Guidelines Get Laid Out For Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Development Plans For 8 Northeast States

MAR 10 2015 BY MARK KANE 52


Projected FCEV Deployment by 2025 per Eight (8) State MOU

Projected FCEV Deployment by 2025 per Eight (8) State MOU

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster (NEESC) recently released its 2015 Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Development Plans for eight states:

The goal of advancing the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technology should result in many new projects.

We see even some numbers (total) in the plans like 1,300 MW of installed stationary fuel cell capacity, 10,800 fuel cell electric vehicles, 640 fuel cell powered buses and 110 hydrogen refueling stations.

Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it?

For example, NEESC recommends these goals for New York:

  • 543 to 724 MW fuel cell electric generation by 2025
  • 3,172 FCEVs (2,808 [188 FCEVs for NY State fleet] passenger and 364 transit/paratransit buses) as zero emission vehicles (ZEV)
  • 27 to 32 hydrogen refueling stations (to support FCEV deployment)

The obvious question here is, assuming the infrastructure could be built out (big if) and the pricing/demand was strong (bigger if), is there even the production capacity in the system for the vehicles to fill these projections?

Full press release:

“Created individually for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the plans were produced with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration

(SBA) and input from industry stakeholders including automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and hydrogen and fuel cell companies to advance deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

“These plans should be very helpful for policymakers to better understand the potential market for fuel cell technology,” commented John McGuinness, marketing leader, GE Fuel Cells.

Demand for new electric capacity is expected to increase, due in part to the replacement of older, less efficient, base-load generation facilities. Fuel cell technology can help meet electric grid needs as a high efficiency, distributed generation asset that can be located directly at the customer’s site.

The use of distributed generation will increase efficiency, improve end-user reliability, provide opportunity for combined heat and power, and reduce emissions at schools, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and other mission critical facilities.

The deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technology will also help meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction and zero emission vehicles (ZEV) requirements, and utilize renewable energy from indigenous sources such as biomass, wind, and photovoltaic (PV) power.

“States that support the development of clean, efficient technologies such as fuel cells, have realized the benefits, including increased energy reliability with low or zero emissions,” commented Morry Markowitz, president, Fuel Cell Hydrogen and Energy Association.

Hydrogen and fuel cell technology can also be used to provide zero emission vehicles for mass transit and fleet operations. The 2015 plans identify opportunities for the states in the Northeast region to more fully employ hydrogen and fuel cells for transportation.  Such uses could make the region a showcase for renewable energy while reducing air emissions.

“We’ve defined actionable goals for the deployment of stationary and transportation applications in each of the states,” stated Joel Rinebold, director of energy initiatives at CCAT. “These goals represent a short-term investment for long-term productivity.”

According to Rinebold hundreds of small businesses in the hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain are poised to capture a substantial share of the global energy and transportation market. The manufacture and implementation of this emerging technology could significantly increase the number of clean energy jobs within the region.

The plans cite cumulative goals for the Northeast states: approximately 1,300 megawatts of installed stationary fuel cell capacity; 10,800 fuel cell electric vehicles; 640 fuel cell powered buses; and 110 hydrogen refueling stations to support the fuel cell electric vehicles and buses.”

Source: Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology

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52 Comments on "Guidelines Get Laid Out For Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Development Plans For 8 Northeast States"

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I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Hydrogen just seems silly and costly, for less efficiency than a battery electric. The only pro is that it fuels similar to a gasoline tank, i.e. doesn’t require users to change their habits. It is otherwise wasteful and expensive.

Maybe it could work for large trucks, but at that point, why not just use CNG?

But evs don’t keep gas stations in business. How dare people charge at home for pennies.

I was too busy laughing at the predictions to throw up. I just don’t see it catching on. Nay gas busses and big rigs make financial sense today and infrastructure is growing but it’s still a tiny fraction. There aren’t many who will switch to hydrogen for the quick refill. Quick refill only works when a fueling station is around. With stations in the 10s you have worse if a leash than evs.

Charge for pennies? Outrage! I would never pay that much!

<3 Solar!


You can’t trust a capitalist to do anything but SLIT the Nations Throat. All we need is another Carbon Fuel while the SouthWest US experiences Record Drought.

Criminally Incompetent Capitalism.

Absolutely, this country was built on solid, good old fashioned socialism.

Assuming that you are being sarcastic.
This country wasn’t found on completely unregulated capitalism. Varying degrees of it. When control of capitalism was at a minimum we had robber barons, monopolies, sweatshops, rampant child labor and not even weekend “building this country”.
You may want to read or listen to the book Internal Combustion by Edwin Black to get another perspective on the control of fuels and transportation from hundreds of years ago up to present day.

Excellent book. I learned a lot about electric transportation than in history books.

