€2 billion ‘Clean Hydrogen Partnership’ signals move away from hydrogen cars

(EurActiv, 2 Dec 2021) Fuel-cell cars and trucks once looked to be the future of green mobility, but with electric cars now set to dominate the market, the EU’s hydrogen joint undertaking was rebranded this week to signal a shift in priority towards the production of low-cost green hydrogen from electrolysis.

Rather than transport, the focus of the EU’s hydrogen strategy today lies on heavy industries like steelmaking and chemicals, which cannot fully electrify and need liquid and gaseous fuels as feedstock or for high-temperature heat.

This change in priority is reflected in the third iteration of the European Commission’s hydrogen joint undertaking, launched on Monday (29 November). Formerly called the “Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking” (FCH JU), it has now been renamed the “Clean Hydrogen Partnership”.

“This new partnership builds on years of cooperation promoted by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as she unveiled the new partnership on Monday.

Gniewomir Flis, hydrogen expert at German think-tank Agora Energiewende, says “the change of name reflects the shifting of priorities away from mobility towards the less controversial no regret applications”.

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EurActiv, 2 Dec 2021: €2 billion ‘Clean Hydrogen Partnership’ signals move away from hydrogen cars