As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The JRC hosts the 5th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS 2013) which aims to improve trust in hydrogen technologies and increase public awareness, by promoting a better understanding of the hazards and risks associated with hydrogen. The three-day conference is organised under the auspices of the International Association for Hydrogen Safety. It is held in Brussels.
The JRC's Director-General Dominique Ristori chaired the opening session on “Global policies and initiatives for hydrogen in transitioning to a low-carbon economy” and stated that this transition requires a partnership between science and industry on a global level. Hydrogen will play a key role in the future energy mix, because it can be deployed in power, heat, transport and industrial sectors and it increases the share of renewable energy in all these sectors. In addition, hydrogen storage contributes to increasing energy security, one of the main priorities of the current Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The global harmonisation of standards and regulations and dealing with safety is important in order to enable the full potential capacity of hydrogen as an energy carrier.
Today's plenary also included presentations from Dr Hashimoto, Director-General of the New Energy Technology Department of NEDO (Japan'sNew Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation), Prof Mao, Advisor to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Vittorio Prodi, Member of the European Parliament. European Commission services were also well represented with interventions from Daniel Calleja, Director-General for Enterprise and Industry, Director Olivier Onidi, Directorate-General for Transport and Mr Constantinescu, Principle Adviser of DG for Energy.
The conference gathered approximately 200 delegates from all over the world. At least half of the delegates came from non-EU countries, including Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Korea, USA and Canada. ICHS 2013 brings together engineers and scientists from research centres and universities, automotive industries, insurance companies, gas equipment and refueling station manufacturers, aerospace manufacturers, hydrogen system and fuel cell manufacturers, testing and certifying bodies, standardisation and regulatory bodies and governmental organisations.