61st Executive Committee Meeting – Zoom conference
Following the success of the digital ExCo meeting in June, the 61st ExCo of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP) was again organized as web conference, during November 11-12 2020. Initially, it was planned to be held in Zagreb, Croatia. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Croatian ExCo delegate invited the ExCo members to a digital tour through Zagreb and Croatia in which the landmarks and sites, as well as the culture, was presented.
28 participants were present during this meeting, including 25 ExCo members from Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US.
National update: Germany
Presented by Remzi Can Samsun, Research Center Juelich, Germany
The share of renewable energy reached 42.1% in gross electricity consumption and 17.1% in final energy consumption at the end of 2019 in Germany. Meanwhile, emissions of greenhouse gases were reduced from 1,251 million tCO2eq in 1990 to 805 million tCO2eq in 2019 . In all of the three categories mentioned above, the 2020 targets were either already achieved or are in sight.
Massive and rapid efforts are required to achieve the set targets by 2050. In June 2020, The Federal Government published the National Hydrogen Strategy assigning a key role to green hydrogen in terms of enhancing and completing the energy transition:
1) As an energy source to be used in fuel cells or to produce synthetic fuels;
2) As an energy storage medium to store renewable energy;
3) Playing a key role for sector coupling to decarbonize the energy supply;
4) As a base substance to decarbonize industrial production;
5) To eliminate process-related emissions in the long term.
The National Hydrogen Strategy sets a number of goals and ambitions. It is estimated that 90 to 110 kWh hydrogen will be needed by the year 2030. Part of this demand can be covered by establishing up to 5 GW generation capacity, delivering 14 TWh hydrogen using 20TWh renewable electricity, assuming 70% electrolysis efficiency and 4000 full-load hours. Additional 5 GW capacity is to be added by the year 2035, latest 2040. With these numbers, it is clear that the domestic green hydrogen production can not meet the demand and most of the hydrogen needs to be imported.
The National Strategy also defines a two-phase action plan. The first phase until 2023 aims to start the market ramp-up and the second phase until 2030 aims to strengthen the market ramp-up by stabilizing the newly emerging national market, moulding the European and the international dimension of hydrogen and using hydrogen in the national industry. The “package for future” from June 3, 2020, adopted by the Coalition made additional 7 billion Euros for speeding the market rollout of hydrogen in Germany and 2 billion Euros for fostering international partnerships. It must be noted here, that these funds come on top of the already existing funds. Finally, the National Hydrogen Strategy includes 38 measures for the first phase until 2023. These can be classified under hydrogen production (4 measures), fields of application (15 measures), infrastructure and supply (3 measures), research, education and innovation (7 measures), European activities (4 measures) and international hydrogen market (5 measures).
Further fuel cell highlights from the presentation included:
- Cost-efficient and climate-friendly transformation strategies for the German Energy System up to 2050 (Forschungszentrum Jülich),
- Coupling concentrated solar energy with high temperature electrolyzer (DLR),
- 10 m² Photovoltaics / Electrolysis cell demonstrator on the test field (Forschungszentrum Jülich),
- PEFC research highlights including extending the range of PEFCs towards 130 °C, modified Pt catalysts for and operando XAS study of HT-PEFCs (University of Bayreuth),
- Generating digital twins by stochastic 3D microstructure modeling (Ulm University and Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin),
- Post-test analysis from long term SOFC stack testing up to 100,000 h (Forschungszentrum Jülich),
- 86 public hydrogen refueling stations as of November 2020, with additional 4 in planning, 6 in approval phase, 1 in execution phase and 9 in trial operation phase  (H2 Mobility),
- Fuel cell propulsion system for railcars (vka of RWTH Aachen University with project partners),
- Recent announcements from automotive industry concerning hydrogen-based fuel cell trucks for long-haul (Daimler and MAN), , 
- New material types for moulding final designs of bipolar plates for electrolysers and fuel cells (Eisenhuth),
- Gas diffusion layers (sgl carbon),
- Production technology for metal bipolar plates, scaling from prototyping up to the series (Graebener).
