With recession continuing to put pressure on economies worldwide, and in Europe especially, it is becoming more and more apparent that the road to sustainable development, to clean and efficient energy use, is one of precarious compromise between technological, social and economic challenges.
New technologies are a key ingredient of this radical re-conversion process demanded by the global energy scenario. They represent a chance and an opportunity to realize a radical change which may afford to conjugate development and sustainability: there lies the challenge for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and the growing dedication to this achievement is demonstrated by policies and investments world-wide. In this framework, strong and constant collaboration between Academia, Research Institutions, industry and policymakers are vital.
The “European Fuel Cell Technology & Applications - Piero Lunghi Conference” aims to cement this collaboration, showing the scientific progress and the most modern applications of fuel cell-based technologies, to prove that the need of change is a resource to cultivate.
Such a view is reflected in the cross-cutting topics and wide range of applications of all fuel cell types that are brought to you in this edition of the EFC, featuring material development, manufacturing processes, lab tests and modelling, system integration and field trials, fuel processing, policy measures and strategies, as well as non-conventional applications and a few "crazy" ideas… We will also welcome your "bad ideas" in the application of the technology as we are aware of the importance of learning from mistakes.
As fuel cells are improving unstoppably, not only in terms of efficiency but also in durability and reliability, and are now slowly edging into the market, EFC17 will promote all preliminary experience of real-life applications of fuel cells or fuel cell-based products as well as the marketing and policy pathways to their full commercialization.
In addition, the event will pool research activities on the use of fuel cells for producing chemicals taking advantage of anodic and cathodic local conditions to enhance specific reactions for the production of H2, CO and H20.
The full-scale commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies can definitively bring environmental and economic opportunities. However, knowledge of these opportunities will be critical for deploying hydrogen and fuel cells into the marketplace, and for developing the skilled workforce that will sustain the future of the hydrogen and fuel cell technology industry. Here it comes the need to raise awareness of the economic, environmental and social benefits of this technology and the role it can play in global energy systems. EFC17 promotes thus the international and national programs on hydrogen and fuel cells, the results and highlights of European projects on the field, educational and training aspects and public awareness.