About the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Letters

The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter (HFCL), the voice of the international hydrogen community, was published every month from 1986 to 2014. HFCL covered the science, business, economics, and politics of hydrogen and fuel cells—nationally and internationally.

The HFCL stopped being produced in April 2014 when Editor Peter Hoffmann passed away.

The HFCL carried lively "Opinion" pieces from some of the field's most respected practitioners and thinkers. You'll come face to face with provocative, sometimes controversial views that will challenge your thinking and that you won't find anywhere else.

HFCL was started in May 1986 with help from Canada's then-existing Hydrogen Industry Council, hydrogen research centers at Texas A&M, the Universities of Hawaii and Miami and the then-existing Clean Fuel Institute, Riverside, CA, the "Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter" has won subscribers all over the world. Until February 1995, it was called "The Hydrogen Letter." The name was changed to reflect the emergence of fuel cells as a lead technology.

Subscribers included major international companies, among them several Fortune 500 firms; U.S. and foreign government agencies and ministries, think tanks, national laboratories and environmental groups; analysts, consultants and financial organizations; universities in North America and abroad; and other interested readers.

As the longest-running newsletter covering this field HFCL was frequently interviewed by mainstream media. The "New York Times" and "USA Today" have quoted the Peter Hoffmann and he appeared repeatedly on National Public Radio's "Science Friday" program. Publications as diverse as "The New Yorker" and Britain's "Financial Times" have picked Hoffmann’s brain. The "Economist" has even referenced HFCL on its website.

The Editor

Peter Hoffmann

Peter Hoffmann, a former Washington and foreign correspondent for a major business/technology news service, McGraw-Hill World News, wrote about hydrogen energy since the first oil crisis of 1973. From the late'60s to the early'80s he was stationed in Bonn from where he also covered what was then communist Central Europe, eventually as deputy bureau chief. In between he was bureau chief for four years (1970-74) in Milan, Italy.

At the 2012 world conference of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy in Toronto, editor Peter Hoffmann was awarded the title of IAHE Fellow for his "distinguished and sustained efforts" on behalf of the Hydrogen Economy. In 2005, the "National Hydrogen Association" honored Hoffmann with the Robert M. Zweig Public Education Award for publishing "the oldest, continuously published news source of its kind," the second such honor (in 1997, NHA presented its Public Education Award to H&FCL). And the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Association (DWV) calls us the "best specialized publication in the field worldwide" on its German-language website.

His articles on hydrogen energy have appeared in Business Week, The Washington Post, the Friends of the Earth magazine Not Man Apart, Germany's GEO, Britain's Financial Times European Energy Report, Italy's Ambiente, and McGraw-Hill's Chemical Engineering and Chemical Week. He contributed the "hydrogen" entry to the 1986 New Book of Knowledge, a Grolier encyclopedia for young people. Peter and Sarah Hoffmann - she is H&FCL's business manager - translated a seminal hydrogen energy book, Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier (Carl-Jochen Winter, Joachim Nitsch, editors - Springer Verlag, 1988, New York, Berlin), as well as several other books from German to English.

Hoffmann's 1981 book, The Forever Fuel - The Story of Hydrogen, published by Westview Press, was called, "the book on the subject" by Kirkus Review. An extensively updated version, Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet (Foreword by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-IA), was published in September 2001 by MIT Press; a soft-cover version came out in 2002. The November/December 2001 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine said in its review, "this book has everything the reader needs to know about hydrogen -- its discovery, the numerous attempts to use it as a fuel, its (quite good) safety record, and the practical and economic difficulties that must be overcome if hydrogen is to realize its potential as a nonpolluting, non-carbon-emitting fuel." A New Scientist review said, "it clearly expounds the key issues surrounding hydrogen energy." Chemical & Engineering News commented, "Peter Hoffmann discusses hydrogen and fuel cells - a key technology that is driving forward a hydrogen economy - with clarity and a light touch." Translations have been published in Korea, Italy and, in 2009, in Arabic by a Beirut publisher with support from the Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.

A revised and expanded second edition was published by MIT Press in the spring of 2012, including a new foreword by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-ND, until his retirement in 2011 the foremost hydrogen advocate in the U.S. Senate. The New York Times called it "encyclopedic," and the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association DWV referred to it as the "second edition of a Classic." CHOICE, a journal of the U.S. Association of College and Research Libraries, named it "Outstanding Academic Title for 2012 in the category of Engineering."