Europe to Begin Second-Phase Fuel Cell Research Project

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Posted: July 11, 2013 at 2:27 am

The European Commission plans next year to launch a 10-year second phase of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen research program it began in 2008.

The $1.8 billion (€1.4 billion) project will be equally co-funded by the EC and private industry. Like the first phase program, its objective is to develop an array of affordable fuel-cell and hydrogen technologies and make them production-ready.

First-phase research has focused on improved material performance, durability and cost reductions. It also has produced a few fuel-cell system applications for forklifts and small power backup units.

The second-phase program, which will end in 2024, aims to:

- Slash the cost of fuel cell systems for transportation by a factor of 10
- Boost the electrical efficiency of fuel cells by 10%
- Demonstrate the viability of large-scale hydrogen production from electricity generated from renewable energy sources

The commission says funding will be allocated through an open and competitive call for project proposals. The process will be managed by a governing board consisting of representatives from the EC, industry and research institutes.

The fuel-cell program is part of a $28.9 billion (€22 billion) initiative that includes programs in four other areas: innovative medicines, more efficient aircraft, bio-based consumer products and electronics manufacturing.