Hydrogen is ready to forge a zero-emission economy, FCH JU Stakeholder Forum confirms

“The green energy transition is not an option but a necessity. I see a pivotal role for clean hydrogen…it is an area where Europe is still leading. Why not extend the lead on something that could be one of the most important solutions for clean energy?" said Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, in the opening session of the 2019 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) Stakeholder Forum, on 21 November in Brussels.

 ‘The most important thing is that you help us to find ways to make relatively quick successes to show people that it works' continued Timmermans,” addressing the forum – energy and climate experts from industry, research, EU institutions and local and regional authorities.

Hydrogen is an essential component in Europe’s energy transition and its efforts to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change.  It is therefore expected to play an important role in the European Commission’s Green Deal. The FCH sector is also a valuable source of future jobs and growth in a green economy.

European Commission Director General for Energy, Ditte Juul Jørgensen addressed the participants in the closing of the forum: “Renewable Hydrogen is the basis for sectoral integration, for energy transition, and shall become a cost-effective pathway to succeed the clean energy transition. Studies indicated that if we tap into the full potential offered by green Hydrogen we would be able to reduce our CO2 emissions with 96% by 2050”.

Mauro Petriccione, Director General for Climate Action in the European Commission, completed the picture: “Hydrogen will be even more at the centre of the energy transformation and the question is how much faster do we want the hydrogen technologies to be deployed and marketed if we want to achieve our decarbonisation plans?” (..)

Discussions among more than 500 Forum participants in Brussels’ Charlemagne building focused on how to tackle the remaining hurdles to deployment, the importance of promoting an innovation culture in activating new markets, and the impact of synergies and international scale-up efforts on growth and jobs. Delegates explored the latest developments in the sector, showing how Europe is capitalising on new FCH developments and forging ahead towards a zero-emission economy.

Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU Executive Director, welcomed the participants and highlighted the programme results: “By the end of the year, the FCH-JU will have supported 263 projects for a combined public private investment of 2 billion Euros. In these projects, for every Euro of public money the private sector has equally supplied 1 Euro. In Horizon 2020 alone, we are reaching a total leverage effect of 2.5 despite the fact that only 0.6 was required by the regulation. In other words, the private partners have committed 4 times more investment than originally required. This demonstrates the huge willingness of the sector to invest.”

Speakers in the four sessions reflected on the latest FCH JU achievements (see also 2019 FCH JU Award Winners) and the ways to strengthen the relationship between private and public stakeholders in this fast-growing sector. They underlined the need for scaling-up, for shaping-up regulation, as well as for strengthened public support and funding synergies.

Read the full press release here