A co-founder of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California Irvine campus, Sempra Energy's Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has invested $1 million in Oregon-based fuel cell manufacturer ClearEdge Power. The utility has been involved in the testing and demonstration of fuel cells for the past four decades. ClearEdge has a product that is a combined heat-power (CHP) fuel cell that claims to reduce carbon emissions by one-third and other pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, ash and particulates, to trace levels. The Sempra utility cited a recent business intelligence report for the fuel cell industry, projecting a 10-fold increase in the sector from, $2 billion to $20 billion. SoCalGas said it envisions the advance of fuel cells as greatly reducing the nation's reliance on coal and helping boost its use of natural gas.

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