A campaign has been launched to obtain more support for British-made hydrogen fuel cells under a national renewable energy feed-in tariff scheme.
According to Energy and Environmental Management, the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UKHFCA) said British and European companies are lagging behind those in the US and Korea in terms of government support for baseload power from fuel cell technology. The US Department of Energy recently announced $150m tax credits for clean energy manufacturers, including manufacturers of fuel cells, in addition to a previously announced programme of $2.3bn of tax credits.
Currently, some CHP (combined heat and power) installations are eligible for support under the Renewable Obligation scheme, but there is no support for low carbon hydrogen fuel cells across the power, transport and heat sectors. The trade association believes that small scale low carbon electricity from fuel cells should be rewarded with a £0.17/kWh ($0.26) generation tariff, up to the 5 MW installation limit set by the support scheme.
Ian Williamson, chief executive of AFC Energy and director of the UKHFCA, said: “The UK is a leader in fuel cell technology and AFC Energy wants it to remain that way,” he said. “This is about both energy efficiency and UK jobs. That is why we have urged the government to extend the feed-in-tariff scheme to cover fuel cells.”