Over the last few weeks the EHA was able to gather a few indications of the position of hydrogen in this Commission’s energy and transport policy. The general impression is that, as this Commissioners is divided in  project teams, which are led by Vice-Presidents, Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy, Jobs, Growth, Investment & Competitiveness, Digital Single Market and A Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union,  their alignment with the the ongoing activities on clean energy and transport is still work in progress. At the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Hearing on the Review of the White Paper on Transport,on March 6 the definition of the current Commission of “electrification ” in the Energy Union Communication (COM 2015/80) “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy” published on February 25, 2015 was discussed. The communication refers to electrification as:

Electrification of transport is important to break oil dependency and to decarbonise transport, especially for road (short and medium distance) and rail transport. Europe needs to speed up electrification of its car fleet and other means of transport and become a leader in electro-mobility and energy storage technologies. This requires a full integration of electric vehicles in urban mobility policies and in the electricity grid, both as energy consumers and potential storage facilities.”

Among the actions planned listed in the Energy Union Communication is to Establish an Energy Infrastructure Forum in 2015 and a review of the Directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient vehicle consultation as well as a Review of Regulations setting emission performance standards to establish post-2020 targets for cars and vans (2016) plus Establishing a monitoring and reporting system for heavy duty vehicles (trucks and buses) with a view to improving purchaser information (2016)  that could have an impact on monitoring the performance of fuel cell and battery powered buses.At the Environment Council of March 6 ministers welcomed the Energy Union proposal and underlined the importance of striking the right balance between its different goals: affordable energy, safe and secure energy systems, European competitiveness, sustainability and the transition towards a more climate friendly economy. Ministers pointed out that the agreed 2030 climate and energy policy framework (COM2014/15 A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030) should be the basis for developing the decarbonisation dimension of the Energy Union….” The Energy and Climate 2030 communication indicates that ..”the focus of policy development should be on improving the efficiency of the transport system, further development and deployment of electric vehicles, second and third generation biofuels and other alternative, sustainable fuels as part of a more holistic and integrated approach.

(Photo: interior  Honda FCV Concept car at European launch at Geneva Motor Show 2015)