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Fuel cell technology can deliver clean, efficient and abundant energy for Europe

Date

21 Oct 2009

Sections

Energy

Fuel cell technology can deliver clean, efficient and abundant energy for Europe whilst creating economic growth and local employment, at the speed of funding for SET Plan.

[Brussels, 21 October 2009]

Larger demonstration and deployment projects will need to be funded in view of achieving the necessary economies of scale that will bring the technology to market price conditions.

While stakeholders are gathering today in Stockholm to discuss and review the roadmap of the SET Plan at the second European Energy Technology Summit, FuelCellEurope would like to congratulate the Commission for its Communication on financing low-carbon technologies, released on 07th October 2009, and strongly support the Commission’s call for a shift of money towards supporting the transition to a low carbon economy in the next EU budget of about 50€bn over the coming decade.

In particular, FuelCellEurope, the association that represents the interest of fuel cells in Europe agrees with the statement by the Commission that “additional public and private funding needed for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies is currently estimated as 5€bn for the period 2013-2020.” In fact the Commission’s estimate matches the requirements made by the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform in 2007 in its then formulated Deployment Strategy.

Jean-Marc Tixhon, Chairman of FuelCellEurope and EMEA Manager for DuPont says : “Fuel cell technologies are clean, efficient and can be zero emission energy conversion devices, they have the potential to contribute to EU energy policy and are part of the solution to tackle climate change and boost the economic growth of a competitive Europe.” As such “the €5bn proposed budget for fuel cell and hydrogen energy projects represents a needed investment, that will help these low carbon technologies reach the market entry targets”, Tixhon continues.

The fuel cell industry agrees with the Commission that “the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on fuel cells and hydrogen has the minimum critical mass needed to develop and validate efficient and cost competitive technologies […] However, meeting the market entry targets set by industry will require substantial additional effort”.

The technology is ready for the market. A major milestone has recently been achieved in Germany, where leading automotive manufacturers and industrial partners expressed their commitment to the deployment of fuel cells vehicles in Germany, along with the appropriate hydrogen Infrastructure, foreseeing a mass market rollout of fuel cells vehicles by 2015 in Germany and Scandinavia. This superb initiative from industry is made possible by national public funds and the determination of the national governments to get to more sustainable solutions in transport and mobility. For more information about this and other success stories please contact FuelCellEurope.

The technology is there, yet more investments are needed for larger scale demonstration projects and pre-commercial deployment activities to build up a competitive fuel cell chain and deliver economies of scale.

In conclusion, FuelCellEurope strongly supports this proposal and calls on national leaders, the EU institutions and JTI stakeholders to back the Commission’s approach and make the necessary changes to implement these budget indications into concrete funding proposals for the allocation of funds.

About FuelCellEurope

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FuelCellEurope is the European association serving the interest of the fuel cells in Europe. We are committed to accelerate the development and market uptake of fuel cell technology, a key solution for a sustainable energy system in Europe and an important source of economic growth and sustainable European jobs.

FuelCellEurope has a strong European position because it has a very broad membership base which covers global equipment manufacturers, European universities and research institutes, energy, automotive and services companies, as well as end users in public and private sectors.

About fuel cells

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Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that, by combining hydrogen and oxygen, produce electricity and heat with only pure water and air as by-products. Fuel cells offer a unique combination of advantages that can address the European energy challenge

Energy efficiency: Fuel cells are the most efficient energy conversion devices: they are considerably more efficient than conventional engines
Wide range of applications
they can range from very large to very small
there are different types of fuel cells suitable for different applications
they can be used for stationary, transport and portable applications.
they can be used solely or in hybridised systems

Reduced or zero Emissions of Greenhouse Gas and Toxic Pollutants: Fuel cells can help reduce tremendously greenhouse gas emissions, reduce urban pollution and improve air quality. In combination with hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources, fuel cells provide an emission free energy solution.
Energy Security: Fuel cells and hydrogen can support the development of decentralised energy infrastructures building upon regionally available primary energy sources. This can reduce the dependency on oil or gas imports.

For information, please contact

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Patrick Maio, Executive Director, FuelCellEurope

Email: p.maio@fuelcelleurope.org

Tel : 32 2 211 34 11

www.fuelcelleurope.org

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