100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply
When: 9 November, 2010

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative convened the 3rd Stakeholders General Assembly on the 9th of November 2010. Though European participants dominated in this EU based event, its attention was not unnoticed from the stakeholders in all areas of the globe. Representatives were present from industry, policy, and research organisations in Korea, Japan, Canada, Russia, and United States.

The first day of the event had 4 sessions with themes: Commercialising clean energy,  Moving towards market creation – investing in a decarbonised transport system,  Global perspectives on Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies, Panel Discussion

In Session 1, Member of the European Parliament, Ms. Lena Ek mentioned that among the coming topics of interest for the FC and Hydrogen sector include the Green Corridors and the awaited proposal from Commissioner for Transport, Simm Kallas.

Ms. Ek commented on green vehicle rollout and the need for increased policy support, “Standardisation is top priority for the car industry and yet there is still no decision on plugs and outlets for electric vehicles.”

Professor Herbert Kohler vice president e-drive & future mobility and group research chief environment officer for Daimler AG told the audience that Megacities should be the targets for future rollout as more than 50% of CO2 from traffic comes from megacities. Restating Daimler’s strong opinion on HFCVs he added, “It is the green technology in driving with the mobility we have in the ICE that will never be achieved by the battery electric vehicle”.

Bernard Frois, Director Management Unit of New Energy Technologies, CEA; Chairman of the States Representatives Group of the FCH JU, also gave encouraging remarks during his presentation and confidently said,  “I assure you that in 10 years we will have hydrogen all over the world”.

A highlight within the schedule was a presentation by Martin Linder, Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company Inc. Mr. Linder presented the key results from the study which examines the role of Battery and Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Hybrids and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles. Some points can be seen below:

It is evident that electric driving has clear benefits over the combustion engine on CO2 and local emissions. Fuel cell vehicles are an attractive low carbon solution

Although, not one of the power trains that is leading or leading in all dimensions, FC electric does not have range limitation and can go to 100% CO2 nuetral

ICE can be lowered but will never reach 100% CO2 nuetral

ICE is far ahead in terms of technology (and top speed) – but top speed is not a dominant criteria

Distribution and production will keep flat in the beginning, however there will be a strong decrease in hydrogen costs by 75% by 2025

Total capital investment for large scale rollout of hydrogen supply infrastructure in Europe is estimated 100 billion in 40 years

Need to synchronise the investment with the vehicle rollout

Lastly, for the global state of play Sunita Satyapal, Deputy director for the Hydrogen Program in US Department of Energy defined the US present position. National support mechanisms include loan guarantees, Recovery Act projects, investment tax credits, manufacturing tax credits, and grants.

As a result, many major companies in all fields are currently using FC instead of battery in forklifts, and in back up power units.  However, compared to solar and wind, FC companies are not as active in taking advantage of government programs, thus need to be stimulated.

A number of speakers also gave notice to the Hydrogen FC market in some Asian countries. With high population densities and very ambitious CO2 reduction goals these nations present opportunity for sustainable technology development.

In the South Korean case, 97% of energy is imported; the Government is supportive of innovation, and has aims to achieve 7000 MW of renewable energy in 2022.

For more information on the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking see: FCH JU

To View the presentations from the 2day event see: FCH JU Presentations