Reducing the use of platinum group metals (PGM) in  PEM fuel cells, without decreasing overall performance, is a clear priority at European level. These metals, such as platinum itself (Pt), are not only precious metal elements but their usage in the fuel cell manufacturing processes has an important impact on production costs.

There is therefore the need to develop a technology that supports the minimization of platinum usage, thereby reducing the costs, without an impact on overall performance.

This aspect stands as one of the FCH JU main objectives and of two FCH JU projects, CATAPULT and INSPIRE, made great progress in this area.

On February 13, 2017 Hydrogenics, partner in the FCH JU HyBalance project and developer of the new 1.2 MW PEM electrolyser, announced that the electrolyser has successfully produced hydrogen during the first stage of factory acceptance testing at Hydrogenics facilities in Oevel, Belgium.

Established in 2015, the European Energy Union sets out the basis for the European Commission's ‘Energy’ policy package, aiming to ensure that Europe has secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. With five dimensions at the core of its strategy, the Energy Union acts as a driver to boost European policies and the R&D agenda to tackle current challenges in an integrated way. Fuel cells and hydrogen-based technologies and energy solutions play a crucial role within this agenda. In parallel, the FCH JU’s mission to accelerate market entry of these technologies finds a major raison d'être at the heart of this integrated energy landscape.

But what concrete progress has been made and where is the energy transition going?

Coming one week after the publication of the European Commission Second Report on the State of the Energy Union, the FCH JU is welcoming the launch of one of its biggest energy projects, H2FUTURE, which took place in Linz, Austria.

Following the publication of the 2017 Call for proposals, the FCH JU held its annual Info Day on the 2nd February in Brussels.

The FCH JU will hold its next Open Info Day & Brokerage Event in Brussels on the Thursday 02 February 2017.

This year's edition will reveal a new format as an important share of the event will be dedicated to fostering networking opportunities and initiate contacts. We would like to provide participants and interested readers with practical information concerning this annual event.

Please note that registrations for this event are closed and that we are fully booked. However, new functionalities have been foreseen for this edition and the conference will be open to the public via live-stream (more information below).

Production of hydrogen from renewable sources is crucial to enlarge the place of green hydrogen within the energy transition.

The FCH JU funding programme continues placing this item at the core of its activities and has allocated 24.5 M € to improve the different technologies (electrolysis and biogas reforming) and to stimulate market penetration. Capitalizing research for green hydrogen will allow addressing the intermittent character of renewables and harnessing their power, while naturally moving away from fossil energies.

Six new projects related to hydrogen production have recently received funding from the FCH JU 2016 call for proposal.

The 25th of January 2017 marks the launch of a game changing project in sustainable and clean urban transportation in Europe: JIVE, which stands for Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe.

The project is co-financed by the FCH 2 JU under the European Union - Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation. 

JIVE's overall objective is to advance the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell buses through large-scale deployment of vehicles and infrastructure.

Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are key for a decarbonised and sustainable transport system and offer great advantages for automotive applications. In addition to their environmental benefits, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) offer 2 major assets: a long-range and short refuelling times.

To support and accelerate the market-entry of these vehicles, the FCH JU research activities aim at reducing the production costs of fuel cell systems, while increasing their lifetime to levels competitive with conventional technologies.

Universities and research centers represent an important segment of the FCH JU programme. To accelerate commercialisation of innovative products, the FCH JU brings together research, industry partners and public actors  in order to align the European R&D community.

Fostering exchanges amongst the different partners is essential to bring products from laboratories to everyday life and enable the sustainable shift towards clean technologies.