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The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Undertaking (FCH JU) are working to facilitate the market introduction of FCH technologies in Europe and realise their potential in a carbon-clean energy system. They do this by implementing research and innovation (R&I) programmes in order to develop a portfolio of clean, efficient solutions that exploit the properties of hydrogen as an energy carrier and fuel cells as energy converters, to the point of market readiness.



According to their website, the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-clean energy system.

Fuel cells, as an efficient conversion technology, and hydrogen, as a clean energy carrier, have a great potential to help fight carbon dioxide emissions, to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons and to contribute to economic growth. The objective of the FCH JU is to bring these benefits to Europeans through a concentrated effort from all sectors.

The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by Hydrogen Europe Research.

FCH JU Story

The story of FCH JU begins with the High Level Group on Hydrogen, when Romano Prodi and former European Commissioners Loyola de Palacio and Philippe Busquin laid the grounds for the creation of FCH JU. The High Level Group was an informal body with an advisory role. It involved 19 hydrogen-power stakeholders and included representatives of the research community, industry, public authorities and end-users. Together, they outlined the steps needed to enable a sustainable hydrogen-oriented economy.

FCH JU under the Framework Programme for Research (FP7)


The FCH JU operated its next phase under the EU FP7 research programme (with a budget of €940 mil.) within the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (HFP) (2004-2007), as recommended by the High Level Group. The platform brought together, for the first time, the European Commission, industry and other stakeholders from across the fuel cell and hydrogen energy supply chain – all committed to putting hydrogen on the clean energy map.

In the context of a new Energy Policy and complemented by the Strategic Research Agenda (1.6 MB), the Deployment Strategy (3.3 MB) and the Implementation Plan - Status 2006 (3.3 MB), the HFP emphasised the key role hydrogen and fuel cells have in Europe’s shift towards new and clean energy technologies. Based on this shared vision, the Council Regulation established on 30 May 2008 the FCH JU, as a public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Commission, European industry and research organisations.

FCH JU under Horizon 2020

The Council of the European Union formally agreed on the 6th May 2014 to continue the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative and to extend funding under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. This phase will run until 2020 and has a total matched budget of at least €1.33 bill. provided by the public-private trio – the European Commission, the industry grouping Hydrogen Europe and the research grouping Hydrogen Europe Research.











Hydrogen as an energy carrier offers an important solution to decarbonise industrial processes and economic sectors where reducing carbon emissions is both urgent and hard to achieve.

Hydrogen may be produced through a variety of pathways, each one with its own range of emissions depending on the technology and energy source used. It is therefore indispensable to have a robust and reliable instrument in place to guarantee the environmental characteristics of the hydrogen product. 

Currently the EU is leading the way in hydrogen certification through an FCH JU project CertifHy that started back in 2014. The project succeeded at delivering a design for a Guarantees of Origin Scheme for Hydrogen and developed a roadmap for its establishment. The FCH2 JU continued to support this initiative for a second phase where the Guarantees of Origin Scheme was tested in a pilot operation, while tackling the complexities and challenges in the full chain from auditing the plants to verification of hydrogen production batches and handling GHG allocation issues. 

Now the FCH2 JU is ready to proceed with the third phase of this initiative, where it will support the harmonisation efforts in the establishment of Guarantees of Origin Schemes for Hydrogen across Member States. In an even more ambitious move, the FCH2 JU will try to facilitate the harmonization of hydrogen certification at an international level, ensuring that we have a common agreement worldwide on how to characterize renewable and low-carbon hydrogen products.











Sunfire has successfully delivered the world's most powerful High-Temperature Electrolyzer (HTE) for highly energy-efficient hydrogen production to Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH. Within the GrInHy2.0 project, Sunfire's HTE system with a rated electrical output of 720 kilowatts will be deployed in an industrial environment for the first time.





Avenue de la Toison d'Or 56-60, B-1060 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 221 81 48

Fax: +32 2 221 81 26
e-mail: fch-ju@fch.europa.eu





Hydrogen powered electric buses are becoming very popular. With exchange refuelling using high pressure gas cartridges, or liquid hydrogen cartridges, coaches and trucks might have unlimited ranges. We hope this is a topic of discussion at the forthcoming UN COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.



Airbus E-Fan electric small plane


JULY 2015 - Two electric aircraft crossed the English Channel, just a day apart. The performance of the Airbus E-Fan could be doubled using hydrogen batteries.



Electric hybrid, the Elizabeth Swann, solar and wind powered cross channel contender


CHANNEL HOPPER - Electric ferries and river boats like the proposal above, could supplement solar and wind power, with hydrogen batteries to boost performance and reduce transit times, with refuelling at each end of a journey - but also with renewable performance of around 10 knots in reserve. Many fleet operators are now looking to hydrogen as a long term solution. Hydrogen batteries could be stacked for such endeavour.












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