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Newsletter14 July 202115 min read

FCH News Report


FCH News Report



Dear reader,

With summer vacation knocking at the door, I would like to thank you for continuing to join us in our clean hydrogen journey. As usual, the past couple of weeks have been packed again with events and news supporting the hydrogen sector.

Launched today, the “Fit for 55” legislative package will overhaul the EU’s climate policy architecture. It is the opportunity we have been waiting for to consolidate the foundations of a clean hydrogen economy and accelerate EU’s progress towards its target of a 55% net emissions' reduction by 2030.

Earlier in June we witnessed the launch of the Global Hydrogen Ports Coalition within the Clean Energy Ministerial - Hydrogen Initiative – a new global network established to bring forward the use of hydrogen at shipping ports, accelerating their clean energy transitions. During the same event, the Mission Innovation 2.0 was launched and the European Commission has taken again the lead of the Mission Hydrogen together with Australia, Chile, the UK and the US, and committed jointly to a 100 H₂ Valleys by 2030.

On 2 July we were all watching with excitement the launch of REFHYNE – Europe’s largest electrolyser set to multiply capacity tenfold by 2024. Alongside research into innovative renewable energy storage solutions, the FCH JU is keeping Europe into pole position in electrolyser technologies.

In addition and to ensure Europe keeps pushing the technology beyond current performance and costs, the FCH JU hosted recently a technical webinar – showcasing the most recent improvements reported by our projects working on the development of Anion Exchange Membrane Electrolysers (AEMEL) prototypes. Thank you for tuning in! We have made all presentations available on our website.

Enjoy the read. Stay safe and enjoy the summer break!

Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU Executive Director


FCH JU Programme and Projects Updates



Hydrogen paves the way for decarbonising the European economy

fch, 14.07.2021


Today, on 14 July 2021, the European Commission unveiled a massive legislative package on climate and energy proposals to put the European Green Deal into action (...)

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Report on Hydrogen Valleys shows development of hydrogen economies around the world

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 02.06.2021 [fr] [de]

provides insights into the emerging hydrogen economies around the world. The findings are based on data gathered through the

a global information sharing platform set up by the FCH JU under the Innovation Challenge 8 'Renewable and Clean Hydrogen' of Mission Innovation and funded by the European Commission.

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‘Hydrogen valley’ projects sprout up across Europe

Euractiv (English), 18.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Projects to create a full hydrogen value chain combining production, infrastructure and use all in one region are sprouting up across Europe, but more needs to be done to accelerate their development, according to supporters. and a further two in the UK, many of which are located around ports,....

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How Europe can stay at the heart of the hydrogen economy

Science Business, 29.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Having established hydrogen valleys across the continent, Europe is at the forefront of the development of integrated hydrogen technologies and supply chains. Globally, other countries have followed suit, with new projects coming on stream on a regular basis. Furthermore, many more mature projects continue to expand in size and complexity.

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Innovative electrolyser technologies for Europe’s green economy

H2View, 14.06.2021 [fr] [de]

The European Union (EU) is committed to achieving a more sustainable economy and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. If these ambitious goals are to be reached, clean and green hydrogen technologies and applications will have a key role to play. Much work is ongoing to lay the groundwork for a hydrogen-powered future.

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Clean Hydrogen Mission launched to support the hydrogen economy

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 03.06.2021 [fr] [de]

A new global coalition to support the clean hydrogen economy was launched on 2 June, on the occasion of the 6th Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting in Chile. The members of the coalition are the European Commission and Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, India, Italy, Morocco,....

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Review Anion Exchange Membrane Electrolysers Webinar

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 09.07.2021 [fr] [de]

Tuesday, 6 July - the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) hosted the webinar on Anion Exchange Membrane Electrolysers (AEMEL) . This online technical conference focused on the most recent improvements reported by the FCH JU-funded projects working on the development of AEMEL....

