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Exploratory Workshop On EU/US Co-Operation on Fuel Cell Research, Development and Demonstration

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Date: 14.09.2001

Place: Brussels, Belgium

Description: Both in Europe and the United States, Fuel Cell research has gained momentum due to an ever-increasing interest in the development of sustainable energy. Fuel cells are expected to play a major role in any future sustainable energy supply and may, in the long run, replace most of the current combustion systems in end use sectors, such as transport and distributed generation. To this end, advances in Fuel Cell technology are linked to energy saving, a reduction in CO2 emissions and the development of sustainable and diversified energy supplies and thus significantly contribute to the achievement of key EU and US energy policy objectives.

Taking into consideration the commitment expressed by both parties in the recently signed Implementing Agreement for Non-Nuclear Energy Scientific and Technological Co-operation, the Fuel Cell Workshop aimed at further promoting, stimulating and supporting the EU/US co-operation on Fuel Cell research. Most importantly, the Workshop aimed to contribute to an increased penetration of Decentralized Generation into liberalized markets within the next couple of decades and lead to new EU and US legislation facilitating the deployment and integration of Fuel Cells into existing urban transport systems.

The particular objectives of the event were as follows:

  • To review the modalities and probable mechanisms of implementing the co-operation proposals and highlight potential barriers as well as solutions to overcome them.

  • To identify common problems in need of a joint solution and thus organize the research priorities accordingly.

  • To promote and facilitate collaboration and co-operation between EU and US developers, manufacturers and end-users in industry, national laboratories, research centers of excellence and universities.

  • To serve as a meeting place for potential EU and US partners to prepare joint projects and/or exchange networks for the future EU calls or US solicitations on the addressed topics.

Workshop proceedings: The Workshop was organised by the European Commission as a result of two previous preparatory meetings held with the US-DoE in Brussels in January 2001 and in Washington in March 2001. In addition, this event was organised in conjunction with the 7th Grove Fuel Cell Symposium held in London from the 11th to 13th of September 2001. Based on a special request from US Representatives in attendance of the Grove Symposium in London, the European Commission proceeded with the Fuel Cell Workshop in spite of the tragic events of 11th September 2001. Despite the fact that US participants arriving from the USA were forced to cancel their participation, the Workshop proved to be very successful with more than 85 participants, 35 of which were US representatives.

Overall, the Workshop led to specific proposals for co-operation in crucial projects. Based on these results, a Fuel Cell Annex to the Implementing Arrangement for Scientific and Technological Co-operation could be put forward detailing the areas recommended for additional co-operation.

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