Discover How Fuel Cell Technology Will Provide a Sustainable Energy Solution for Your Business
Commercial sectors are constantly looking for ways to transition to an energy solution that offers a more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable future. Technology such as fuel cells provides unmatched reliability, durability, and scalability for a wide range of applications. If you are invested in the growth and development of your business, it might be time to consider your energy plan for the future.
Our renewable energy consulting team has provided the answers to three key questions about fuel cell technology to help you make the best decision for your business in New York City and surrounding areas.
What are fuel cells?
Fuel cells utilize the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to generate energy. Much like batteries, they produce electricity without combustion or emission, making them both efficient and sustainable. Even better, fuel cells do not need to recharge as batteries do as long as there is a reliable source of fuel and oxygen. For example, fuel cell-powered vehicles can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% if the hydrogen is produced by natural gas or by 90% if produced by renewable energy sources. No pollutants are made from the tailpipe.
What is the future of this technology?
Reducing carbon emissions is a priority for many countries across the world. Some have even made it a goal to net-zero emissions in a few decades. Fuel cells are a vital component of achieving these goals, mainly because 30% of energy-related emissions are difficult to eliminate with only electricity. They provide opportunities for power generation, industrial energy, transportation, and building power to transition to more sustainable technologies. Fuel cells are highly efficient, renewable, and reliable. They can also be deployed in applications in data centers, healthcare, retailers, critical manufacturing, and more.
What role do they play in a “sustainable economy”?
Researchers have tried to isolate CO2 from combusted fossil fuels to store the isolated carbon, reducing carbon emissions, but all possible solutions are too expensive to be practical. Others absorb CO2 using zeolites, carbon molecular sieves, or amines, but these methods require so much power that they end up negating the environmental benefits that they are supposed to achieve. Because fuel cells generate electricity through electrochemical reactions instead of combustion, they do not emit the air pollutants emitted with burning fuel. Furthermore, they efficiently and quickly recapture carbon from the fuel cell exhaust without being too expensive or using too much power.
In New York City, Local Law 97 penalized building owners for consuming brown fuels (natural gas or fuel oil) on-site. While it might seem as if non-combustion fuel cells would then increase building emissions, it actually means they will reduce emissions by replacing higher emitting marginal generators. Installing fuel cells now will help you to reduce emissions and therefore avoid costly fines in the future.
Are you interested in future-proofing your business with fuel cell technology? Now is the perfect time to transition. New York City local law states that fuel cells that begin operation before January 1, 2023 or the promulgation of the law will be credited compared to the electricity grid marginal emissions factor, leading to a variety of benefits.