A report from the US Department of Defence calls for the wide-scale deployment of fuel cell-based power solutions across the military.

Beyond Demonstration: A White Paper on the Role of Fuel Cells in the Department of Defence’s Energy Strategy says fuel cell technology should be rolled out for distributed power generation, backup power, material handling equipment, ground support equipment and unmanned vehicles. The Department is the largest consumer of energy in the US, accounting for around 80 per cent of federal government consumption.

The report has (naturally) been welcomed by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) of the United States, and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA). Morry Markowitz, executive director of the FCHEA, said: “The US Department of Defence is demonstrating innovation and leadership by recommending the adoption of fuel cell technology for a variety of operational, cost and environmental reasons. Acquiring fuel cell systems will improve US defense energy usage, protecting and creating jobs in the fuel cell industry.”

The two organisations note that a range of organisations have already installed fuel cells to provide primary power for buildings and production facilities, citing Google, Whole Foods, eBay, Toyota, FirstEnergy, and Walmart, and as backup power solutionstelecommunication networks and computer data centres, as evidenced by Wind Mobile, Verizon, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Motorola.

“The US Department of Defense study confirms that fuel cell technology has moved beyond the demonstration phase, providing a range of operational and financial benefits that are already being enjoyed by a growing list of corporate, government and institutional end-users,” commented Eric Denhoff, president and chief executive officer at the CHFCA.