The third day of the annual FCH JU conference marked the end of the programme review days and the stakeholder review forum. The opening session was on the topic of the energy transition and climate change. The speakers underscored the need for a wide array of solutions. The EU’s Energy Union puts innovation at its heart and in the next few years new regulations to support this with support this. The start of this can already be seen with the important progress being done with hydrogen buses.

Marie Donelly, director for renewables, research, and innovation; energy efficiency at DG ENER relayed the tangible enthusiasm present in Marrakesh last week. In a post-COP21 and 22 world, this was the first forum where there is a high momentum for energy and transport, as demonstrated by the variety of actors present at the meeting such as the panel with the representatives from Eurogas, WindEurope, EASE, Solar Power Europe and Greenpeace Energy discussing the increasing synergies between sectors.

While hydrogen did not prominently figure in the low carbon energy solutions discussed at COP22 but promises to be bigger at COP23. Also important is the need for an energy storage component to these solutions – hydrogen being a clear answer to this issue.

Results to the efforts of the FCH JU projects are visible in the ratio of public to private investment. For every one euro invested by the joint undertaking has been matched by 3.5 times by the private sector.

There still remain challenges, there is a need to work with national and European authorities to get over regulatory barriers.

The event was also marked by a signing ceremony of a “Memorandum of Understanding regions” signed by representatives of 45 regions.