During the Hannover Fair important decisions were made by the EU Parliament in Brussels on the Fuel Quality Directive and with regards to the inclusion of energy efficiency funding in the European Fund for Strategic Investments. Please find a short update below:
1. On April 14 the EU Parliament Environment Committee approved the second reading of the Review of the Fuel Quality Directive, although the extra support for double counting of energy content of also hydrogen is not helping much to build a business case for hydrogen yet, it might set the tone for further support for hydrogen as a fuel that ill contribute to reduce CO2 content of the overall fuel mix and reduce the use of oil. EU Parliament will now liaise with Member States for the final text.

2. The Industry Committee approved to reserve 5 bln of the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) for Growth and jobs , the so-called  Juncker Plan, for energy efficiency actions brokered by Belgian MEP Kathleen van Brempt. It also voted on its reservations to use Horizon 2020 funds to beef up the fund.

3. Preparations have started for next weeks Tranastlantic Trade and Investment Plan meeting in New York where the Commission’s proposal to introduce a new regulatory body spearheaded by the EU and US has created controversy.  Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stated that “We want to do this in a way that in no way compromises our freedom to make policy in the public interest,” she explained in a recent speech. Nine sectors on which to reach concrete regulatory compatibility within TTIP  have been identified cars, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, pesticides, ICT, chemicals, and engineering. Especially regualtions on hydrogen safety are closely watched on both sides of the Atlantic.

4. The EHA and HyER  participated in a DG MOVE workshop on April 17 on the review of the Promotion Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles Directive (COM2009/33) one of the first dossiers where HyER became engaged as  the directive sought to accelrate the public procuremnt of clean vehicles. As the calculation method for Total Cost of Ownership was debated from the beginning the traspssition into natioanl law was hampered. The REview study by Ricardo that was presented a the workshiop indicated that a modest impact of the Directive on the acquistion of clean vehicles.

(Photo: courtesy H2FC Fair, panel on hydrogen infrastructure development at the Hannover H2, FC and Battery Group Exhibit)