology and solar energy.

EESI pointed out the apparent disconnect between Pres Bush’s State of Union Address and the new budget’s spending priorities.

AGA, the LDC trade group was surprised that federal research for finding and producing new natural gas supplies was virtually eliminated in the budget, including funds to seek new supply with less environmental damage.

The group will lobby to get some of that funding restored, CEO David Parker said.

Let’s Hear It for Hydrogen
Restructuring Today, February 10, 2005

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