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Hydrogen Europe and the Waterborne Technology Platform sign MoU to drive hydrogen as marine fuel

Press Release: The European energy transition is underway and, with this in mind, the waterborne and hydrogen sectors are ready to cooperate in order to contribute together to ensure Europe’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.

The waterborne sector is a core strategic and economic sector for Europe. Maritime systems, equipment and technologies produced in Europe, and ships built in Europe are used for civilian as well as naval purposes. These products are, amongst others, key for the EU’s internal and external trade, for the EU’s mobility policy (i.e. combating road congestion) and also for Europe’s defence and security (e.g. protection of Europe’s coastlines, maritime regions, maritime jurisdiction and citizens).

Hydrogen is an energy carrier, a fuel and a raw material, which if produced adequately can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen energy independence and mitigate the challenges posed by variability and intermittency of renewable energy systems as it offers a clean, sustainable, and flexible option to convert renewable electricity into a chemical energy carrier for use in mobility, heat and industrial applications. As the “gaseous form of electricity”, it is an enabler for sectoral integration.

In line with the European Commission’s 2050 long term decarbonisation strategy, the waterborne sector is determined to reduce its environmental impact and is fully committed to transform itself into a zero-emission mode of transport by 2050 latest. In this transition process, hydrogen is a decarbonised energy carrier and a zero-emission fuel, making it a key enabler of a zero-emission European society.

In view of this, Hydrogen Europe and the Waterborne Technology Platform signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 13 May 2019. This MoU will help both parties to identify opportunities for hydrogen-related technologies in order to reduce the significant emissions of waterborne transport. Furthermore, the MoU will help them both to explore the contribution of the waterborne sector in scaling up the development of hydrogen technologies in ports and industrial zones, in synergy with other sectors (e.g. energy intensive industries) and other modes of transport.

In a first reaction, the Chairman of the Waterborne Technology Platform, Henk Prins, said “In its recently published Strategic Research Agenda, the Waterborne Technology Platform has identified zero-emission waterborne transport towards 2050 as one of its key missions. As a diversified sector – both in terms of ship size, ship types and ship distances – waterborne transport will be dependent on various types of energy as marine fuel to reach its goal to become a zero-emission mode of transport. Hydrogen has clearly the potential to become one of these energy types and I am therefore glad that Hydrogen Europe and the Waterborne Technology Platform have signed today’s MoU.”

With the scope of zero or very low emissions, the waterborne sector is naturally considering the option of fuel cells and hydrogen technology. ” added Valérie Bouillon-Delporte, President of Hydrogen Europe, “We are, therefore, delighted to sign this MoU with the Waterborne Technology Platform and further foster opportunities of hydrogen based fuels as part of zero-emission transport. We know that we have strong partners like Waterborne, to enable the energy transition and working with them is and will be crucial to achieve the European climate targets.”

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