 German Environment Agency,  BMWi, The National Hydrogen Strategy  H2 Mobility,  Daimler Truck AG,  MAN Newsroom
National update: France
Presented by Thierry Priem, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
On September 3, the French Government presented a €100 billion recovery plan to support economic activity and job creation. The recovery plan is designed to sustain the growth potential of the French economy. It will support French companies and industries’ competitiveness and invest in technologies to maintain France among the most competitive and innovative countries. It will also pave the way for the French economy of 2030, which will be greener given the emergency to speed up the ecological transition.
The €100 billion recovery plan relies on three pillars: green transition, competitiveness and social and territorial cohesion.
Green transition: €30 billion will be allocated to the green transition, for investments in energy performance renovations for buildings, in “green” infrastructure and mobility, to reduce the carbon-intensity of manufacturing processes, and in the development of new green technologies (hydrogen and fuel cells, biofuels, recycling). The objective is to accelerate the green transition of the French economy so that it becomes more sustainable and more respectful of our natural resources while achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
National update: China
Presented by Yali Zheng, Society of Automotive Engineers, China
On November 2, 2020, the State Council issued the Development Plan of New Energy Automobile Industry (2021-2035) (Technology Roadmap 2.0):
The plan further confirmes the development direction of decarbonisation, information-based and intelligent of the global automotive technology. Also, it formulates six key objectives for the development of china´s automotive industry until 2035:
- “Carbon emissions of china´s automotive industry will reach its peak around 2028 and by 2035, the total carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 20 % compared with the peak
- New energy vehicles will gradually become mainstream products and the automotive industry will achieve electrification transformation
- China´s ICV core technology will be world-class and products will be applied on a large scale
- the level of independence of key core technologies will be significantly improved, and a collaborative, efficient, safe and controllable industrial chain will be formed
- the automotive intelligent mobility system will be established, and the deeply integrated ecology of automotive, transportation, energy, and cities will be formed;
- the technological innovation system will be mature, and China will have the ability to lead the world in original innovation”
Furthermore, the strategy states that by 2035, the share of new energy vehicles will exceed 50% and fuel cell electric vehicles will reach about 1 million units. Also, energy-efficient vehicles will be fully hybridized and the automotive industry will be transformed into an electric industry.
Subtask Heavy-Duty Vehicles Application in Annex 34
The subject Heavy-Duty Vehicles Application (HDVA) has raised a lot of attention since the 57th ExCo meeting held in Linz, Austria. Heavy-duty vehicles only account for a very small percentage of the total vehicle stock but are responsible for more than 80% of the total vehicle Nox and PM emissions.
The objective of this subtask is to monitor the progress and analyze the potential contribution of fuel cells in heavy-duty transport, to promote commercialization and the further development of fuel cell applications in heavy-duty transport.
We are looking forward to welcome more and new keyplayers from our member countries and beyond to take part in the work of this subtask. For more information or if you are interested in joining the subtask please contact Mrs Yali Zheng (SAE China) directly.
Fuel cell news since June 2020
Business Finland published National Hydrogen Roadmap
A Team of VTT experts on hydrogen and fuel cells produced a report focusing on the outlook for low-carbon H2 production, H2 utilization for green chemicals and fuels, as well as storage, transport and end-use in the next 10 years in Finland.
The report gives not only an overview of the situation in Finland but also summarizes the hydrogen consumption and the regulatory framework for hydrogen in the EU.
The report is available here
German National Hydrogen Strategy adopted
On 10 June 2020, the National Hydrogen Strategy for Germany was approved. The adoption of the final draft paves the way for 38 domestic measures which will also ensure that Germany plays a pioneering role in the development and export of hydrogen technologies internationally.
