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European Commission launches new $1.8-billion fuel cell and hydrogen research initiative

The European Commission is launching a second phase of the first Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) set up in 2008. The new Fuel Cells & Hydrogen 2 Initiative—with a proposed combined 50:50 EU-industry budget of €1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion)—will continue to develop a portfolio of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies to the point of market introduction. The new FCH 2 JTI is expected to start in 2014 and will end in 2024.

The JTI is one of five announced as part of a new EU-industry investment of €22 billion (US$28 billion) in research and innovation. The other JTIs address innovative medicines; aeronautics; bio-based industries; and electronics.

Specific objectives for the FCH 2 JTI include:

  • Reduce cost of fuel cell systems for transport applications by a factor of 10;

  • Increase electrical efficiency of fuel cells for power production by 10%;

  • Demonstrate the viability of large scale hydrogen production from electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

The EU expected contribution for the FCH JTI will come from the Horizon 2020 programme budget. The private contribution of €700 million will consist of both in-kind contributions in calls for proposals activities and of complementary actions implemented in addition to the calls, contributing to the objectives of the initiative.

JTIs are partnerships between the EU and industry, with their own strategic research agendas. The projects will be selected through open and competitive calls for project proposals. The selection of the best proposals will be based on independent peer review and concluded by formal funding agreements. A small number of activities are implemented through calls for tender (i.e. public procurement).

The new FCH 2 JTI will be managed by a dedicated FCH 2 Joint Undertaking the Governing Board of which—comprising representatives of the European Commission, the Industry Grouping and the Research Grouping—will take funding decisions.

Bio-based industries JTI. The Bio-based industries (BBI) JTI will focus on three main streams of activities:

  • Feedstock, by fostering sustainable biomass supply with increased productivity and new supply chains;

  • Biorefineries, by optimizing efficient processing through R&D and demonstrating their efficiency and economic viability at large-scale demonstration biorefineries; and

  • Markets, products and policies, by developing markets for bio-based products and improving policy frameworks.

The new BBI JTI is expected to start in January 2014 and to end in 2020. The estimated budget of this new initiative is €3.8 billion (US$4.9 billion). The EU will contribute €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) from the Horizon 2020 programme budget. The industrial partners will commit €2.8 billion (US$3.6 billion).



These "initiatives" need a market incentive, like say within five years market a fuel cell car or return the money.

That could stop the decades of $billions for "hydrogen" R&D "grants" and still ZERO FC cars in showrooms.

The US DOE 5X energy/one fifth cost/in 5 years batteries linearly would need be 500% x ~8/60 months = 66% better batteries than in November 2012, but where's them better batteries?

For that matter, where's the twice as powerful, from China prototype lines, Fed tested Envia batteries of Feb, 2012 or record setting 360 mile range Lekker batteries of Oct, 2010?


10% of EU R&D budget goes to hell. Otinger should be very st... guy.


"That could stop the decades of $billions for "hydrogen" R&D "grants" and still ZERO FC cars in showrooms."

You mean, the $1.5 Billion *total* that's been spent over the last decade. Before that, funding is pretty negligible. The amount we've spent in the US on FC research is pennies on the dollar out of the DoE budget.

Funny, that you then complain about battery development... which has gotten more than $2 billion since 2009.


We are reading about combustion, sulfur, benzene and health effects which we should have known intuitively.

I would like to see high temperature PEM fuel cells with bio methanol reformers. If you turn biomass to methanol, methanol to hydrogen and use them in high temperature PEM fuel cells with lots of new batteries and powerful motors, we have no combustion.



"Overall, the funding for hydrogen and fuel cells from these programs is $2.5 billion from 2003
through 2012" four paragraphs later.

Also, the 1960's space race made the major FC breakthroughs & likely highest costs - so add another couple 2013 $billions.

Then don't forget the 70's and 80's FC R&D grants to replace OPEC embargoed oil or the 90's 'FCs can reduce also reduce pollution' grants.

For any vehicle, it's gotta be on the market/highway to even pretend its viable - 'ZERO FC cars in showrooms' remains true, though recent gains in materials science could begin making a difference.

My questions about >2X better record setting government tested manufactured EV batteries already years old are simple:

Where are they?(..what happen, were we lied to, have they been shelved by ICE/oil interests, what..?)

IOWs, simple battery/tech/article follow-up.


Bush pushed fuel cells to get the issue off rising oil prices. Fuel cells were 30 years away and he knew that. His oil buddies would make billions over those years, but he seemed to have a plan for the future. Cynical? You bet he was.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles could hit showrooms as early as 2011 and the technology will revitalize General Motors, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said as he delivered a hydrogen concept car to be test driven by Camp Pendleton Marines over the next few months.

Bush was as cynical as Carter was hopeful. Carter wanted synthetic fuels, which is exactly what we needed. They cancelled that and bloated the ethanol program.

Mean while, Bush is pushing FutureGen, FreedomCar and whatever slick names the GOP could come up with to bamboozle and distract the public to not notice that oil went from $14 to $140 during his terms.

Kit P

“Bush was as cynical as Carter was hopeful. ”

One has to wonder if SJC learned this from an old hippie teaching government in high school or was it in junior college?

First off, POTUS stands for president of the United States. This article is about the EU. Certain posters here have Bush hatred syndrome and everything that happens in the world is Bush's fault. Clearly all the world problems at the time were not Carter's fault. Unfortunately when it came to dealing with those problems Carter was an idiot. I voted for Carter only once. Carter had to be the most ineffective US leader in my lifetime.

In any case Bush is no longer POTUS and HFCV is just another possibility for the distant future.

“oil went from $14 to $140 during his terms ”

When Bush took office crude oil was about $30/barrel and when he left office it was about $35/barrel.

Lots of things affect the price of oil. Demand due to the economy and hurricanes that shut down the oil fields. The same general tren d for oil has continued under Obama.



You got to know by now I don't read your stuff. You are one sick puppy.

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