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HYACINTH Report Summary

Project ID: 621228
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 1 - HYACINTH (HYdrogen ACceptance IN the Transition pHase)

Project Context and Objectives:
The HYACINTH project (Hydrogen Acceptance IN the Transition pHase, addresses a key issue to deploy and ease the market introduction of fuel cell and hydrogen (FCH) technologies and infrastructures in Europe: the social awareness and public acceptance of these technologies, as applications, infrastructures and services are influenced by the acceptance of public, stakeholders, communities and potential users.

Previous research on social acceptance was carried out investigating general levels of public acceptance, in specific and single countries and there is limited systematic evidence on the acceptance throughout Europe. Therefore, the general purpose of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of the social awareness and acceptance across Europe of FCH technologies and to develop a specific toolbox to help stakeholders to develop their products, services or infrastructures.

To achieve this purpose, the project will address the general public (up to 7.000 European citizens through on-line surveys) and selected stakeholders (up to 455 through interviews and on-line questionnaires) in seven European countries: Germany, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Spain, Belgium and Slovenia.

The HYACINTH project has eleven partners: Centro Nacional del Hidrógeno (CNH2 – Spain), IPlusF France (IPlusF France – France), Fraunhofer – Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (Fraunhofer – Germany), Aberdeen City Council (Aberdeen – United Kingdom), CIEMAT – CISOT (CIEMAT – Spain), Fundación CIDAUT (CIDAUT – Spain), Razvojni Center Za Vodikove Tehnologije (RCVT – Slovenia), Norstat Deutschland GmbH (Norstat – Germany), University of Leeds - Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds – United Kingdom), University of Sunderland (Sunderland – United Kingdom) and Consultoría de Innovación y Financiación (IPlusF España – Spain).

The project objectives are:

1. To design, develop and implement a study aimed at examining public awareness and acceptance of hydrogen technologies is to assess levels of awareness, understanding and acceptance of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the general public in seven EU countries: Germany, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Spain, Belgium and Slovenia. The specific objectives of the study are:

a. To estimate in the general population indicators for: awareness, familiarity, perception of benefits and costs, global attitude, acceptance and related attitudinal dimensions (affect, norms, trust) regarding (1) Hydrogen as a medium for storage of renewable energy, (2) fuel cell transport applications and related infrastructures and (3) fuel cell stationary applications;
b. To identify key individual and social determinants of public awareness and acceptance of hydrogen technologies; this also includes possible barriers for the diffusion of FCH technologies.
c. To report on cross-country comparisons in public awareness, attitudes and acceptance towards hydrogen technologies;
d. Provide evidence to inform the development of programmes and interventions to improve public engagement with hydrogen technologies.

2. To design, develop and implement a study aimed at examining stakeholders’ attitudes towards and acceptance of HFC technologies in five EU countries. The specific objectives are:

a. To examine acceptance of hydrogen and FCH technologies of people already involved with the technology (e.g. project partners, project environment, etc. in demonstration sites and at demonstration events).
b. To assess the perception of other stakeholders’ attitudes and views regarding: (1) hydrogen as a medium for storage of renewable energy, (2) fuel cell transport applications and related infrastructures and (3) fuel cell stationary applications;
c. To report on cross-case and cross-country comparisons in stakeholder attitudes towards hydrogen technologies;
d. To provide evidence to inform the development of programmes and interventions to improve public engagement with hydrogen technologies.

3. To design, develop, implement and to disseminate a specific toolbox, to help stakeholders to develop their products, services or infrastructures. The toolbox will be a specific software which will show, based on the relevant factors that influence the awareness in these technologies obtained in the project, how far these factors are from the best levels of awareness compared to the best technology case.

