Thursday, March 20, 2008

Two takes on CT's fuel cell investment strategy

I enjoyed the contrast between these two opinion pieces regarding investments of public funds into fuel cell technology. The first is a letter signed by three CT state representatives. They enthusiastically endorse a $200 million investment into a technology that could have a "huge impact" on our state's economy.
"The state already has 20 percent of the world's fuel cell producing work force."
Wow, 20 percent out of the whole world! Sounds impressive, but according to this piece in the Hartford Courant, this amount to only 1,200 jobs. That's less than 0.1% (one tenth of one percent) of jobs in the state.

My opinion -- buy technologies that make sense. Will forty million-dollar fuel cell bus recuperate the investment in fuel savings? Will they have a significant impact on emissions? The technology will take off when it can compete on these levels. Already there are niche markets where fuel cells make sense and more are developing as the technology improves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time the State dedicates taxpayer money to the building of fuel cells, supposedly to advance the technology. For a previous example, check http://www.cga.ct.gov/2004/rpt/2004-R-0225.htm
In that case they saddled the Training School with a facility that was expensive and difficult to operate, but which made $$$ for a lot of "friends".