A Retrospective Look at 2003 and a Glimpse of 2004
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by Debbi Smith, National Hydrogen Association

A Look Back

In 2003, political interest in energy independence and security resulted in an increased interest in hydrogen energy technologies, beginning with President Bush’s State of the Union Address in January, which announced a $1.2 billion 5-year program in hydrogen, fuel cells and infrastructure. By raising the visibility of hydrogen, the visibility of the NHA has been raised too. The 2003 Annual Conference and Expo USA doubled in size, membership in the NHA grew, visits to the website have multiplied, press inquiries and inquiries from the general public have increased.

A greater European presence for the NHA was initiated in 2003 with the opening of a U.K. Office, managed by Karen Hall, Vice President of Technical Operations.

Jeff Serfass conducted interviews with members of the Board to determine priorities and strategic direction for the remainder of 2003 and beyond. Based on these interviews, Mr. Serfass reported to the Board that the top three NHA priorities over the next 12 months are:

  1. Policy and Government Affairs – Advocacy, influencing and communicating NHA and member priorities to government policy makers.

  2. Education and Outreach – Providing facts, positions, strategies, time lines, opportunities and barriers information to the general public, media, press, business leaders, state agencies and safety officials.

  3. Codes and Standards Development, Facilitation and Coordination – Assisting members, other code writing organizations and the Department of Energy in the accelerated adoption of sound safety and performance codes.

To accomplish these goals, the NHA will seek to increase membership, restructure committees to encourage member-driven activities with dedicated staff support, and continue to seek outside funding for activities that are in-line with the NHA mission. Increasing NHA funding resources and using member personnel to achieve NHA priorities were also subjects of this Board study.  The three priorities and the funding and member interest results have shaped the work of the NHA for the second half of the year, and the 2004 Program Plan.

The NHA began 2003 with sixty-four paying members, and ended the year with eighty-three paying members.

A Look Ahead

The Board of Directors and NHA committees have asked for increased activities to position the NHA to be a larger, more robust organization, with the reputation of being THE organization to go to for hydrogen energy concerns. This has resulted in increased budgets to support the areas of growth defined by the Board. The NHA staff continues to seek outside funding to support NHA priorities and has been successful over the years in achieving its annual goals. Most of the outside funding has come from DOE and its field offices. Due to a $10 million Congressional cut to the President’s FY04 budget request, and almost $38 million in earmarks in the FY04 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill (not the same as the Energy Bill), DOE funding of NHA programs is jeopardized.

The work to meet the Association’s objectives will be done within the NHA Committees as funding allows. The Priorities for the 2004 Policy and Government Affairs Committee are:

The Priorities for the 2004 Education and Outreach Committee are:

The Priorities for the 2004 Codes and Standards Working Groups Are:

In 2004 the Annual Conference and H2 Expo USA will be held in Hollywood, California April 26-30. The Priorities of the Annual Conference Steering Committee are:

In 2004, the National Hydrogen Association will lead collaborative industry efforts to develop U.S. and international codes and standards, work with educators to develop hydrogen knowledge in tomorrow’s students, communicate to industry and public policy makers the role and the timing of hydrogen production and applications.  The NHA will continue to balance its activities among outreach, market conditioning, and regulatory structuring to create a friendly market environment for hydrogen power and transportation technologies.

Members of the NHA can view the Program Plan and Budget to learn more about 2003 Association accomplishments and plans for 2004 on the Members' Only Page.
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