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GrInHy2.0: EU Funding Body Visits the World’s Largest High-Temperature Electrolyser of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH

sunfire, 14.07.2021

On June 14, 2021, Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the EU funding body “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking” (FCH JU), visited the Salzgitter Flachstahl iron- and steelworks to learn more about the GrInHy2.0 electrolyzer installation on-site and to get informed about the project status.

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Hydrogen-powered aviation: preparing for take-off

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 02.07.2021 [fr] [de]

Experts from the European aeronautic and hydrogen research communities came together on 6 May to share their views on future research and innovation cooperation, at a workshop organised by the Clean Sky and FCH Joint Undertakings. The participants discussed the preparation of a European....

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REFHYNE: Inauguration of Europe’s largest PEM electrolysis plant in REFHYNE project

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 02.07.2021 [fr] [de]

Wesseling, Germany – Europe’s largest Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolyser today began operations at Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park in Rhineland near Cologne, producing green hydrogen. As part of the REFHYNE European consortium and with EU funding through the Fuel Cells and....

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H2FUTURE: 500 Tons of Green Hydrogen produced

User Defined, 14.07.2021

The H2FUTURE electrolyzer has been running since November 2019 and has now produced over 500 tonnes of green hydrogen during the test scenarios and in quasi-commercial operation.

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FLAGSHIPS: ‘World’s first’ hydrogen-operated, commercial cargo transport vessel

springwise, 03.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Spotted: Back in 2018, the Flagships project began a project that would see two hydrogen vessels deployed in France and Norway, after they won €5 million from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).

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GREEN HYSLAND - Deployment of a Hydrogen ecosystem in Mallorca

User Defined, 16.06.2021

(...)The initiative is currently developing all the infrastructures needed to produce and consume on the island of at least 330 tonnes per year of green hydrogen from newly built photovoltaic plants.

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THyGA: 2nd newsletter published

ThyGA, 11.06.2021

One of the successes of THyGA is based on its capacity to communicate and disseminate about the acquired knowledge and potential exploitation of the results now and in the years to come. (...) As detailed in this newsletter, Work Package 2 published 3 additional reports on the specificities of the different segments of appliances available in Eu-rope, their main characteristics and expected beha-viour when provided with H2NG admixture.

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REVIVE: "The hydrogen truck makes it better for everyone!"

h2revive, 11.06.2021

Who? Driver Nathalie Leenders. What: A first! – The first hydrogen truck for Suez (now ‘PreZero Nederland‘) and its partner Blink, and the first female driver in Europe that drives it. Why? It’s quieter and better for the environment. Where? Helmond and surrounding municipalities.

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The project SH2E will lay the scientific bases to assess sustainable hydrogen systems (El proyecto SH2E sentará las bases científicas para evaluar sistemas de hidrógeno sostenibles)

smartgridsinfo, 01.07.2021 [fr] [de]

Faced with the prospect that the hydrogen plays a key role in the energy transition, the sector needs methods to assess the life cycle of hydrogen systems.

Original text:

Ante la perspectiva de que el hidrógeno desempeñe un papel fundamental en la transición energética, el sector necesita métodos que permitan evaluar el ciclo de vida de los sistemas de hidrógeno.

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Pillars of Progress: Power – A gamechanger in Europe’s renewable lead

H2View, 05.07.2021 [fr] [de]

Electrolysers generate renewable hydrogen through a process whereby renewable electricity splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, to the benefit of the environment and fighting climate change through the indirect electrification of hard to abate sectors.

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Pillars of Progress: Mobility – Hydrogen technology for cleaner skies from 2035

H2View, 21.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft could come into service in just 15 years. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) has started the ball rolling with three research projects that will help reach this milestone. Modern aircraft, powered by polluting kerosene, emit more than 900....

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Pillars of Progress: Power – Hydrogen and renewables: A model for decarbonisation

H2View, 31.05.2021 [fr] [de]

Scotland’s Orkney Islands are a test case for a low-carbon future. A Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) project is converting excess electricity from renewables in the remote archipelago into clean hydrogen to power vehicles, buildings and ships, demonstrating a realistic alternative....

