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ECN publication
Entering the next phase towards commercialization of hydrogen vehicles - role and interest of various stakeholders
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 21-5-2008
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--08-033 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
6 Download PDF  

Presented at: EET 2008 Ele Drive Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 11-13 maart 2008.

The preparation of large-scale demonstration projects for hydrogen fuel cells is underway. This is a necessary first step along the technological development trajectory in order to further test the technology and infrastructure in real-life environment for its feasibility. Yet, several challenges remain concerning the design of the demonstration projects and their location. Currently, there is a mismatch between the hydrogen vehicle supply and demand. On top of that, financing the deployment stages beyond the first large scale demonstration projects imposes major challenges. The Joint Technology Initiative for hydrogen and fuel cells (JTI), a public-private partnership between the European Commission and industry partners which is currently under preparation, is expected to play a key role as support instrument for the first large scale demonstration projects and is the first major step towards addressing the policy gap for the deployment of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at pan-European level. Other hydrogen specific support instruments have to be implemented already in the phase alongside the JTI. The JTI alone, which basically focuses on the first large scale demonstration projects will not be able to guide the technology through the next phases of the innovation trajectory, which runs from demonstration to the (early) commercialisation phase. Despite the existence of the FCH JTI though, it is not expected that the transition from the demonstration phase to commercialisation will happen very smoothly if dedicated policy support schemes are not implemented at both national and regional level. Deployment may seriously be hampered if the right support measures are not in place at the right time. Given the long lead-time needed to design and implement policy support schemes this trajectory has to be initiated way before market barriers actually do become visible. This may only happen if commitment is high and interests are aligned. In practice, diverging views from the stakeholders involved in the process of establishing the demonstration projects are likely to exist.

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