U.S. Department of Energy Collaboration with Department of Defense and General Motors in Hawaii

December 9, 2010

To promote collaboration between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE), along with industry, university, and state partners, the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative ("H2I") was announced by General Motors on Wednesday December 8 in Honolulu. The H2I is aligned with DOE's Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to reduce oil consumption and promote clean energy technologies, and will help promote energy independence, and grow the state's clean energy economy.  

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has funded cutting-edge research and development which has reduced the high volume cost of fuel cells by more than 80% since 2002 - to nearly $50 per kW, on track towards meeting the target of $30 per kW by 2015. However, hydrogen infrastructure remains a key barrier. Through the H2I, DOE plans to conduct testing and validation of hydrogen infrastructure technologies, including hydrogen injection into existing natural gas pipelines as well as long term renewable approaches in Hawaii.    

In addition to General Motors, DOD and DOE, the H2I involves a number of partners, including The Hawaii Gas Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Hawaii; the University of California at Irvine and FuelCell Energy. A Letter of Understanding was signed with the intent of formulating further details under the initiative within the next year. These activities will leverage the efforts and expertise of all partners to accelerate the development and demonstration of clean energy technologies.