This blog is hosted on Ideas on EuropeIdeas on Europe Avatar

Latest

Fighting climate change with hydrogen technologies should be the main issue of the European elections

The people of the United Kingdom are lucky that they have a chance to vote in the Euopean parliamentary elections of 2019. If Theresa May and the Brexit wing of her party had had their way, then the United Kingdom would have left the EU on 29th March this year, excluding the British people from the opportunity to participate in European democracy. However the debate during the European election campaign must go beyond whether the UK leaves or stays in the EU, because the threat of climate change is even more dangerous than Brexit.

British participation in the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) is essential if the United Kingdom wants to fight climate change and build a post carbon economic future for itself. If the UK leaves the EU, then it is difficult to see how the country could continue being involved with the FCHJU, which is a European partnership. The purpose of the FCHJU is to make clean energy a reality, improve air quality, and reduce CO2 emissions by implementing hydrogen technologies coupled to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, tidal, and wave power, while at the same time developing a new industry which will create employment.

The key to this new industry is “green hydrogen” produced by electrolysis using electricity from renewable sorces. Today modern PEM electrolysers allow electricity to be stored as hydrogen, so the energy source can be used when the supply from renewables does not meet demand. Research projects funded by the FCHJU have allowed electrolysers to become more powerful and efficient. According to a brochure produced by the FCHJU: “The second strand relates to FCHJU projects that have demonstrated the increasing power of electrolysers. This has risen from 100 KW, with project Don Quichote in 2011, to 6MW in the 2016 H2Future project.”

We are living through a hydrogen technology revolution, which is going to make diesel and petrol burning internal combustion engines obsolete, as more and more cars are built in the form of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). If the United Kingdom is not a partner in the process, it will be left behind. When a Japanese car manufacturer is looking for a location to build FCEVs for the European market, it will choose a country involved in the FCHJU, because the FCHJU is a collaborative partnership of the European Commission, industry, and research, which is developing hydrogen transport and refuelling infrastructure.

The United Kingdom’s involvement with the FCHJU is essential in order for the country to meet its net-zero-emissions targets by 2050. Several important projects in the UK have already benefitted from FCHJU finding such as the BIG HIT project on Orkney. BIG HIT works in partnership with the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd (EMEC) in Orkney. The Orkney Islands are already self sufficient in electricity produced by tidal and wave power. BIG HIT follows on from the Orkney Surf n’ Turf initiative, producing hydrogen from wind and tidal energy using a 1MW capacity electrolyser on Shapinsay and a 0.5MW electrolyser on Eday. The hydrogen is then stored as a high pressure gas in tube-trailers which are transported by ferry to Kirkwell, where the gas is used to heat and power buildings and as fuel for a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles used by Orkney Islands Council.

Only political parties that are committed to the UK remaining within the EU could make a positive contribution to politicies that will help Europe fight climate change. The policy of the Eurpean Parliament should be to phase out all fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas across Europe before 2050. This can only be achieved if new green industies are created in the former coal and steel industrial regions of Europe to create employment and save the environment. The first policy of the newly elected European Parliament should be to ban shale gas fracking in Europe, and allow the green hydrogen industry to grow as part of the energy transition process.

Sources

https://www.fch.europa.eu/publications/fch-ju-success-stories

http://www.emec.org.uk/research/hydrogen-projects/

https://www.bighit.eu/about“>

https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-the-uks-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming/

https://h2revive.eu/

http://www.itm-power.com/

©Jolyon Gumbrell 2019

COMMENT

Recent Articles

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part II

Published on by | Comments Off on Illegal political funding across Europe. Part II

Russian support for right wing eurosceptic parties across Europe, whether it is UKIP in the United Kingdom, the FN in France, or the AfD in Germany, may one day be seen by historians as a arm of Putin’s foreign policy which aimed to break up the European Union. Likewise Russian interference in the US Presidential […]

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part I

Published on by | Comments Off on Illegal political funding across Europe. Part I

The following report contains words and quotations that have been translated from German into English by Jolyon Gumbrell. Secret political donations have allowed external actors to interfere with elections and referendums in EU member states, which is damaging the democratic process across Europe. Often the source of a political donation can be traced to a […]

Make the European Election of 2019 the Peoples Vote

Published on by | Comments Off on Make the European Election of 2019 the Peoples Vote

An opinion by Jolyon Gumbrell Elections for the European Parliament will take place from the 23rd to 26th May 2019. If the UK leaves the European Union on 29th March 2019 – then the British electorate will not have the chance to vote in the European elections of that year or ever again, and therefore […]

Deconstructing the Brexit fraud

Published on by | Comments Off on Deconstructing the Brexit fraud

The argument should not be about whether there should be a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit, because Brexit is a fraud and the loss of EU membership for the United Kingdom will mean not only that the country is disconnected from Europe, but also the rest of the world. Likewise it will mean loss […]

MEPs serving their constituents

Published on by | Comments Off on MEPs serving their constituents

Two MEPs: Julie Girling and Richard Ashworth from the United Kingdom, have defected from the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) grouping to the European People’s Party (EPP) grouping in the European Parliament. The ECR grouping consists of right wing parties across Europe such as UKIP which want the EU to be broken up. Whereas the […]

Worse than the loss of trade

Published on by | Comments Off on Worse than the loss of trade

At the moment there is a cherry picking debate going on in British politics, about which parts of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU should be kept after Brexit. Theresa May is hoping for a transition period of around two years for the UK to remain in the EU’s customs union and single market […]

Barriers and tariffs on British exports after Brexit

Published on by | Comments Off on Barriers and tariffs on British exports after Brexit

Many Brexiteers still do not understand the difference between “after the referendum” and “after Brexit”. If there was an increase in British exports as a result of the value of the pound falling following the EU referendum in June 2016, then people need to remember that the UK’s economy at that time was still acting […]

Prosperity versus pollution in Germany

Published on by | Comments Off on Prosperity versus pollution in Germany

The energy transition known as the “Energiewende” in Germany is key to Europe’s economic success in the future. It is not just about putting up wind farms and solar panels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: it is also about using energy storage to create smart energy and transport systems, that will no longer […]

Climate change and war

Published on by | Comments Off on Climate change and war

An art exhibition in Germany illustrated the tragic price of the migration crisis that is now effecting Europe. The theme of an art installation called Lampedusa 361 was about refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean, while trying to make the sea crossing from Africa to Europe. The installation which has been exhibited in Dresden […]

UACES and Ideas on Europe do not take responsibility for opinions expressed in articles on blogs hosted on Ideas on Europe. All opinions are those of the contributing authors.