European players unite forces and visibility in the race for the hydrogen and fuel cells economy!

The European association of research organisations active in fuels cells and hydrogen (FCH), N.ERGHY, decided to change its name to Hydrogen Europe Research at last week’s general assembly and to work hand in hand with Hydrogen Europe, its industry association counterpart. Hydrogen Europe has, in parallel during its general assembly in June, created an additional board seat for the President of Hydrogen Europe Research. This will ensure better coordination and follows a similar move from major European national and regional FCH associations who joined Hydrogen Europe last autumn, and are now also represented in Hydrogen Europe’s board.

Hydrogen Europe will therefore now be the common banner at European level under which three pillars – 107 industrial companies (large groups as well as SMEs), 68 research organizations, and 8 national associations – will together develop and promote FCH technologies, as well as push for the right regulatory framework across EU Member States.  Each pillar will keep its current organisation (industry association, research association and national associations) and maintain its daily operations.

Over the past 10 years the European Commission and the private sector have co-financed a total of 1.5 billion Euros for the development of the European FCH ecosystem via a Joint Undertaking, the FCHJU, which allocates grants every year to demonstration and R&I projects. This European dynamic creates of course additional investment beyond the FCH-JU. Today, for every Euro of public money spent, the private sector invests 3.5 Euros. European governments are also backing these efforts. We now see tangible benefits of this partnership and the existence of a strong Hydrogen Europe community, as world leader positions have been reached in the field of electrolyzers, hydrogen refilling stations, hydrogen buses, but also hydrogen trains, the first of which came on to tracks last year. 

“In January with the support of Hydrogen Europe, CEOs of 13 Fortune 100 companies launched the Hydrogen Council at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where they stated that hydrogen will undoubtedly be part of the future of energy systems. In February, Japan expressed its ambition to become the world leader in the hydrogen economy, in a full page Financial Times article. Today, ahead of COP 23, uniting all players of the hydrogen and fuel cells ecosystem in Europe under one banner in order to encourage global partnerships and further promote this new energy vector as a way to decarbonize the planet is a natural and essential move” says Raphaël Schoentgen, Chairman of Hydrogen Europe.

“Over the past 15 years, we have seen great developments across our European labs bringing new technology bricks that can make a difference both in terms of increasing the efficiency of our systems and also bringing the costs of production down. It is now essential that we accelerate the transfer of technological innovations from our labs into products that can be brought rapidly to the market by our industrials, as accelerated innovation is the ultimate solution to climate change” says Laurent Antoni, President of N.ERGHY.