U.S. Energy Department Research to Focus on Fuel Cell Vehicles
The U.S. government will spend more to develophydrogen-powered fuel cells because the technology is needed to reduce dependence on foreign oil, according to an Energy Department official."We will be reshuffling our technology portfolio to be more aggressive, reorienting itto deliver a hydrogen fuel cell future," David Garman, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, told a House panel Nov. 2.Research will seek to bring fuel-cell technology to vehicles and power plants. Fuel cells powered by domestically derived hydrogen would help America reduce its growing dependence on foreign oil, which is used to meetabout 55 percent of U.S. demand, according to Garman.The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have underscored the vulnerability of the nation's energy sources, Garman said.The shift in the department's research focus will be reflected in its funding requests for fiscal year 2003, which begins next October, according to Garman. The department is spending about $110 million this year for researchon fuel cells and hydrogen, he said.