The recent approval of the US Senate to increase the budget for hydrogen and fuel cells to € 190 mln for 2010, up from earlier earlier announcements of the Obama administration that government spending on hydrogen for transport would be reduced, demonstrates the power that active and constructive lobbying can have on decision makers. We salute our collaegues in the US with this success that should inspire us all to be more ambitious in contacting key decison makers in Brussels and at national and local level. The EHA this summer has embarked on a intensive verification effort of new EU Parliament members, presidents of crucial committees and other key members with close links to the sectors that are important for hydrogen and fuel cells development. We have prepared a database that inlcudes contact info of all key MEP’sand listed them also per country for easy reference for our industry and national associtaion members. In this way the EHA is mobilizing support that includes references to concrete examples of how the use of hydrogen and fuel cells are indispensable components of clean energy and transport systems. The recent openings of Shell’s cluster of hydrogen refeulling stations in the New York area being one of those (see under Hydrogen Hits the Roads ).
On the eve of the first anniversary of the launching of the Union for the Mediterranean (Paris, 13 July 2008), the European Commission announced an additional contribution of €72 million, for 2009-2010, to the areas identified as priorities by the Euro-Mediterranean Heads of State and Government in Paris. Work will focus on the de-pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, maritime and land highways, alternative energies, with a focus on the Mediterranean Solar Plant, higher education and research and supporting investment in businesses. Part of the funds will be dedicated to support the running of the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat. With this contribution, the total community budget dedicated since July 2008 to the priorities identified by the Union for the Mediterranean amounts €90 million. A total of € 5 mln is earmarked for studies to establish a Mediterranean Solar Plan. According to a communication on the same day of the German Desertec Foundation, the EU will also co fund their plans of High Voltage Direct Current lines to transport electricity produced by thermal solar plants from the African deserts to Europe.
Shell today opened a second hydrogen filling station in the greater New York City area on July 13, 2009. With a third due to open in the area later this month and one already operating there for more than a year, this is Shell’s first cluster of hydrogen filling stations. The latest station, opening at JFK international airport, is the result of a partnership between Shell, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the US Department of Energy and General Motors. A third station in the Bronx, due to open late in July, has been developed with the New York City Department of Sanitation. A station has been operating in the City of White Plains, New York, since April 2008. The cluster of stations will provide New York drivers of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with greater flexibility and convenience. It is a significant step on from stand-alone, demonstration stations and is part of Shell’s strategy to build expertise in the distribution and dispensing of hydrogen.
“The prospects for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are strong in the longer-term”, said Duncan Macleod, Shell Vice President of Hydrogen. “This first cluster is an important step as we continue to build capability in retailing hydrogen fuel, in line with the auto makers’ plans to develop hydrogen vehicles.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said: “Through efforts with governmental and corporate partners, the Port Authority leads by example towards the goal of sustainability. The opening of this hydrogen pumping facility is another positive step for the region and the globe. I want to personally thank everyone at Shell for helping to bring this project to fruition.”