Page 15 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
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Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation     15

                                                                 FUEL CELLS

dioxide. Fuel cell technology is very      in abundance on Earth as water,            EUR 1.33 billion under the current EU
flexible, can operate with a range of      hydrocarbons and in other organic          Horizon 2020 research and innovation
fuels, and can be easily integrated into   matter. Hydrogen can be produced in        framework programme covering 2014-
existing energy infrastructures.           several ways including steam reforming     2020.
                                           of methane (the main component of
The most promising fuel for fuel cells is  natural gas) or the electrolysis of water  By pooling resources and creating a
hydrogen: the most plentiful chemical      using electricity. When the electricity    common platform where policymakers,
element in the Universe and present        used is from renewable sources,            industry and research come together,
                                           such as wind or solar, the hydrogen        the FCH JU facilitates industry
                                           production is essentially carbon-free      involvement and collaboration
                                           and avoids any greenhouse gas (GHG)        and supports the environment for
                                           emissions.                                 investment.

                                           Fuel cells bring many benefits being       The FCH JU’s ability to act as a focus
                                           versatile, scalable and with a very        for European experts on fuel cell and
                                           wide range of potential uses. Typical      hydrogen technologies has enabled
                                           applications include in transport —        these fuel cell technologies to progress
                                           ranging from cars, buses, lorries,         significantly, especially in terms of
                                           forklifts, boats, trams and trains to      reduced life-cycle costs and increased
                                           aircraft; portable applications embrace    overall performance, durability and
                                           small charging stations for mobile         efficiency.
                                           phones; domestic heating and energy
                                           units (micro-CHP); and larger power        EARLY TO MARKET
                                           plants, including for back-up power and    FCH JU’s projects have helped boost
                                           power in remote, off-grid locations.       commercialisation in some specific
                                                                                      markets including public transport
                                           A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP               (hydrogen powered buses), low noise
                                           Established in 2008, the Fuel Cells        and emissions-free passenger cars
                                           and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking             and forklift trucks, in CHP units, and
                                           (FCH JU) acts as a catalyst to enable      portable and back-up applications.
                                           a sustainable energy and transport         During 2017 FCH JU jumped over the
                                           future through a productive partnership    mark of 200 projects.
                                           between the European Commission,
                                           industry and the research sector. It       Two major projects have started in
                                           is a unique European public-private        2017 and are typical of the PPP’s
                                           partnership (PPP) with a focus on          approach. The Joint Initiative for
                                           accelerating the development and           hydrogen Vehicles across Europe
                                           deployment of fuel cell and hydrogen       (JIVE) project will pave the way to full
                                           technologies.                              commercialisation of zero-emission
                                                                                      hydrogen fuel cell buses with the
                                           The PPP contains three members: the        deployment of 139 cell buses across
                                           European Union, represented by the         nine European locations. JIVE will use
                                           European Commission, the industry          coordinated procurement to unlock the
                                           grouping ‘Hydrogen Europe’ and the         economies of scale required to reduce
                                           research grouping ‘N.ERGHY’. During        the implementation costs. The project
                                           its first phase of operation (2008-2014)   will demonstrate the reliability required
                                           the FCH JU held a total ring-fenced        for commercialisation including testing
                                           budget of EUR 940 million under the        new hydrogen refuelling stations able
                                           EU’s FP7 research programme. Its work      to serve large scale commercial bus
                                           continues with an allocated budget of      fleets.
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