WHY FUEL CELLS
The demand for abundant, reliable and environmentally safe energy is increasing as our world and power needs expand. Today, much of our electricity is generated at central station power plants using nonrenewable, imported fuels and transmitted to various sites by transmission and distribution lines.
To address these needs and vulnerabilities, California has committed to increasing the generation of power from renewable resources from the current level of 12 percent to 20 percent by the year 2010. In addition, the Governor is committed to investing in clean generation and cogeneration at the site where the electricity is needed. This is referred to as distributed generation, a term used for a decentralized approach to generating electricity. The advantages of distributed generation are
- Increased reliability by producing power on-site
- Ability to utilize the heat generated by these systems in the form for heat, air conditioning, and hot water
- Gradual investment in energy generation, where it is needed most, when it is needed most
- Ability to use multiple fuels, including “opportunity fuels” like landfill gas or anaerobic digester gas from waste water treatment facilities
- The successful integration of fuel cell technology into the market in California is arguably one of the more effective strategies we can take to resolve the energy and environmental challenges we face in California today.
Fuel Cell Resources:
National Fuel Cell Research Center – FUEL CELLS EXPLAINED – a comprehensive overview of the technology, market applications and challenges of fuel cells today.