On April 28, 2016, the fourth day of the Hannover fair the EHA organized a session on “Crossing borders, linking the first natioanl station networks“, highlighting the important work carried out since more than a decade by EHA national member associations on the periphery of the front runner countries like Germany, Denmark and the UK.

Africa Castro director of business development manager at Abengoa Hidrogeno, representing the Spanish Hydrogen Association, AeH2  and Kristian Vik, secretary generalof the Norwegian Hydrogen Forum presented the efforts of their organisation-s to engage national and local decsion makers in supporting FCH deployment in their countries. Although AeH2 is organizing the World Hydrogen Energy Conference form June 16 – 19 in Zaragoza, the Spanish government has not yet fully embraced hydrogen into its policy framework. Marieke Reijalt referred to the dilemma many politicians are facing when they express support for one technology and for a certain industry sector. She commented that the call of EU and national decision makers for the FCH industry to step up investment needs to be seen in this light. Once industry shows a certain commitment policy makers feel more confortable in supporting certain applications, like what has happened in public support for battery electric vehicles. She experessed confidence that with the increasing visibility of proven FCH technology in all FCH application domains the pathways to political recognition of hydrogen and fuel cells will see less obstacles and broader support.

Africa Castro pointed to the three lines of operation: show what is possible for example through the WHEC, secondly work with regions to find possibilities in for example the link of renewable energy, solar and wind with hydrogen storage and thridly create a small netwrok of stations that could connected to the rest of Europe. Kristian Vik reported on the crossing of borders in Scandinavia when last year the 6 stations in Norway were connected with a station in Gothenburg in Sweden. Although Statoil and Hydro had a big role in the kick off of hydrogen in Norway,  new players like NEL Hydorgen came on board that are attracting a lot of interest and investment. NEL in cooperation with of Uno-X will be building 20 stations by 2020. The region of Akershus recently launched an its new action plan, approving on April 27 a new taxi project with 20 FCEV, linked to two stations that have been already financed, one for Uno-X and NEL finaced by Akershus and Enova, the other for HYOP financed by the  FCH JU through the H2ME projects and Akershus.