Brussels, 13 Jun 2003
Research carried out by the environmental group WWF and Fuel Cell Europe (FCEu) has shown that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from European fossil fuel power generation could be halved if fuel cells were used to supply electricity and heat. The two groups are now calling on the European Commission to remove regulatory and institutional barriers to the commercial introduction of fuel cells.
'The attractiveness of fuel cells lies in their high efficiency and in the potential to use them for decentralised power,' said Oliver Rapf, WWF climate and business policy officer. 'Governments as well as the power industry need to push this technology in order to make a crucial cut in greenhouse gas emissions.'
The research outlined in the report was the first independent analysis of the environmental benefits of fuel cell technology.
In addition to the reduction in CO2 emissions, fuel cells offer extremely low or zero emissions of health damaging pollutants and a sustainable energy future. The report also suggests that the placing of micro fuel cell systems in buildings in order to supply heat and power would constitute a mid-term mass market business opportunity for European industry.
'[I]ndustry requires a clear strategy with explicit goals and a consistent policy framework from government. Without this, the massive investments required to commercialise fuel cell technology will not be made. This could mean that Europe would not participate fully in a dynamic new industry with consequent loss of jobs and competitiveness, as well as delayed environmental benefits,' said Marcus Nurdin, Executive Director of FCEu. To see the full report, please visit: http://www.panda.org/epo