It’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell week, and to celebrate, we’re highlighting the work that Plug Power is doing to promote America’s leadership in the fuel cell market. Recently, our VP of Hydrogen Tim Cortes was given the honor of testifying before Congress on the subject. He used the opportunity to outline some of Plug Power’s industry successes, to underscore the vital role of hydrogen in the fight against climate change, and to explain the science behind some of the most exciting advances being made today in fuel cell technology.
Tim spoke at the House Science Subcommittee on Energy’s hearing, The Next Mile, Technology Pathways to Accelerate Sustainability within the Transportation Sector, in September. He had the pleasure of being introduced by Congressman Paul Tonko, representing New York’s 20th District. Here are some of the highlights:
On Plug Power’s industry success
“We have unmatched field experience with over 28,000 fuel cells in the field, many in your Congressional districts. We have installed over 80 hydrogen fueling stations in 30 states across the United States… Hydrogen can help cut global CO2 emissions by as much as 20 percent, with substantial reductions coming from the transportation sector.”
On hydrogen fuel cells cutting global emissions and combating climate change
“The byproducts of fuel cells are electricity, heat, and water—no emissions. It’s not like a combustion engine that’s putting out emissions. If you couple that with fuel from hydrogen that could be generated from hydroelectric, wind, [or] solar, then you have a clear source of hydrogen going into the [fuel cell] and you have [the] generation of electricity powering equipment with no emissions.
On fuel cell innovations
“Inside the fuel cell, advances are being made to the size, density, power, and performance of the stack. So that’s allowing us to make the stacks and fuel cells much smaller, much lighter, and generate more power. That technology is really going to be crucial in order to help the transportation [industry], in terms of getting additional power for the distances you need to travel.”
On maintaining America’s leadership in the hydrogen fuel cell market
“The DOE does a good job of pure R&D and funding for labs, and the great work they’re doing. Some of the areas that could help with bringing some of these technologies to market . . . ensuring there’s an appropriate amount of funding for advanced demonstrations. At some point you have to take all the hard work and findings from the lab and determine, how do you scale? How do you take it to practice to implement it on a commercial level?”