HTAP Meeting Develops Scenarios for H2 Infrastructure
Robert L. Mauro, Executive Vice President, National Hydrogen Association
There is increasing
interest in hydrogen at a time when the U.S. Department of Energys
(DOE) Hydrogen Program Budget is decreasing and the Hydrogen Future
Act (HFA) requires reauthorization. In this environment, DOE has
restructured the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
(EERE); the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel (HTAP) and the Hydrogen
Program are performing a joint planning exercise; while other
parts of DOE are putting together plans and roadmaps that, for
the first time, seriously incorporate hydrogen technologies.
HTAP met 28-29 February at the Sheraton
Premiere Hotel in Vienna, Virginia, U.S.A. After introductions
and opening comments, Dave Nahmias, Chairman of HTAP, introduced
Robert Dixon, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office
of Power Technologies (OPT). Dixon described the range of activities
within OPT, which includes the Hydrogen Program. He went on to
briefly discuss the portion of restructuring within OPT that affects
the Hydrogen Program. Bill Parks, previously of the Office of
Industrial Programs, will move over to OPT and consolidate the
offices distributed generation activities, said Dixon.
Dixons talk was followed by
a presentation from Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for
Sustainable Energy. The heart of her message was that natural
gas providers and developers of renewable communities are natural
partners and should work together to reach common goals.
The remainder of the first day was
devoted to presentations and discussions on Hydrogen Fuel Infrastructure
Development and Hydrogen Scenarios for the 21st Century. The Blueprint
for Hydrogen Fuel Infrastructure Development, created by the DOE,
was discussed in the previous issue of the NHA News. Representatives
from the California Fuel Cell Partnership, Department of Transportation,
and Office of Transportation Technologies gave brief updates of
their activities and progress. Each presentation reinforced the
necessity of a five-year infrastructure blueprint.
Hank Wedda of the California Hydrogen
Business Council and Jim Ohi, National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
then presented a report on HTAPs Scenario Planning Workshop.
Key uncertainties identified at the workshop were:
Other important information
from the Scenario Planning Update centered on the business considerations
necessary to develop a sustainable future. They included:
- The nature and rate of hydrogen technology development; and
- The effect of societal concernssuch as environmental
quality, national security, and climate changeon competitive
market forces that determine fuel choice and the commercial success
of advanced technologies.
In line with the discussion on scenario
planning, Dr. Bill Valdez, Director of the Office of Planning
and Analyses in DOEs Office of Science, discussed creating
a Roadmap to the hydrogen future. He pointed out that Research
and Development Roadmapping requires the following steps:
- Dramatic increase in productivity of natural resources by
implementing whole system design and new technologies;
- Redesign of production according to biological models through
closed loop manufacturing to create new products and processes
that eliminate waste;
- Business models where value is derived from a flow of services
rather than the sale of goods; and
- Reinvestment in natural capital by restoring, sustaining,
and expanding the natural habitat and resource base.
The remainder of the presentations
related to DOEs fossil energy activities, including DOE
participation in the ITM syngas concept project with Air Products
and Chemicals, Building Technologies, and the mining industry
of the future. A brief mention of hydrogen fuel cell locomotives
and their part in mines of the 21st Century was made.
The final two presentations given
that day were by Mike Heben of NREL and myself. Heben discussed
progress in carbon nanotubes for hydrogen storage and an award
from HTAP in recognition of that effort. I presented the NHAs
priorities and recent activities and raised the dual issues of
decreased funding for the Hydrogen Program in the FY 2001 budget
and the need for reauthorization of the HFA.
Tuesday mornings meetings
focused on policy issues. The HTAP Chairman reintroduced the topic
of the HFA and DOEs FY 2001 budget request. Dick Bradshaw,
of EERE, presented the DOE position on the Bioenergy Initiative,
which is focused on fuels, and also discussed the Hydrogen Program
and its relationship with OTT and the fuel cell activities.
Helena Chum, Director of the Research
Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, outlined the
bill to reauthorize the HFA and key provisions of the reauthorization.
The reauthorization includes provisions for funding federal projects
and stationary power fuel cell systems utilizing hydrogen, and
provides a Zero-Emission Vehicle
mandate for the federal government similar to that of the state
Former Chairman of the House Science Committee Robert Walker
discussed the current bill and the reasons for the inception of
the HFA. He stated that the HFA was created to provide a home
for core competency in hydrogen. The budget has grown greatly
since the original Act was passed.
Walker went on to say that it was important to increase hydrogen
funding for FY 2001 because that funding level will determine
the benchmark for authorization levels within the reauthorization
of the HFA. Higher FY 2001 appropriations permit higher creditable
authorization levels in the reauthorization bill. Walker stated
that he did not understand the reasons behind DOEs reduction
of the FY 2001 Hydrogen Program Budget. Sig Gronich concluded
HTAPs formal presentations by discussing the Hydrogen Program
and its management structure.
Two central ideas were defined at the HTAP meeting. First was
the link between increasing the proposed DOE hydrogen budget and
the importance of reauthorization of the Hydrogen Future Act.
The second was that scenario planning is leading to consideration
of how and what factors must be incorporated in business strategies
to reflect evolving social, economical, and environmental values.
- Define an end state,
- Identify the Path Forward by asking critical questions, and
- Use a consensus process and involve the performers of the
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of the National Hydrogen Association.
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