Hydrogen and fuel cell

The challenge facing fuel cells and hydrogen technologies is of great complexity, requiring substantial investments and a high level of scientific, technological and industrial expertise. At the same time, their potential contribution to Community policies - in particular energy, environment, transport and industrial competitiveness - is very important. The European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan has identified fuel cells and hydrogen among the technologies needed for Europe to achieve the targets for 2020 as well as to achieve the long-term vision for 2050 towards decarbonization.

EU-funded research in the area of fuel cell systems is aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance, durability and safety of fuel cell systems for stationary and transport applications, to enable them to compete with conventional combustion technologies. This will include materials and process development, optimization and simplification of fuel cell components and sub-systems as well as modelling, testing and characterization. The long-term goal is to achieve commercial viability for many applications by 2020.

Hydrogen and fuel cells are seen by many as key solutions for the 21st century, enabling clean efficient production of power and heat from a range of primary energy sources. The High Level Group for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technologies was initiated in October 2002 by the Vice President of the European Commission, Loyola de Palacio, Commissioner for Energy and Transport, and Mr. Philippe Busquin, Commissioner for Research. The group was invited to formulate a collective vision on the contribution that hydrogen and fuel cells could make to the realization of sustainable energy systems in future

The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) recently published its 2010 Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Global Commercialization Development Update, with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Program. To read more: http://energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy

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