I’m sorry, what was the book title?

“Communist advances in electric cars”?

Out of time, have to go drive my socialist Leaf to my government appointed job…

Wow. Well clearly you have been properly programmed by those in the top of the capitalist food chain. No hard thinking or intellectual discussion required. Just good ol trolling, posting talking points like a well trained parrot or as you’ve chosen, child-like sarcasm. Enjoy your life inside the bubble.

Sounds even more fantastically optimistic than Navigant’s EV projections, and that says a lot 🙂

Wonder which of these two ridiculously stupid projects is more likely to succeed:

1) FCEV’s
2) Ken Ham’s Noah’s “Ark Encounter”

???? 😉

8397 in 2016?

Maybe 839.7… maybe. I doubt we’ll have that many in California then.

What a bunch of clowns, but this is what you do to open the government cash flow.

I noticed the same thing too. The projections should at least be grounded a bit in reality (the projections are even more ridiculous when you consider it is only for those 8 states).

Toyota and maybe Hyundai are the only players that can make more than 100 per year by then and they have indicated they have no plans for thousands in the US.

Toyota has stated that they wish to have 6000 hydrogen cars in Japan by the 2020 Olympics.

We will likely have 3000 in California then, with our 68 hydrogen stations all paid for a $20 million per year.

I don’t know what the current sales are in those states, but they may not even hit those numbers if they add up all the ZEVs – hydrogen, BEV, flow cell, everything…

Yeah, I think one of the biggest problems will be finding buyers for these FCEVs even if they go ahead and build them.

Say what you want about range and charging speed of EVs . . . but at least you’ll be able to access SOME type of electricity at most destinations. The distribution of hydrogen is severely limited.

And the fuel cost seems like an issue. I don’t see hydrogen ever costing less than electricity as a transportation fuel.

They have an uphill battle.


Archive this article, people. Printing to a PDF works nicely.

In 5 to 10 years, we’ll want to refer to and laugh ourselves hoarse at how stupendously wrong these projections turned out to be.

I can find the same type of articles from 10 years earlier… it’s the same cycle.

For Toyota, it’s 2003 all over again.

You could probably find the same story on BEV cars from 2003…. in fact depending on where you read your news stories, you could probably find someone making similar comments that you see here about FCEV’s about BEV cars today. IMO comparing today’s fuel cell cars to what could be in 2025 is like comparing the model S to the EV1. The man in 2000 who said electric cars could be as good as a petrol car in 2010 was probably laughed at, and quite rightly so, the MH pack in a Prius was state of the art. The big difference with fuel cell cars and BEV’s is it is the fuel not the on board battery that is the problem (although I think the fuel cells will get better and cheaper). By 2025 will it cost the same to make, store and transport the hydrogen? If it does we won’t see the take off in sales predicted in the graph, if H2 becomes more available then maybe we will. That’s the thing with innovation there is a risk associated with it. California and the US took the risk with Tesla, Coda and Friska. They won on Tesla and lost… Read more »


But this isn’t a case of “innovation and risk”. It’s not “risk” to ignore the fact that basic laws of physics make it impossible to generate, compress, transport, or dispense hydrogen fuel easily. It’s not “innovation” to ignore the fact that EROI makes it impossible for hydrogen fuel to -ever- be cost-competitive with either gasoline/diesel or electricity.

Not “risk and innovation”, but willful ignorance. This is a case of wishful thinking leading to people ignoring reality. Unfortunately, a -lot- of people.

Stupid question, but is the chart annual sales, or cumulative FCEV population?

It must be cumulative.

They left out “Hydrogen will be generated by unicorns and rainbows, with pixie dust used to get the hydrogen fuel into each fool cell vehicle.”

Cheap, distributed solar and wind combined with electrolysis solve this problem nicely.

Please explain to me how pixie dust will allow hydrogen fuel inefficiently generated by cheap electricity will be as cheap as using that same cheap electricity to efficiently charge batteries.

Please also explain how cheap electricity will eliminate the difficulties (and therefore greater expenses) of compressing, storing, transporting, and dispensing hydrogen fuel. For example: Sure, cheap electricity would make compressing the hydrogen cheaper. But the cost of buying and maintaining the compressing equipment would remain the same.

Here’s the reality: Using electricity to generate hydrogen is about 25% efficient in use of energy. Using electricity to charge batteries is about 79% efficient, including transmission and charger losses.

Claiming that cheap electricity could somehow make hydrogen fuel either practical or cost-competitive is ignoring reality. Ignoring it very firmly.

The frustrating thing with the NEESC’s plan is that it has one really good idea – stationary fuel cell distributed generation – piggybacked on a disastrously-bad idea – FCEV’s and H2 refueling stations.

