In an open letter to the European Commission Vice President Sefcovic the ene.field project stressed the key contribution of innovative fuel cell micro-CHP energy solutions to realising the Energy Union vision and called for better recognising fuel cell benefits in the upcoming legislative proposals.

Fuel cell micro-CHP energy solutions harness the superior efficiency of the chemical conversion of fuel to simultaneously produce heat and electricity. This turns small energy consumers into active contributors to Europe’s energy transition, enabling them to save energy, reduce their carbon footprint and support the integration of variable renewable energy technologies.

The EU fuel cell industry and the research community have worked closely with policy makers at EU level and in some Member States so that fuel cell micro-CHPs have reached technological maturity. Fuel cell micro-CHPs are now moving from a research concept and into our homes. The ene.field and now PACE[1] projects are setting the foundation for the large scale uptake of these innovative products after 2020.

The ene.field consortium supports the European Energy and Climate Framework vision and insists that forthcoming EU legislation is designed to fully harness fuel cell micro-CHP benefits. Upcoming legislative proposals under the Energy Union Winter Package[2] should be conducive to stable and favourable policy frameworks at EU and national levels (notably with regard to market uptake funding) and address administrative and regulatory barriers. The European Union and the Member States should work jointly to create a favourable policy environment for fuel cell micro-CHP uptake, considering the sector’s contribution in terms of jobs and growth, security of supply and GHG emission reductions.

[1] Co-funded by the FCH JU and industry the PACE project was launched in June 2016 and aims to deploy over 2500 fuel cell micro-CHPs in several European countries in the next five years. Building up on ene.field project experience, PACE will help develop the market for the large scale uptake of fuel cell micro-CHP.

[2] By the end of 2016 the European Commission is expected to publish a package of legislative proposals under the Energy Union framework, to include the reviews of the Energy Efficiency Directive, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Market Design Initiative.