Air Liquide launches the Horizon Hydrogen Energy (H2E) program

October 8, 2008

On 8 October 2008, under Community rules on State aid, the European Commission authorized the €67.6 million funding granted at the end of 2007 by OSEO (French agency for innovation support) for the Horizon Hydrogen Energy (H2E) innovation program, coordinated by the Air Liquide Group, in the field of hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells.

Today, the planet is faced with a dual challenge: environmental and energy. Within this context, access to sustainable mobility is a strategic issue to reduce greenhouse gases, pollution in cities and to lower the dependency on oil-based fuels. Hydrogen, used as an energy carrier, is one of the solutions to meet these challenges in the short-term.

The H2E program, which represents an overall investment in research and technology of almost €200 million over 7 years, aims at building sustainable and competitive hydrogen-energy solutions. The research and development will cover the full hydrogen energy value chain. In particular, it will investigate the development of innovative technologies for hydrogen production using renewable energy, hydrogen storage and industrialization of fuel cells. H2E will also contribute to the setting up of a suitable regulatory framework, and will include a program of demonstrations and educational measures to familiarize the wider public with this new, clean energy vector.

This ambitious program brings together around Air Liquide twenty partners in the field of hydrogen energy: industrial groups, small and medium-sized companies and French public research laboratories. This is a unique opportunity to place France and Europe at the leading edge of this key sector for sustainable mobility.

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, in charge of Advanced Technologies, declared: "For more than 40 years, Air Liquide has developed unique know-how along the whole hydrogen chain. The H2E program will enable the Group to confirm its position as a major player in the development of hydrogen-energy, and to be ready for the emergence of hydrogen in transport by 2015. Air Liquide believes that it is its responsibility as the world leader to open new markets and introduce scientific and technological innovation into society."

For more information about hydrogen, Air Liquide has opened a special website:
www.hydrogen-planet.com

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