The FCEV vision is just siphoning off money that would be much better invested in further stationary FC development.

This article seems to be dealing more with stationary generation, a point I don’t really see happening unless Micro CHP really gets going. Firms such as Honda are offering already 1 cylinder go-kart engines that run on natural gas and produce either 800 or 1500 watts of electricity for the homeowner or small business, and during the summertime provide hot water, and during the winter time help out with heating. In the wintertime, the unit runs 24/7, during the summertime, the unit runs when hot water is needed, otherwise it shuts down, to keep the overall system efficiency high. But the point is, this already runs quite nicely off the home’s existing natural gas service. There have been few takers around here, most I suppose because electricity is cheap enough. Maybe Southern California, or NY City where rates are confiscatory they have more success. But the Fuel Cell business will have to provide a compelling advantage in both First Cost and Longevity, to steal this business from the already quite established ‘Combined Heat/Power business’, which, to date I haven’t seen anything compelling to make people want to switch. And that’s assuming the economy keeps chugging along full steam, which to… Read more »
The Japanese have installed over 100,000 micro-CHP fuel cell units in peoples homes and hope to have 5 million units installed by 2020 or 2025 I can’t remember the exact date. These typically have around 40% electrical efficiency and 95% CHP total efficiency. Currently, on a global basis, fuel cell based micro-CHP units out sell ICE based micro-CHP (pretty much because of Japan). These units are small 0.7-1 kW and are scaled to the thermal load of a typical Japanese dwelling not the electrical demand i.e. you need around 700 watts for about 4-8 hrs to heat your hot water tank which matches nicely with peak demand on the Japanese grid – so you use the heat from the system for hot water and “dump” the power into the grid. I am not entirely sure if that is how these systems are used but I think that is pretty much how it works. I think a global installed capacity of 724 MW is pretty conservative as South Korea intend to build a single 360 MW plant before 2018. I think Bloom are already around 75-100MW and Fuelcell Energy must be around the same. The Japanese fleet of micro-CHP will probably… Read more »

Ok, so what is the price of a 700 watt, 3285 BTU/hour (I’m using your efficiency numbers)fuel cell/ hot water heater? Is there any hyperlink for this information?

Other questions:

1). How long will the unit run unattended
before needing replacement and – or overhall?

2). If maintenance is needed, how much , how costly and how often?

This does make sense for Japan since electricity is very costly, as is natural gas, so a 95% utilization of a pricey item is important.

In anticipation of your answer Just_CHris I did some googling and found that these are products for both Japan and Europe (no presence in the US curiously as of yet).

THere was some figure of $1000/ kw, and if THAT is true and it means I can pick up a 700 watt unit for $700, then Ill buy one just to experiment with it. I could use it as an auxiliary water heater and also use it to supplement my solar system.

I know it won’t last but right now, the marginal cost for Natural Gas in my area is 2 cents/ kwh. That is 1/6 the price of our already reasonably priced electricity of 12 cents/kwh 24/7/365.

Interesting. But I would double check the efficiency of those and the cost of natural gas, 2 c/kWh fuel cost sounds like combined cycle at a power plant.

You are misreading what I said:

My cost from my gas bill (marginal cost) of an additional kwh of heat (3413 btu) is a bit under 2 cents. Hard to believe but it is true. I couldn’t believe it when it dropped a few months ago to under 3 cents.

Now, the retail price of 3413 BTU (that’s 1/29.3 of a therm) of natural gas, including delivery charges by the gas company, is under 2 cents. This cannot last, but I’m certainaly not complaining.

OH, and as far as efficiency goes. he said the 700 watt units were 40% electrical, and 95% overall.

So that means 55% efficient at heating water.
So that means 2389 Btu/hour electrical output and 3285/hour water heating output. So assuming a 5973 btu/hour input, the 5% difference is the heat lost to the vent pipe or whatever exhaust there is.

You are off by a factor of 30x on price. A 200-750W (electricity output) unit costs $22000 (and that’s after a price reduction).

I remember looking a while back at it made absolutely no sense.

I’ll have to see if Just_CHris responds with current pricing.

$1000 / kw is attractive. $30,000 / kw sounds like those 45 watt solar panel kits Harbor Junk Tools sells for $135.

My solar panels are around $3,800 / kw, of course here, the electricity is completely free, so I’d expect to pay more.

But your figure of $30,000 for 700 watts makes little sense either, since the Honda CHP go-kart 1 cyl engine things are much less than this. I’m not saying you have the pricing wrong, I’m just saying anyone would be nuts to buy one.

If we can us H2 to store wind power then I think it is OK. Electrolyzers are cheaper than batteries. All we do is spike the existing natural gas infrastructure with up to 10-20% H2 and we have no storage costs like with batteries.