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PRETZEL – Game-changing high pressure PEM electrolyser

fch, 01.07.2021

The European Union is committed to achieving a more sustainable economy and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. If these ambitious goals are to be reached, clean and green hydrogen technologies – such as electrolysers, will play a key role in achieving a carbon-free future. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis is the favoured technology to implement renewable energy as a cross-sectional connection between the energy sector, industry and mobility.

Many applications however, such as Hydrogen Refuelling Stations, require highly pressurised hydrogen, which in turn demands large amounts of energy for its compression. Project PRETZEL (Novel modular stack design for high PREssure PEM water elecTrolyZer tEchnoLogy with wide operation change and reduced cost)is attempting to resolve this issue by producing hydrogen in pressurised form at 100 bar thereby improving the efficiency of the overall process integration.

PRETZEL was launched in 2018 to develop an innovative polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyser (PEMEL) that provides significant improvements in efficiency and operability hydrogen pressure, to further reach the emerging market requirements.

Reaching its final stages, the project has reported encouraging achievements:

  • Developed a 25kW PEM electrolyser system based on a hydraulic cell concept capable of reaching an unprecedented cell efficiency of 77%
  • The patented innovative cell concept reached 100 bar pressure, allowing operations up to 6A cm^(-2) at 90°C
  • Increased the durability of the cell components. The hydraulic medium compressing everywhere with constant force is additionally cooling the cell from outside, thus preventing the overheating of cell elements
  • Reduced the capital cost of stack components by using low-cost coatings

Apart the impressive results, PRETZEL project will have managed to consolidate R&D cooperation relations among consortium partners from different EU states: Germany, France, Spain, Greece and Romania.

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Fact of the Month



Next generation of electrolysers

fch, 09.07.2021


The FCH JU, together with the European Commission and the European Industry and Research communities, are supporting the development of the next generation of electrolysers. The main beneficiaries of the ongoing research on new materials, components and systems are the electrolyser OEMs, contributing to the market leadership that the EU is currently enjoying at global level.

The FCH JU’s portfolio currently counts numerous projects that will develop and validate a prototype game changer electrolyser with the potential to surpass the KPIs in terms of cost, efficiency, lifetime and operability. The development of game changing electrolysis will focus on:

  • High pressure operation: Hydrogen delivery at 100 bar – thus allowing hydrogen injection in the Natural Gas transmission network without additional compression
  • Increased energy density: going from the state of the art 2-3 A/cm2 to 4 (nominal) and 6-8 (high) A/cm2
  • Reduced critical raw material, development of new materials and components capable to perform at the higher pressures and temperatures (up to 140oC); Membrane Electrode Assemblies with new catalysts and membranes, manufactured within NEPTUNE and PRETZEL projects, have been assembled in 25kW stacks and are about to go into 2,000-4,000 hours tests of the complete electrolyser system

Reference projects: NEPTUNE, PRETZEL

Similar to the PEM electrolyser projects, the FCH JU is supporting the development of Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) electrolysers - a type of system able to combine the advantages of both PEM and alkaline electrolysers. Projects ANIONE, CHANNEL and NEWELY are aiming to develop materials and components for testing in 2kW stacks.

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Industry and Policy Headlines



How the EU Clean Hydrogen projects can strenghten the European industry

European Commission, 17.06.2021 [fr] [de]


Speech pronounced at the occasion of the Hydrogen Alliance Forum on the 17th of June, 2021. We are at a turning point for hydrogen. Just look at the impressive pipeline of projects gathered this spring under the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance: more than one thousand projects! It is almost....

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National stakeholders dialogues - energy for the European Green Deal

European Commission, 31.05.2021 [fr] [de]

The Directorate-General for Energy is organising, together with the EC Representations in EU countries, a series of on-line stakeholder dialogues to discuss around the European Green Deal , and more specifically on how energy policy can contribute to achieving a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 .

