Template:Congress:Statement:Fuel Cells

Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 14, 2016 at 9:48 pm.

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The following was approved as an official statement by the New Energy Congress regarding Fuel Cells on October 22, 2006.

(See archive copy of approved text. Tally: 5 yes 1 no 2 abstain 1 need more time.)

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Fuel cells have the potential of offering the benefits of high efficiency with no emissions, and high energy density for applications like portable power. However, the technology requires further development and infrastructure (including transport and storage of hydrogen) before it will be practical and affordable for vehicular and other practical uses.

Fuel cells now play a role in many fields, like space power for the shuttle and space station, as well as a host of other military and civilian applications, including UAV's, backpack power, and portable power applications such as laptops. Other Fuel Cell technologies are used in medium-to-large distributed CoGen power generation (alkaline, phosphoric acid, and molten carbonate designs).

Emerging high temperature designs, including Solid Oxide systems, may hold possible future potential in contrast to today's low temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) systems, which are highly susceptible to degradation either by excessive hydration or dehydration.

The hydrogen and methane produced for fuel cell use is currently derived primarily from fossil fuels, though it can be generated from renewable sources, and hopefully will as we shift away from dependence on oil.

It might well be argued that the progress that has been made in the fuel cell industry has been due to the billions of dollars that have been spent in fuel cell research, which, because of the fuel source presently being derived primarily from petrol, is a close cousin of the oil industry and that this progress has brought only minor relief to the need for clean, affordable energy solutions. If only a small portion of that funding could have been spent in other emerging technologies, how different might the outcome be?

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