The measures set out in the Strategy are designed to reduce the costs of developing and using hydrogen technologies so that global markets for hydrogen can be created. Can Samsun presented the key points in his country update of Germany
- Joint press release: Securing a global leadership role on hydrogen technologies: Federal Government adopts National Hydrogen Strategy and adopts National Hydrogen Council
- Brochure by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: The National Hydrogen Strategy
- Article by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: Regulatory sandboxes as experimental areas for new energy technologies
- Article by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: How much are we hitting the gas?
Japan will decrease greenhouse gas to net-zero by 2050
At his policy speech on October, 28, the Japanese Prime Minister stated to realize a green society and that by 2050, Japan will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero:
My administration will devote itself to the greatest possible extent to bring about a green society while focusing on a virtuous cycle of the economy and the environment as a pillar of our growth strategy.
We hereby declare that by 2050 Japan will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, that is, to realize a carbon-neutral, decarbonized society.
Addressing climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth. We need to adjust our mindset to a paradigm shift that proactive climate change measures bring transformation of industrial structures as well as our economy and society, leading to dynamic economic growth.
The key here is revolutionary innovations, such as next-generation solar cells and carbon recycling. We will accelerate research and development aimed at realizing utilization of such technologies in society. We will make our utmost efforts in this area, such as establishing a forum for the national and local governments to conduct a review towards realizing a decarbonized society, while making green investment more common through the full mobilization of regulatory reforms and other policy measures. Also, we will advance green transformation more efficiently and effectively through digital transformation in fields related to the environment. We will lead the green industry globally and realize a virtuous cycle of the economy and the environment.
We will establish a stable supply of energy by thoroughly conserving energy and introducing renewable energies to the greatest possible extent, as well as by advancing our nuclear energy policy with the highest priority on safety. We will also drastically change our longstanding policies on coal-fired power generation.
The policy speech is available here.
Spanish Hydrogen Roadmap approved
To achieve climate neutrality no later than 2050, the Spanish Government has approved the country’s Hydrogen Roadmap: a commitment to renewable hydrogen in October.
This Hydrogen Roadmap aims to identify the challenges and opportunities for the full development of renewable hydrogen in Spain, providing a series of measures aimed at boosting investment action, taking advantage of the European consensus on the role that this energy sector should play in the context of green recovery.
In particular, Vision 2030 foresees an installed capacity of 4 GW electrolysers and a series of milestones in the industrial, mobility and electricity sectors, for the period 2020-2030. However, as an intermediate milestone to reach the 4 GW target, it is estimated that by 2024 it would be possible to have an installed capacity of electrolysers of between 300 and 600 MW.
The Roadmap will be updated every three years, based on the evaluation of progress towards the achievement of the Vision 2030 objectives, the degree of implementation of the measures and the quantification of their impact. Our Spanish ExCo delegate from Centro Nacional del Hidrógeno (CNH2) will keep informing us about the Roadmap in the future.
More information can be found here.
Join our work
We welcome new participants to our work at expert, company and country levels. Participants from our member countries (ieafuelcell.com/contact) may join the work of our Annexes, please contact the following people:
Annex 30: Electrolysis, Dr. Marcelo Carmo: email@example.com
Annex 31: Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells, Dr Di-Jia (DJ) Liu: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annex 32: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Dr Jari Kiviaho: email@example.com
Annex 33: Fuel Cells for Stationary Applications, Dr Viviana Cigolotti: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annex 34: Fuel Cells for Transportation, Dr Rajesh Ahluwalia: email@example.com
Annex 35: Fuel Cells for Portable Applications, Dr Fabio Matera: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annex 36: Systems Analysis, Dr Can Samsun: email@example.com
Annex 37: Modelling of Fuel Cells Systems, Professor Dr Steven Beale: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are from a non-member country, please contact email@example.com who would be delighted to discuss membership with you, either on a country basis or on a sponsorship basis. Please visit www.ieafuelcell.com to see the benefits of joining our work.