Hydrogen Energy Economy Investment in Europe
A Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) has been proposed by 48 leading industry stakeholders on the eve of the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (HFP) annual assembly and exhibition in Brussels. It is hoped that this new initiative will produce new advances in the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel cell technology in Europe. $5 Billion Euros is being proposed as an investment effort to increase national energy security, the environment, and Europe’s market competitiveness. The initiative is designed for the funding of hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure, hydrogen energy supplies, fuel cells for hea, power and the technology markets.
On the eve of the 48 leading industrial stakeholders signed a declaration for the creation of a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on hydrogen and fuel cells. This signifies a major and accelerated step forward in the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies within Europe, which will in turn benefit energy security, the environment and European competitiveness.
Today at the platform’s Annual General Assembly the efforts of more that 100 experts will be presented in the form of an ambitious but convincing Implementation Plan which will form the basis for a European Programme on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells for the 2007-2015 period.
This industrial backing could result in more than 5 billion being invested in the next 10 years. The partners anticipate that the level of investment from industry will probably continue and increase beyond 2016. Subject to on-going negotiations, and the expected overall increase in FP7 budgets, the EC will increase the FP6 investment of 75m/year.
The Implementation Plan identifies the total private – public budget for the proposed programme to be 6.7 billion for the 2007 – 2015 period, which is consistent with ongoing public funding and private investments on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. This considers current member state spending (200m/year), new programmes (eg. Germany 50m/year), and many regional initiatives (eg. Amsterdam, Aragon, Berlin, Lombardia, London, Northrhine-Westfalia, Teeside and others).
Following an exciting test drive in hydrogen powered formula zero kart, and an informative tour of a selection of the 60 exhibitors at the exhibition European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potonik officially opened the HFP Annual Event:
“This exhibition illustrates very well the progress made in hydrogen and fuel cell technology over the last ten years”, Commissioner Potonik emphasized the importance of co-operation within the sector to go further within the context of a public private-partnership designed to stimulate research in this field by working together, “we can identify and overcome obstacles to the implementation of this technology in all its very many applications”, said the Commissioner, “we can tackle technology bottle necks, raise public awareness and appreciation, address safety issues and develop standards that can ensure that technology developed in Europe is used not just here but around the world.”
The Implementation Plan which will be presented today is an operational document, assimilating and consolidating previous strategic documents, comprising recommendations for concrete, implementable and measurable actions for research, technology development and projected financial needs. Examples of innovation and development actions detailed in the report include:
Hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure: developing vehicle and infrastructure technologies to kick-start commercialization by 2015 or earlier with special emphasis on cost reductions and infrastructure build-up
Sustainable hydrogen supply: supplying 10-20% of hydrogen energy demand with CO2 free or lean technologies by 2015.
Fuel cells for CHP (combined heat and power) and power generation: having more than 1 GW capacity in operation by 2015.
Fuel cells for Portable and Early Markets: bringing thousands of fuel cell products in the market by 2010.
In its proposal for the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), the European Commission has introduced the concept of Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) as a new way of realizing public private partnerships at European level.
The establishment of a JTI represents a unique opportunity for public and private interests to build together an implementation structure that is more business focussed, more efficient, less bureaucratic and more effective than current RTD programmes, ensuring an accelerated development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. In short, a better and faster way to market.
During three days, some 60 exhibitors – among which 5 European Regions, research centers, multinational companies and SMEs – will showcase the latest developments and current state of the art in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Many applications covering many different business sectors (stationary fuel cells, cars, buses but also wheelchairs, scooters, a boat etc.) will be displayed and demonstrated.
» Source: Fuel Cell Works