U.S. Dept. of Energy Announces Competition for Million Dollar Prize Created by Rep. Lipinski's H-Prize Act to Promote Clean American Energy

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy is now soliciting entries for the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize.  The H-Prize was created by Rep. Lipinski’s H-Prize Act, which was passed into law in 2007.  The purpose is to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and protect the environment by inspiring researchers to capitalize on hydrogen's tremendous promise as a clean fuel source.   

“I introduced the H-Prize Act and fought to get it enacted into law because I believe America must lead in the development of alternative energy and work towards energy independence,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “Although gas prices have fallen some recently, middle class families are still struggling to afford to fill up their gas tanks, and we know about the national security threats posed by our continued reliance on foreign oil.  We have a responsibility to find new and creative ways such as this to encourage researchers, business leaders, and our young people to utilize new energy sources.  Producing power with hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize the energy and transportation sectors by replacing polluting, gas-guzzling engines with an efficient source of clean power.”

This two-year competition challenges America's engineers and entrepreneurs to develop affordable systems that can be installed in homes to produce hydrogen which can be used to power fuel cell vehicles.  The competition plans to offer a $1 million cash prize to the team that demonstrates the best system.

“The H-Prize is a win for taxpayers, national security, the economy, and the environment,” said Congressman Lipinski.  “It provides funding that is relatively modest in the context of the federal budget, but still constitutes a substantial incentive for individuals and organizations to undertake cutting-edge research.  And it sets specific technical benchmarks that submissions must meet before they can receive an award, ensuring the prize money will be well spent.”

In the first year of the competition, teams are tasked to find partners, design a system, find a site to install the system, and register for the competition before submitting data and designs to a team of independent judges.  The judges will select the top teams as finalists to advance to the testing phase.  During the second year, finalist teams have seven months to build, install, and prepare their systems for testing.  The winner will demonstrate that they can meet both the technical and cost criteria as outlined in the final guidelines.  The H2 Refuel H-Prize will be administered by the Hydrogen Education Foundation for the Energy Department.

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