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International Developments

Countries around the world have seen the potential for integrating fuel cell and hydrogen energy into their energy portfolio.  Several nations have invested in infrastructure, tax incentives, research, and consumer education in efforts to spark commercialization and adoption of these clean technologies.   While American expertise continues to define the early applications of these emergent technologies, the promise of energy security, grid stabilization, emissions reductions, and job creation is motivating a growing international competition.

To learn more about fuel cell and hydrogen activities around the world please click the name of a country for recent developments:


  • In September of 2013, China renewed alternative-energy vehicle subsidy program to address air quality issues. Fuel cell electric vehicles, including buses, qualify for the first time under the subsidy, and will be eligible for a 500,000 yuan rebate. Link
  • The National Economic and Social Development Plan allocated $15.8 million for hydrogen and fuel cell projects as part of the 863 Program. Link
  • The 863 Program is China’s National high-tech and R&D Program, started in March 1986. It is designed and implemented through China’s five year programs by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). Link MOST has approved an investment of above $12 million for distributed power generation systems based on fuel cell technology. Link


  • Denmark aims to reach 100% fossil fuel independence by 2050, with significant contributions from hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Denmark also plans to establish a countrywide hydrogen refueling network by 2015 spurred by Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Tax exemption which may be indirectly worth up to $28,000. Link
  • Tax exemptions of about $0.10 per kW on electricity for hydrogen production. Link
  • Danish company H2Logic has delivered four 700 bar stations in the past 12 months alone. Link
  • In Denmark, the DuraPEM project to study PEM fuel cell durability and lifetime has been extended for another three-year period. The project, coordinated by IRD Fuel Cell, has reported excellent research results in its first two phases since it was initiated in 2007. Link
  • H2 Logic has launched two new H2Station products for hydrogen refueling of fuel cell powered material handling vehicles and passenger vehicles.H2Station CAR-100 provides 70MPa SAE J2601 compliant fast-fill of hydrogen for passenger vehicles with a capacity of up to 100kg/day. H2Station® MH-100 provides 35MPa refueling for material handling vehicles with a capacity of up to 100kg/day. Link
  • The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) consists of regional clusters involving major and small industries, research institutions, and local, regional and national authorities. The national networking bodies, which include Hydrogen Link in Denmark, act as SHHP coordinators.Its goal is to create one of the first regions in Europe where hydrogen is available and used in a network of refuelling stations. Link


  • The German national government has committed to putting one million electric or fuel cell electric vehicles on the road by 2020. Link
  • Germany has 27 hydrogen fueling stations in 2012 and has plans to build 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations by 2017. Link
  • Germany has a goal of producing 72,000 fuel cell units per year by 2020. Link
  • National Innovation Program (NIP) for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology was allocated $859 million in government support for over 10 years. Link
  • The CHP Act introduced a capital subsidy which ranges from $1,840 to $4,235 for micro-CHP products, including fuel cells. Link
  • Panasonic will begin selling micro-CHP fuel cells in Germany early next year. Panasonic manufactures proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells that produce electricity and useful thermal energy through a single process. The system generates 750 watts of electricity and 1kW of thermal energy with a combined efficiency of 90 percent. Sales of the new system will begin in Germany in April 2014. Link
  • Brandenburg police has launched a tender for 116 fuel cells for its telecoms base stations. The country currently has 16 700 bar hydrogen refuelling stations, the majority of which are publicly accessible, and it is committed to bringing the total to 50 by 2015. Link
  • The Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Development announced plans to deploy 50 hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) by 2015. With respect to the existing 15 HRS, an additional 35 HRS will be built. Link


  • Graena Orkan is a program to replace transportation fossil fuels through the incorporation of clean energies such as hydrogen. Link
  • A new pump was added recently to a service station just outside Reykjavik, Iceland, that pumps hydrogen and is the first to be open to the general public. Currently, more than 30 hydrogen fueling stations are active in the county. The steam from vents and geysers of Iceland’s volcanic activity, as well as hydroelectricity, accounts for 72 percent of Iceland’s energy. Iceland hopes to raise the figure to 100 percent. Link