We can then just use the NG as we would otherwise.

A great app would be a combined cycle NG plant that makes electricity. It would drop CO2 emissions from an already clean PP to super clean.

So there are apps that are good for H2….but I agree that cars are not a great one.

There is no need to store wind power right now. It is easier to just turn off other power sources when the wind is high and demand is low.

The Northwest has some curtailment issues during rainy season, but for the most part we are years (decades?) away from needing to find time shifting storage solutions. The initial storage needs are for demand response and frequency regulation.

Wait just a minute, are you suggesting to extract fossil gas to produce fossil electricity, then use that fossil electricity to produce fossil hydrogen than using that fossil hydrogen to produce fossil electricity again and losing half of the energy at each step? And if we happen to have an excess of wind or solar electricity, why not just reduce the burning of fossil gas instead? Hydrogen doesn’t make sense because it is a lose 50% step that always makes it less interesting than just reducing fossil gas electricity production. That becomes even more the case when masses of electric cars batteries become available to store the excess wind or solar power by use of preferred rate electricity meters.

Good point, but you need to look up the definition of “fossil”. Once you have used fossil fuel to produce some other type of energy (like electricity), it’s no longer “fossil”. It is correct, of course, to point out that the energy -source- is fossil fuel, regardless of how many energy-losing steps there are in changing that energy from one form to another.

Funny that these aren’t exactly the 8 states that recently signed an MOU on zero-emission vehicles, which also had a hydrogen component. Those states were

New York
Rhode Island

This NEESC list gets rid of Oregon, California and Maryland and adds Maine, New Jersey and New Hampshire

The original 8 state MOU is at

Better take this seriously; I mean really seriously because the oil and gas companies, Honda and Toyota and the State of California are spending billions to develop a hydrogen market.

We owe it to our country to educate the ignorant on the truth of continuing to use fuels created by burning hydrocarbon. We know hydrogen is gasoline 2 and is the wrong path to take.

There are already many who have bought into the H2 PR and believe hydrogen is created by the good fairies and not gross polluting natural gas.

Stick something in your local newspaper every now and then to help people understand what’s really going on…not what bought media is telling them. Grassroots reporting can be very powerful and informative.

Most electricity used to power EVs comes from coal and natural gas. Does that make it Gasoline v2?

No, because electric drive is so much more efficient than an ICEngine that the EV would have to get nearly 100% of its electricity from a coal-fired plant before the well-to-wheel efficiency would be as bad. Even in the worst areas of the USA, it’s only 75% coal-powered, and natural gas-powered plants are considerably more efficient.

Plus, it’s not the fault of the EV that grid electricity in most areas is “dirty”. The good news is that (a) there are areas where it’s a mostly clean, (b) it’s getting measurably cleaner every year, and (c) you can make it up to 100% clean by installing your own rooftop solar power… as many EV owners have already done.

Using BEVs for transportation is only half the solution for getting off use of fossil fuel. But arguing that we should ignore the benefits of plug-in EVs because they’re only half the solution is irrational and self-defeating. “Half a loaf is better than none.”

This just shows what a marginal player hydrogen fuel cells will be. By 2020 there will already be several million plug-in electric vehicles on the streets. Perhaps FCEVs will be competitive in some niche markets but I don’t think it’s a mass market thing.

Why am I not surprised with those place names as those oil men try to keep a grasp on the new type of petro resource sponsored by New York bankers.

The sad part it is…. Hydrogen fuel cell is a dud.
Wake up America, plug ins are the only way to go. Drive on your on houses sunshine energy or do like being indebted to the status quo?

Hydrogen is for losers – inefficient method of transferring energy, plain stupid!

Should have taken a picture but it was too upsetting to see at the time…
At the DC auto show Toyota booth they had front and center an image of the their vision of the future for us…
FCEV and what looked just like a gas pump but for dispensing hydrogen!
The future?? Compared to a small “charging unit” on the side of my home powered by wind (credits through power company) and solar (roof mounted later in the year)?
I understand that it’s the vision of those in the gas/oil business for us to still have to drive stations to fuel up but Toyota’s display was almost absurd in that there was nothing futuristic looking in it all (except the large gills on the front of their car LOL)

We should really try and cut back using Oxygen for anything other than breathing.
Combustion engines use oxygen
Fuel Cells use oxygen


Don’t natural gas and coal power plants use oxygen to make the grid electricity that powers EVs? Just sayin’.

Good point but the key factor here is that the efficiency of an EV is three to four times that of an ICE vehicle.

Metal-air fuel cells (often described as “batteries”) use oxygen, too. Metal-air fuel cells which could be recharged at home using electricity are at least theoretically possible, and might perhaps one day replace batteries in EVs.

Using oxygen isn’t inherently polluting or evil.