Body for greener fuel alternatives launched

A new body to drive forward the development of fuel cell technology has been launched by the Department of Trade and Industry today.

The body – Fuel Cells UK – has been set up to help promote the fuel cell industry in the UK whilst also acting as a central contact point of contact for national and international companies and the research community.

Brian Wilson, Energy Minister, hailed fuel cell technologies as a major potential contributor towards the UK becoming a low carbon economy.

Mr Wilson said: "Fuel cell technology today stands at the crossroads. It is no longer a laboratory curiosity, and substantial public and private sector investment is beginning to drive the long promised commercialisation forward.

"The Energy White Paper committed us to cutting our carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050. Establishing a successful fuel cell sector is an essential part of this. Today sees an important step in this direction."

The forum will form a central hub for industry, academia, venture capitalists and government stakeholders in fuel cells to exchange and disseminate information, in a secure environment. It will also provide rapid notification of new developments in areas of fuel cell related news, research, business developments, and patents.

The DTI's International Technology Service offers the possibility for stakeholders to identify and engage overseas partners and keep abreast of developments overseas.

Representatives from the UK's growing fuel cell sector and the Canadian High Commissioner, Mel Cappe, also addressed today's launch.

Canada, along with the US, is at the forefront of developing the commercialisation of these new technologies.

Fuel Cells UK will be managed by Synnogy, which specialises in developing renewable energy, and will receive two years initial funding from the DTI.

It will be led by a steering group including representatives from leading UK fuel cell companies, government and academia.


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