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Renewable hydrogen: long-distance supply can be competitive

European Commission, 11.06.2021 [fr] [de]

The Commission’s Joint Research Centre published today a policy brief showing that delivery of large amounts of renewable hydrogen over long distances could be cost-effective. This finding is important because access to sufficient amounts of renewable hydrogen at low cost is essential for achieving a climate neutral Europe by 2050.

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Time to make energy poverty in Africa a thing of the past

Al Jazeera English, 17.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Across the globe, nearly 800 million people live without any access to electricity – about 600 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In a world of deepening inequalities between the haves and have-nots, this is a glaring injustice. With cheap renewables and green investments following the pandemic,....

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Review webinar Avoiding errors in declaring personnel costs in Horizon 2020 grants

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 02.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Wednesday, 28 April, the European Commission hosted a webinar for H2020 beneficiaries. The objective was to inform and provide clear guidelines on how to avoid errors in declaring personnel costs in Horizon 2020 grants. Avoiding financial errors in financial statements is crucial.

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Position paper – Heavy‐duty vehicles: Charging and refuelling infrastructure requirements

ACEA, 17.06.2021

(...)a target of around 300 truck‐suitable hydrogen refuelling stations by 2025, and at least 1,000 no later than 2030 should be set. Moreover, one hydrogen refuelling site should be available every 200 km on the TEN‐T core network by 2030. A hydrogen refuelling station for trucks should have a minimum daily capacity of at least six tonnes of H2 with at least two dispensers per stations.

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How hydrogen can help decarbonise the maritime sector

Hydrogen, 10.06.2021 [fr] [de]

Hydrogen, hydrogen-based fuels (such as ammonia) and hydrogen technologies offer tremendous potential for the maritime sector and, if properly harnessed, can significantly contribute to the decarbonisation and also mitigate the air pollution of the worldwide fleet.

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To Meet 2030 Decarbonization Targets, European Trucking Needs More Public-Private Cooperation

Forbes, 10.06.2021 [fr] [de]

To address this problem, Europe is looking at three possible technologies — hydrogen, electrified roadways, and a new high-speed charging capability for larger batteries. Very little of the necessary infrastructure has been built for any of the three, and all will require substantial capital investment to get off the ground.

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First Fronius Solhub Being Implemented

fronius, 13.07.2021

Austrian energy solutions expert Fronius is installing the first H2 customer system in Austria. The Fronius Solhub is a system solution for the local production, storage, and use of green hydrogen (...)

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Le Paris de l’Hydrogène event displays that hydrogen is capable now following illumination of La Tour Eiffel

H2View, 17.06.2021 [fr] [de]

The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France was last month illuminated using hydrogen for the first time ever as part of a powerful image to showcase the capabilities of renewable hydrogen power. However, the spectacle was part of a larger project. “It was a strong signal to light up the Eiffel Tower....

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Ulster University runs two distance learning modules on Hydrogen Safety

Ulster University, 15.06.2021

Ulster University runs two distance learning modules: “Principles of Hydrogen Safety” (semester 1 of Academic Year 2021-2022) and “Hydrogen safety technologies” (semester 2 of AY 2020-2021).

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Upcoming Events



2nd International Hydrogen Aviation Conference (IHAC 2021)

fch, 12.07.2021


Thursday, September 2, 2021

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f-cell 2021 Energizing Hydrogen Business

fch, 12.07.2021

September 14-15, 2021

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Edinburgh to host International Conference on Hydrogen Safety

fch, 12.07.2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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The 4th International Workshop On Degradation Issues of Fuel Cells and Electrolysers

fch, 12.07.2021

Thursday, September 30, 2021

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19th European Week of Regions and Cities

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 13.07.2021 [fr] [de]

11 - 14 October 2021 | FCH JU Participation

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EU Sustainable Energy Week 2021

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 13.07.2021 [fr] [de]

25-29 October 2021 | FCH JU Participation

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European Hydrogen Week 2021

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, 13.07.2021 [fr] [de]

29 November – 3 December 2021 | Organiser: FCH JU

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Publication date
14 July 2021