EU Makes Major Headway Towards a Hydrogen Fuelled Future
Posted on May 13, 2014
The hydrogen fuel cell sector has recently seen two milestone wins. Firstly, the European Council recently agreed a second wave of funding for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH2) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), a decision that was subsequently formally adopted by the EU Member States on the 6th May. Following its successful first phase set up in 2008, the initiative will continue to develop a portfolio of clean, efficient and affordable fuel cells and hydrogen technologies up to the point of market introduction. Under the EU's new funding programme - Horizon 2020 - the programme will be fitted with an increased budget of €1.33bn.
This news is confirmation that the European Commission sees a very positive future for hydrogen and fuel cells. This public private partnership will leverage private investments in the technologies up to at least the same amount as the public funds. This encourages market opportunities to be realised due to supported investment as it seeks “to develop commercially viable, clean solutions that use hydrogen as an energy carrier and fuel cells as energy converters”.
Secondly, the Clean Power for Transport Package (CPTP) adopted by the EU Parliament on April 15th proposes measures that ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use including EU wide standardisation of recharging plugs for electric vehicles. Member states will have to provide a minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels, including hydrogen.
Siim Kallas, Vice President of Transport for the European Commission commented that this was “a clear signal that Europe is putting clean fuels at the heart of its transport policy, and the drive to develop a transport system fit for the 21st century.”
These two exciting milestones make for a powerful combination. They demonstrate a high level of confidence, both from government and industry, in the prospects for hydrogen fuel cell technologies, offer a major opportunity for Europe to establish a leading position in a fast growing global market, and help to build Europe's international competitiveness.
Intelligent Energy is an active member of the New Energy World Industry Grouping (NEW-IG), the leading industrial association representing a major grouping of companies, both large and SMEs, working in the fuel cell and hydrogen sector. NEW-IG partners work with the European Commission and the research community to accelerate the market introduction of these clean technologies in the energy and transport sectors.