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Volcanic ash cloud: President Barroso launches European Commission action to address economic consequences  

European Commission President Barroso decided to set up an ad-hoc group to assess the impact of the situation created by the volcanic ash cloud on the air travel industry and the economy in general. The President wishes to ensure that the EU has the right analysis to be able to respond appropriately, if needed, and that any measures taken across the EU to respond to economic consequences of this situation are properly coordinated.

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Conference to debate to debate innovation for sustainable mobility in Europe  

The third edition of the European Road Transport Research Arena (TRA) will take place in Brussels from 7 to 10 June 2010. The main theme of TRA 2010 will be 'Sustaining Road Transport Mobility through innovation in Europe'. The aim of this four-day event is to provide stakeholders of transport research and development with a platform to debate innovation for sustainable mobility in Europe, leading to a greener, safer and smarter transport system. It has been jointly organised by the European Commission, the Conference of European Directors of Roads, and the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council.

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Background

Hydrogen and fuels cells for transport

Hydrogen is an energy carrier with great potential for clean, efficient power in stationary, portable and transport applications. It is envisaged as a significant element of the future fuel mix for transport, enhancing energy security, reducing oil dependency, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Hydrogen allows a wide diversification of energy sources. In combination with fuel cells, it can also improve energy efficiency in transport and contribute strongly to mitigating climate change – especially when produced by renewable primary energy sources. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies were identified amongst the new energy technologies needed to achieve a 60 % to 80 % reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050, in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan presented along with the Energy Policy Package in January 2008.

The potential for fuel cells and hydrogen to enhance energy security and mitigate climate change was recognised in 2003 with the creation of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform. The platform brought together key stakeholders in the fuel cell and hydrogen fields who jointly developed an implementation plan. Published in 2007, the plan addressed the technological and non technological barriers to deployment of these disruptive technologies. It identified key issues and priorities for accelerating deployment of portable, stationary and transport applications. The platform led to the formation of a Public Private Partnership - the 'Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking' (JU) - between the European Commission, industry and the research community. A main aim of the JU is to enable commercial deployment by 2020. In future, the European Commission will channel support for fuel cell and hydrogen research and demonstration through the JU. For the period 2007-2013, European Commission support amounts to € 470 million.

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