Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier (like electricity) made from diverse domestic resources such as renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal), nuclear energy, and fossil energy (combined with carbon capture/sequestration). Hydrogen in the long-term will simultaneously reduce dependence on foreign oil and emissions of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants.
In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, a $1.2 billion commitment over 5 years to accelerate hydrogen related research to overcome obstacles in taking hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from the laboratory to the showroom. Fuel cell vehicles operating on hydrogen are zero-emission vehicles.
The Energy Hydrogen Program is making progress towards the goal of a 2015 commercialization decision on hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles and the infrastructure to fuel them through an aggressive research program that accelerates the timeline for resolving technical and economic barriers. Energy’s Hydrogen Posture Plan, outlines the activities, milestones, and deliverables Energy plans to pursue to support America's shift to a hydrogen-based transportation energy system. A positive decision will yield the beginning of mass market penetration in 2020. As transportation accounts for over two-thirds of the oil consumed daily, the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Program is primarily focused on developing hydrogen technology for the transportation sector. The best near-term technology solution to reducing oil consumption and emissions is by making energy-efficient choices such as purchasing gasoline hybrid electric vehicles.
The Energy Hydrogen Program includes participation from the Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE), Fossil Energy (FE), Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (NE), and Science (SC). The Program coordinates interactions with industry, academia, and the international community (such as the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy). The National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap and A National Vision of America's Transition to a Hydrogen Economy-to 2030 and Beyond are two guiding documents that provide a blueprint for the coordinated, long-term, public and private efforts required for hydrogen energy development and summarize the potential role for hydrogen systems in America's energy future, outlining the common vision of the hydrogen economy .
Energy also co-chairs an Interagency Taskforce which is a mechanism for collaboration among nine federal agencies (Energy, Agriculture, NASA, Transportation, Commerce, State, Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation).
The Energy Hydrogen Program responds to recommendations in the President's National Energy Policy and the Department’s Strategic Plan.
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