Fledgling CHBC Meets in Lake Tahoe
by Heidi Barnes, Hydrogen Fire and Gas Detection Consultant
The California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC)
had its second meeting on 15 September 1997 in Lake Tahoe, California, U.S.A.,
and is well on the way to having an official organization with elected officers
by January of 1998. The CHBC is focused on the commercialization of hydrogen
in the Western U.S., with specific emphasis on California, where utility
deregulation will open up new opportunities for hydrogen as an alternative
clean energy source.
Key company participation from Dave Moard of
Hydrogen Burner Technology and Dave Haberman of DCH Technology in the formation
of the CHBC, and support from Allied Signal and Lockheed Martin Northrup-Grumman,
demonstrate the focus on teaming together to make information on hydrogen
easily assessable rather than a commodity. This free sharing of hydrogen
information will provide the lubrication necessary for the faster development
of hydrogen products.
The formation of the CHBC also responds directly
to the U.S. Department of Energys request for more industry participation
in hydrogen as a sustainable fuel and movement away from government- and
university-led demonstrations. DOE has utilized the not-for-profit NHA organization
for key assessments of hydrogen technologies in the U.S., but NHA cannot
easily address the wide variety of regional issues. The CHBC has the advantage
of focusing on regional issues and providing a business orientation that
can influence local and state governments on the acceptance and profitability
Although this organization is in its infancy,
other organizations across the country could benefit from copying the format
of the CHBC. The formation of business councils across the country will
need flexibility in adapting to their local regions, however, participation
in the NHA annual meeting could provide an excellent forum for coordination
and exchange of information on lessons learned.
The numerous presentations were very well received
and demonstrated the ever-expanding interest in hydrogen. Dave Haberman,
vice president of the CHBC, was pleased to inform everyone that DOEs
HTAP had provided time on its agenda for a message from the CHBC. This message
covered the need for government-funded demonstrations that include real
licensing opportunities for new technologies and the need for government-funded
risk-reduction projects for hydrogen safety that involve the insurance industry.
Overall, the CHBC sees a much faster timeline to hydrogen energy than the
50 years that has been predicted by the think tanks of the Washington,
In conclusion, CHBC President Moard reminded
everyone that the CHBC is for its members and that every member should take
the opportunity to present the hydrogen technology they would be willing
to champion. For more information, contact David Haberman at +1.818.385.0400.
©1997. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of
the National Hydrogen Association.
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