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ECN publication
Support of future lighthouse projects and beyond: managing the transition to hydrogen for transport
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 18-6-2007
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--07-042 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 3rd European Hydrogen Energy Conference, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 18-22 juni 2007.

Large scale demonstration projects ‘Lighthouse projects’ are an important step towards commercialisation. However, costs for disruptive technologies such as hydrogen, are high in the first phase of market introduction. Therefore, policy support is needed to facilitate the introduction of hydrogen. But, how can the government support and stimulate (early) market introduction and use of hydrogen in the transportation sector? What kind of policy instruments are needed in what phase of the introduction trajectory? And what are the current instruments in the EU and US? Can these affect the introduction of hydrogen in transport? Generally, the hydrogen chain can be stimulated by providing an investment subsidy, production subsidy, tax exemptions and a (production or sales) obligation. Technology specific configurations of these support mechanisms for the diverse technologies in the hydrogen chain have to be taken into account. Besides that the support measures have to act upon each other for every technology development stage. A comparison of the EU and US policies shows differences in the approach of bringing the hydrogen vehicles to the market. The amount of support differs. The US funds RD&D 50% and stimulates the market by obligating sales (ZEV obligation) and procurement, while the EU funds R&D 50%, demonstration 35% and is now looking into large scale demonstration projects, after which the commercial market introduction of hydrogen vehicles is envisaged.

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