News Release: Hydrogen Centers of Excellence

April 27, 2004

Golden, Colo. — Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has selected more than $150 million in hydrogen storage research projects to support President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative.

The awards include the formation of three "Centers of Excellence," at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory, integrating the expertise of the DOE National Laboratories in partnership with industry and academia.

"In last year's State of the Union address, President Bush communicated his vision that the first car driven by a child born today could be fueled by hydrogen and pollution free," Secretary Abraham said. "The research projects announced today address the key technical and economic hurdle of hydrogen storage that must be overcome to make the President's vision a reality."

Each "Center of Excellence" will include a DOE national laboratory lead and several university and industry partners. Responding to DOE's "Grand Challenge" solicitation, these centers will address the major technical barrier to on-board hydrogen storage - storing enough hydrogen to enable greater than 300 mile driving range without impacting cargo or passenger space. In addition, individual universities, research institutes, and small businesses will explore new materials for hydrogen storage.

One of the key recommendations of the recent National Academies report "The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers and R&D Needs," is that DOE should partner with a broader range of academic and industrial organizations to greatly increase the probability of success in bringing the United States to a hydrogen economy.

Earlier today, Secretary Abraham announced other awards in support of President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. Combined, today's announcements total over $350 million in hydrogen research projects. When private cost share is included, the total amount of awards, which still need to be negotiated, may be over $575 million.

For more information, visit the DOE Press Release.

—Sarah Barba