  • In FY 2012, Japan invested approximately $240 million in fuel cell and hydrogen energy programs, nearly twice as much as the $129 million appropriated to the U.S. Department of Energy’s funding for fuel cell and hydrogen energy R&D. Japan’s $240 million investment in fuel cell and hydrogen energy programs included:
    • $112.77 million in subsidies for residential micro-CHP systems
    • $37.71 million for hydrogen infrastructure & vehicle demonstration projects
    • $91.71 million for various fuel cell and hydrogen energy R&D projects Link
  • In July of 2010, Japan unveiled a plan to sell two million fuel cell electric vehicles by 2025, and install 1,000 hydrogen fueling station to support them. Link
  • In 2010, purchasers of Japan's residential combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems, Ene-Farms, were offered a 50% subsidy capped at approximately $16,500, and further incentives have since been allowed. Link
  • Japan’s 3 major gas companies, Tokyo Gas, Toho Gas, and Osaka Gas, sold 9,250 Ene-Farm fuel cells in 2011 and plan to sell 14,400 units collectively in 2012. Link
  • Japan has set a goal of fuel cells powering 2 million homes by 2020.
  • Fuji-Keizai Group research firm has estimated a 99-fold increase in the Japanese domestic fuel cell market between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2025. Link
  • The Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan (FCCJ)is a private partnership founded in 2001 to advance fuel cell technologies in Japan. Link
  • Bloom Energy and Softbank formed a partnership to bring fuel cell power to Japan following the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. They plan to bring several fuel cell systems, each of which provides enough power for 500 homes. Link


  • Under HIT, Hydrogen Infrastructure for Transport, the Dutch Ministry of Transportation and the Environment has partnered with Air Liquide to deploy public hydrogen filling statons in Rotterdam. Link
  • The Hydrogen Region Flanders-South Netherlands received over $17 million in government support from 2009-2012 to demonstrate hydrogen production, refueling, transport vehicles, and waste hydrogen conversion. Link


  • In Norway there is no tax or Value Added Tax (compared to the high taxation of conventional cars in Norway) for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Link
  • In Norway, FCEV’s gain access to bus lanes, have free use of toll roads, and free parking in public places.
  • FCEV owners have significantly reduced annual car taxes and no fuel tax or carbon tax on hydrogen as a fuel.
  • Norway’s County of Akershus has reserved $3 million in its 2012 budget and has stated its desire to develop its role as a promoter of hydrogen in the transport sector.
  • HyNor is a national development project aimed at the promotion of hydrogen in the Norwegian transportation sector. The organization is actively working to establish a hydrogen infrastructure within the capital of Oslo and a network capable of supporting a hydrogen highway from Oslo to Stavanger. Link

South Africa

  • 76% of global platinum group metals are located and mined in South Africa. South Africa's Department of Science and Technology has set a goal of meeting 25% of world demand for platinum-based catalysts for fuel cells by 2020
  • The South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources reaffirmed the country's committment to developing off-grid, residential fuel cell applications, and have partnered with companies like Ballard Power Systems to conduct fiel trials.
  • The first hydrogen fuel cell powered underground train is located and in use for mining in South Africa.
  • The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement created Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) in 2008 to promote public acceptance of the technologies. This includes the establishment of three Centers of Competence (CoCs) focusing on systems integration, hydrogen catalysis, and infrastructure respectively. Link

South Korea

  • South Korea’s national government offers 80% subsidies for micro CHP fuel cell plants, plus up to an additional 10% subsidy from local governments.
  • South Korea’s Renewable Portfolio Standards established in 2012 require electric utilities and independent power producers with more than 500 MW of generating capacity to install stationary fuel cells or other qualifying technologies or buy renewable energy credits. Link
  • The world’s largest active fuel cell park has a capacity of 11.2 megawatts and is located in Daegu City. Link
  • A 60 megawatt fuel cell park is in the process of being developed by POSCO Energy in Hwaseong. Link
  • A plan to provide 230 megawatts of electricity from fuel cells dispersed across Seoul city is in the process of being implemented before 2014. Link
  • South Korea has long-term, low-interest loans for the customers and manufacturers of commercialized fuel cells, as well as a tax-deduction system for fuel cell power plants. Link

United Kingdom

  • In September 2013, the UK Office of Low Emission Vehicles launched Driving the Future Today, which outlines the United Kingdom's technology neutral strategy for promoting and adopting ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV). The strategy outlines a development of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure to support fuel cell electric vehicles, including buses. Link
  • In January 2012, the public-private partnership, The UKH2 Mobility was launched to advance the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and ensures the UK will be a manufacturing leader of FCEVs. Link
  • The UK provides a feed-in tariff for renewable generation devices up to 5MW, also for residential fuel cell CHP systems of any fuel type up to 2kW. Link

International Agencies and Partnerships

International Energy Agency (IEA) Implementing Agreement on Advanced Fuel Cells

  • The Agreement serves to advance all parties’ understanding of advanced fuel cell technology through research, development, and system analysis.

  • The participating countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and USA. Link

Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership

  • Collaboration between Norway, Denmark, and Sweden has taken place to provide hydrogen fueling stations in a network including 15 hydrogen refueling stations and 30 satellite hydrogen refueling stations. Link


The Fuel Cell - 14th Forum for Producers and Users (f-cell)
October 6 - 8, 2014 | Stuttgart, Germany
October 29 - 30, 2014 | Schaumburg, IL
November 10 - 13, 2014 | Los Angeles, California
COSTHA Annual Forum & Expo
April 26-29, 2015 | San Diego, California