In the transition to a hydrogen economy, fuel cells could provide the planet with a sustainable energy supply to replace rapidly diminishing fossil fuels. Turning this vision into a reality took a further step forward today with the signing of a EU-US co-operation agreement on fuel cells technology. The agreement brokered by European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and the US Secretary or Energy, Mr. Spencer Abraham, aims to strengthen research links, by bringing together EU and US researchers from both the public and private sectors. Key challenges for fuel cells to become commercially competitive are cost reductions, improved performance and durability. Research and technological development will explore how these barriers can be overcome. The Commission and the US Government will discuss shortly joint EU-US research projects in this field.
Signing the agreement in Brussels, Commissioner Busquin said: “By pooling EU and US research efforts and resources, we improve our chances of finding a long-term solution to the world’s energy and transport problems. Through global scientific partnerships we can work together to develop fuel cell technologies to deliver viable, environmentally sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Today represents a landmark in energy research history: with this agreement and the publication of the summary report of the High Level Group on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, we have made real progress towards building a sustainable future for Europe, the US and their peoples.”
"This agreement lays out the framework for our two entities to collaborate on a matter important to both the U.S. and the European Union – hydrogen research," said U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "The Fuel Cell Annex will help the U.S. Department of Energy and the European Commission leverage our approaches to hydrogen research. The Annex highlights the importance of our bilateral co-operation in the development of hydrogen as a clean form of energy."
But… what are fuel cells?
Fuel cells represent the potential energy solution of the future. They are efficient energy converters, which generate electricity and heat by chemically combining oxygen from the air and hydrogen from its fuel source without combustion or pollution. Research in the area of fuel cells has a leading role to play in the establishment of sustainable energy supply and the ability to provide affordable and clean energy without increasing green house gas emissions.
Fuel cells are a key driver to a hydrogen oriented economy and could, in the long term, replace combustion based conversion systems such as traditional engines or turbines. The hydrogen-oriented economy is a global challenge and international co-operation is essential to achieve its ambitious goals.
Joining forces to invest in a cleaner, more sustainable future
The EU is making substantial efforts to support activities in this field. Europe’s total public expenditure in this field is estimated at some €600 million for the 2002-2006 period (EU and Member States). Co-ordinating these efforts and stimulating private investment is crucial to building a competitive fuel cell industry in Europe.
Furthermore, on the other side of the Atlantic, the US administration has requested a budget of €1.7 billion over the next five years to be spent on the Freedom Car and Freedom Fuel Programmes, which include a heavy emphasis on hydrogen and fuel cells. The co-operation between the EU and the US, officially stated in the Fuel Cells Amendment signed today, represents a significant step forward in the strengthening of their scientific and technical relations and in the building-up of a global critical mass for research in this sector.
Fabio Fabbi | European Commission
Positrons as a new tool for lithium ion battery research: Holes in the electrode
22.02.2017 | Technische Universität München
Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cell with 21.9 % Efficiency: Fraunhofer ISE Again Holds World Record
20.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences