Supporting European growth and competitiveness
Fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) could bring significant environmental benefits across the energy system if deployed widely: low carbon and highly efficient energy conversions with zero air quality emissions. The socio-economic benefits to Europe could also be substantial, through employment in development, manufacturing, installation and service sectors, and through technology export. Major corporations are stressing the economic and environmental value of FCH technologies, and the importance of including them in both transport and stationary energy systems globally, while national governments and independent agencies are supporting their role in the energy systems transition.
Recognising the potential economic and industrial benefits from a strong FCH supply chain in Europe, and the opportunities for initiatives to support new energy supply chains, the FCH 2 JU commissioned a study to evaluate for the first time the value added that the fuel cell and hydrogen sector can bring to Europe by 2030.
The outputs of the study are divided into three reports:
• A ‘Summary’ report that provides a synthetic overview of the study conclusions;
• a ‘Findings’ report that presents the approach and findings of the study;
• and an ‘Evidence’ report that provides the detailed background information and analysis that supports the findings and recommendations.
Multiple indicators suggest that the FCH sector is starting to grow, and poised to grow fast. In fact, this growth must be relatively rapid to create both the size of industry and the mature supply chains required for it to be self-sustaining. The supply chain is currently global and likely to remain so, and Europe occupies a strong position within it. The study has concluded and provided evidences showing that the FCH sector offers Europe a chance to benefit economically and environmentally from an emerging industry and strengthen its position in clean technologies generally.
The Value Chain study complements the Hydrogen Roadmap for Europe, recently published by the FCH 2 JU. This lays out a pathway for the large-scale deployment of hydrogen and fuel cells to 2050 in order to achieve a 2-degree climate scenario. This study also quantified socio-economic and environmental benefits, but with important differences in scope between the two studies. The Hydrogen Roadmap for Europe looked at the wider picture, quantifying the scale of FCH roll-out needed to meet the 2-degree scenario objectives. It assessed the socio-economic impacts of a sector of that scale, looking top-down at the entire FCH value chain. The Value Chain study presented here is a narrower and more detailed bottom-up assessment of the value-added in manufacturing activities and the immediate ecosystem of suppliers that this is likely to create.
Among other aspects, the study assessed the following socio-economic indicators by application, covering the FCH-specific elements of applications:
A summary for 2030, for all the deployment and industry scenarios explored in the study , is shown in the Figure below:
Figure: Sector-level socio-economic indicators