Europe to Launch Fuel Cell/Renewable Energy Initiative

September 17, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

A High Level Group on hydrogen has been created by the European Commission (EU) to help double the country's use of renewable energy. The Group will foster the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and will include senior representatives from research centers in Europe, fuel cell producers, energy utilities, car companies and public transport. It will examine a consistent strategy for hydrogen technology that could lead to a hydrogen industrial platform.

The Kyoto Protocol commits the EU to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. The EU has set a goal of doubling the share of renewable energies to 12 percent by 2010, and the support for renewables underlines the importance of hydrogen as an energy vector. Current hydrogen and fuel cell research is fragmented, with a total annual funding of Euro 50 to 60 million, of which one-third is in the US and one-quarter in Japan.