Project Results:
The project is divided in 7 work packages:
WP 1 “Project Management” is active for the entire duration of the project as it includes all coordination, financial and legal activities.
- The main activities are the day to day work, coordination of partners, activities and management issues. An amendment has been agreed with the FCH-JU to substitute two of the initial partners and to split the participation of one of the partners with a sister company.
- The financial issues (fee and prefinancing amount) have been transfered to the beneficiaries.
- Two meetings have been held so far in Brussels and in Madrid and a third one is expected to be held in Brussels in April 2016. Publishing the agenda and the minutes of the meetings.
- A Quality Plan has been developed by which a Regional Committee, a Technical Committee and a Steering Committee have been established. Several phne calls and telcos have been conduicted in order to maintain comunication between partners. Also a Communication Plan has been developed and a

WP 2 “Context analyses” aims to define the socio-political and economical context of targeted countries and, on other side, to analyze the acceptance analysis methodologies applied in former FCH technologies oriented studies
- A list of european hydrogen projects has been established, focusing on recent demonstration projects with participation of partners of the seven selected countries.
- A report identifying and collecting hydrogen policies (national plans, programmes and support at a national level) in the selected countries has been carried out, identifying possible explanations for the results.
- A list of potential stakeholders has been developed of the target countries. This list had to be broadened as the data initially collected to get enough response to the on-line stakeholder questionnaire.
- A report with the search of methods and surveys used to know social acceptance, awareness and attitudes towards the use of FCH technologies and a review of methodologies has been carried out.

WP 3 “Methodological Design” is a key WP where a consistent and wide methodology will be designed and assumed for questionnaires preparation.
- Development of a common research approach.This task has allowed the specification (including the analytical dimensions, the research strategy, the operationalization of constructs and the sampling decisions) of the design of the two studies.
- Development of a questionnaire for the general public survey (status: completed). Based on the research design specified in 3.1 and on previous studies reviewed in 3.1, a specific questionnaire for the general public has been designed.
- Development of a questionnaire for the stakeholder survey. A specific questionnaire has been developed to assess the perception of stakeholders’ attitudes and views regarding HFC technologies in general and (1) fuel cell transport applications and related infrastructures and (3) fuel cell stationary applications in particular.

WP 4 “Data collection” corresponds to the implementation of the questionnaires and interviews.
- Development of the online questionnaire. This task included the translation and review by all partners of the questionnaires.
- Quantitative data collection. This task is in process and will be completed by end of April.
- Qualitative data collection. By mid March, 65 interviews have been conducted; another 40 dates for further interviews have been fixed. The number of 175 interviews will be completed by mid April, which is in line with the work plan.

WP 5 “Data analysis and interpretation is the WP where quantitative and qualitative data will be analyzed by means of the appropriate statistical procedure (crosstabs, comparison of means, correlations,...).
- The information of the stakeholder interviews is being processed and the results will be shown in the second and final reporting period.

WP 7 “Dissemination” is active for the entire duration of the project.
- Background material has been prepared such as photos and explanation sheets for the general public survey and for the stakeholder questionnaire.
- Two public presentations of the project have been made so far, in EHEC2014 and in the FCH-JU PRD2015. Another one is confirmed, in WHEC2016. Negotiations with some national technological platforms and associations are being carried out to organize the workshops.
- A Dissemination Plan has been developed.

Potential Impact:
The expected results of the HYACINTH project are:
- A study with the actual social awareness and acceptance of FCH technologies and the key factors that influence them.
- A tool to benchmark an application, service or infrastructure.

The study will help to mitigate the barriers and to foster the perceived advantages of FCH technology. Social awareness and public acceptance a key issues to get a successful market introduction and development. The main goal is to help to establish a market, a new economy based in hydrogen applications, services and infrastructures, linked with renewable energy sources so a clean zero-emissions fuel is obtained, and is efficiently used with fuel cells in many applications: transport, domestic, industrial and portable applications.

At a European level, little experiences have been carried out. And to establish a global market of these technologies, and a study comparing different countries, would help to establish more accurate measures and policies at an European level. This is important as the main programmes and initiatives for FCH technologies are taken in Europe, not in each country with the exception nowadays of Germany. Possibly, each country should apply their own initiatives, but to push Europe forward, a global European view of these issues is needed.

And although these study could bring a photo of the situation nowadays, which should be helpful to develop a market for these technologies and their advantages, it is important to bear in mind that, public awareness and social acceptance change over time, so a continuous review of these issues becomes necessary.

To help the stakeholders to mitigate possible barriers and to foster the advantages of a specific application, service or infrastructure, a toolbox will be developed. Based on the results of the study, this will be software that will compare the factors that influence public awareness to the best case of other technologies. It would help to bring a new product or service into the market focused on general public and also it would help decision makers to apply specific measures or to decide how to develop the market regulation.

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