MEPs give go-ahead to Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JTI

The European Parliament has given its support to the EU’s fifth Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) in a vote on 20 May, a considerable majority of 590 out of a total of 619 Members of the
European Parliament (MEPs) voting during a plenary session in Strasbourg were in favour of setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) Initiative.

The FCH JTI aims to facilitate and accelerate the development and deployment of cost-competitive European hydrogen and fuel cell based energy systems and component technologies for applications
in transport, stationary and portable power. Hydrogen as an energy carrier and fuel cells as efficient energy converters are expected to take on great significance as part of future energy
systems, helping to achieve sustainability and security.

The new JTI will build on the work of the industry-led European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (HFP), with a special focus on its implementation plan. This plan foresees a series of
actions relating to the development of hydrogen supply and fuel technologies including:
– commercial take-off for early market applications (e.g. handheld devices, portable generators) by 2010;
– stationary applications (domestic and commercial combined heat and power) by 2015;
– mass market roll-out of transport applications by 2020.

Europe’s Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik sees hydrogen and fuel cells as playing a decisive role in the future of energy systems. When the European Commission released its
proposal for the FCH JTI in autumn 2007, he said: ‘Europe is facing major challenges to secure its energy supply, while combating climate change, preserving the environment, and maintaining a
competitive economy.

‘Technologies such as fuel cells and hydrogen can help us tick all the boxes,’ Commissioner Potocnik added. ‘The Joint Technology Initiative for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen will be a major step in
bringing about the research, development and deployment programme that Europe needs to bring these technologies to the market.’

Between 2008 and 2017, the FCH JTI will have a budget of ?1 billion. The investment will be shared by its two founding members, the European Commission and the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen
Joint Technology Initiative Industry Grouping, a non-profit organisation uniting the sector’s key players.

According to the HFP, a Fuel Cell and Hydrogen General Stakeholders Assembly is planned in the middle of October 2008 in Brussels, Belgium, in order to launch the FCH JTI.

JTIs are a novel tool and key element in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), creating public-private partnerships in industrial research at European level for the first time and thus
pooling public and private resources.

JTIs that have been set up so far include ARTEMIS (Embedded Computing Systems), ENIAC (Nanoelectronics Technologies 2020), Clean Sky (Aeronautics and Air Transport) and IMI (Innovative

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