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Working towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system for transport in the EU.


02 Jul 2009


Climate & Environment

European Hydrogen Association (EHA): working towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system for transport in the EU.

Brussels, June 18, 2009. The European Hydrogen Association, EHA, ( promoting the use of hydrogen as a clean and efficient energy carrier for transport and stationary power apllications, welcomes the European Commission’s Communication “A sustainable future for transport: Towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system” (COM 2009/279/4).

The EHA fully supports the Commission’s reference to the need for the implementation of demontration projects and public interventions with regards to the development of infrastructure that supports new vehicles like “smart grids for electric transport or hydrogen distribution networks” (no. 79 in the document). However the EHA strongly suggests the use of the word “and” not “or” in this sentence as the development of electric transport in Europe will regard both battery powered as fuel cell powered vehicles, fuelled by hydrogen, to cover all transport needs. Battery car development will in fact further enhance the production of commercial fuel cell vehicles.

To achieve the EU’s objective of an “integrated, technology-led and user friendly system” it is crucial to confront the efficient use of primary energy, including renewables, to produce the electricity to power battery cars and hydrogen to fuel cell vehicles. The EHA in collaboration with the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, DWV, and other national associations is preparing a paper to explain how an efficient and sustainable electric transport infrastructure to fuel both battery and fuel cell cars can be best achieved . A recent study of the US National Hydrogen Asscoation, reviewed by the US Department of Energy, demonstrates that 80% CO2 reduction in 2050 is only possible with the use of hydrogen in fuel cell cars (see link* below).

The recent crisis in the US car manufacturing industry and the subsequent reduction of US funding for hydrogen transport, is creating new opportunities for European industries to take a lead in fuel cell and hydrogen transport application development. Longterm funding programmes as the EU Joint Undertaking for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and the German national development programme for hydrogen and fuel cells (NOW) totalling over €2 bln, enable European industries and research institutes to accelerate the integration of commercial hydrogen applications in Europe’s transport system. The EHA therefore welcomes the Commission’s reference to the EU Green Car Initiative and the use of State Aid Rules as policy instruments to increase support for the development of new technologies, as hydrogen and fuel cells.

On the day of the Commission’s communication, the EHA appointed a new Board at its Annual General Assembly (AGM) in Brussels. Lars Sjunnesson representing the Swedish national hydorgen asscoation, Hydrogen Sweden, was elected president. Ian Williamson of Air Products and Antonio Garcia Conde of the Spanish Hydrogen Association became vice president. Jacques Smolenaars of the Dutch Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Association will act as EHA treasurer. In the presence of representatives of the European Investment Bank and the chair and programme director of the Joint Technology Undertaking for hydrogen and fuel cells, EHA national assciation members presented an update of hydrogen development in their countries; Germany, the Netherlands and Spain have national platforms in place that are funded by their national governments. Also the State of Flanders in Belgium has established a Hydrogen Network of more than 30 private and public entities co-funded by the Flanders government. Scandinavia has set
The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) to Norway, Sweden and Denmark with hydrogen refuelling stations. France announced that its national platform of 60 organisations has just been formally set up on June 16, 2009 and Italy, Hungary and Scotland (!) are setting up platforms as we speak. The Czech Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform was approved as new EHA national association member by the AGM.

European Regions and Municipalities united in the European Regions and Municipalities Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, HyRaMP ( ), hosted by the EHA in Brussels, are ramping up the integration of the use of hydrogen in their local transport systems. HyRaMP members work closely together with the JTI and national governments to align EU, national and local funding and speed up the market uptake of hydrogen and fuel cell applications.

The EHA representing fifteen national associations (BE, CH, CZ, DE, ES, F, H, IT, LV, N, NL, PT, PL, SE, UK) and the main hydrogen infrastructure development companies in Europe (Air Liquide, Air Products, ENI, StatoilHydro, the Linde Group, Shell Hydrogen) has moved to a new office in Brussels to expand its activities as an information point for hydrogen and fuel cell development in Europe. The new address is Avenue des Arts 3/4/5, 1210 Brussels.
* the National Hydrogen Association