NHA Applauds President's Hydrogen Budget and Increases in Companion Clean Energy Programs

Announced February 6, the President's 2007 fiscal year budget request demonstrates continued and growing support for developing the hydrogen economy...

Washington, DC - Announced February 6, the President's 2007 fiscal year budget request demonstrates continued and growing support for developing the hydrogen economy. This is shown both by increases in the hydrogen program budget and by increases for the Solar America, Biofuels, Wind Energy, FutureGen and Nuclear Hydrogen Initiatives. These advanced energy programs represent an essential group of clean energy technologies that will help achieve the full benefits of using hydrogen.

"It is crucial to understand that the increased use of hydrogen will support the growth of other clean energy technologies. They are both compatible and essential," said Jeff Serfass, President of the non-partisan, National Hydrogen Association (NHA). "With this budget request and the passage of the Energy Policy Act this past summer, we are very happy to see continuing support for hydrogen development from both the Administration and Congress."

The $289 million request for hydrogen programs includes an 18% increase from the $236 million appropriated by Congress for spending this Fiscal Year. Increases in companion advanced energy programs, mentioned in last week's State of the Union Address, include 79% for the Solar America Initiative, 65% for the Biofuels Initiative and 13% for the Wind Energy Initiative. FutureGen (clean coal) received a $54 million boost (up 200%) and although Nuclear Power 2010 experienced a 25% reduction, the new Global Nuclear Energy Partnership ($250 million) was added in the President's budget.

Technology developed in these advanced energy programs will work with the suite of equipment developed by the hydrogen industry to produce clean hydrogen that can be used to fuel everything from cell phones and cell phone towers to vehicles and buildings. These technologies include electrolyzers, reformers, storage and distribution equipment and a variety of components and products like fuel cells and hydrogen engines.

"It's very encouraging to see continued recognition that hydrogen is worth our investment now for the benefits it will provide today and down the road.," said J. Michael Davis, Chairman of the NHA. "Increased use of hydrogen as a fuel benefits energy security, the environment and economic growth."

In the coming months, debate on the budget and eventual appropriations will reveal how robust these requests will be. For the past two years, up to 27% of the hydrogen program has been redirected by congressionally identified activities. In addition, the FY07 budget requests only 53% ($246 million out of $467 million) of the spending authorized by Congress in the Energy Policy Act. Planned activities recognize the authorization of Title VIII of the Energy Policy Act, but no money was requested to fund activities for Title VII. (Titles VII and VIII are the two main hydrogen titles in the Energy Policy Act.)

About the National Hydrogen Association:
The National Hydrogen Association (NHA) is the Nation's premier hydrogen trade organization led by over 100 companies dedicated to supporting the transition to hydrogen. Efforts are focused on education and outreach, policy, safety and codes and standards. Since 1989, the NHA has served as a catalyst for information exchange and cooperative projects and continues to provide the setting for mutual support among industry, research and government organizations. www.HydrogenAssociation.org.

About the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference:
Next month, March 12-16, the NHA will present the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference and Hydrogen Expo US in Long Beach, California. It is the largest hydrogen conference in the US and the longest running annual hydrogen conference in the world. To register and for more information, visit www.HydrogenConference.org.

Patrick Serfass, 202-223-5547 x366 or serfassp@hydrogenassociation.org.

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