The COVID-19 pandemic caused financial conflicts in various industries. Many small businesses closed their doors, and millions of workers lost their jobs. Though citizens struggled with loss, anxiety and employment, the planet thrived from greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The global ecosystem began to heal with fewer cars polluting different habitats. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry was among many energy sources to experience a financial decline during the pandemic. Fuel cell energy companies also took a hit over the past year and a half.
As society receives vaccinations and the world re-opens, we must re-evaluate the modern lifestyle. On his first day in office, President Biden signed the U.S. onto the Paris Agreement. The signature signifies our commitment to environmental conservation and climate change prevention.
We can maintain our pre-COVID lifestyles while reducing our ecological impact when utilizing renewable energy sources. Commercial industries must invest in these energy sources to remain competitive in their field. Eco-consumers are redefining the market, requiring sustainable practices.
Around 40% of customers boycott businesses that lack eco-conscious procedures. Companies can ensure their stability in the post-pandemic market by sourcing fuel cell energy. The U.S. Department of Energy understands the value of the renewable energy form and supports its development.
The DOE recently funded the fuel cell industry $8 million for technological advancements and national accessibility to clean energy. Performing a renewable energy industry expansion could help us reach the agreement’s goal and consumer needs.
Production recovery aligns with technological fuel cell advancements. Efficiency improvements and cost reduction help the industry thrive as the world re-opens. Developing electrolysis, fuel cell vehicles and renewable ventilation can help companies re-find their footing.
The recent DOE funding supports advancements in electrolysis efficiency and development. Electrolysis is a sustainable method of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. It uses renewable electricity to charge the split and collect free hydrogen for fuel cell energy.
Current methods of gathering hydrogen require greenhouse gas-emitting energy. The sourcing degrades the sustainability of fuel cells. As environmental engineers improve electrolysis, fuel cell energy can support green lifestyles.
Fuel Cell Vehicles
The electric vehicle industry expands each year. Professionals project that 18 million non-greenhouse gas emitting cars will consume the roads by 2030. We must fuel these vehicles with renewable energy to optimize their sustainability.
Fuel cell energy can expand in this industry. One company discovered a method of converting waste into free hydrogen to power the cells. They take municipal solid waste (MSW) from landfills or wastewater and convert it into energy.
The MSW energy method both reduces surface pollution and fuels vehicles with clean energy. New York City plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the public transportation sector by fueling electric vehicles with fuel cell energy. They can utilize 25% of their MSW, extracting hydrogen and methanol, powering bus fleets and trains.
Renewably Driven Ventilation
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) support is another way the fuel cell industry is expanding. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends residential and commercial buildings improve their ventilation to limit further spread of illnesses. Improving ventilation is essential as the work re-opens and it increases greenhouse gas emissions.
HVAC systems account for 40% of commercial buildings’ energy use. Powering HVAC systems with fuel cell energy can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping us reach our climate change prevention goals. It can also help the fuel cell industry expand, establishing its place in the renewable energy sector.
On the Horizon
As the world re-opens, we can expect renewable energy reliance to expand. The nation’s pollution reduction commitment may also promote the growth of the fuel cell industry. In the next few years, clean energy may support residential and commercial practices, increasing the nation’s sustainability.
Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. Jane covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, green technology, renewable energy and more.