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
How protons move through a fuel cell
22.06.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety
21.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology