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Identification of legal-administrative barriers for the installation and operation of key FCH technologies
Deadline: May 3, 2016  

 Waste Management
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Legal-administrative barriers are among the obstacles currently impeding a quicker deployment of fuel cell and hydrogen (FCH) technologies. These barriers, which often reflect a lack of awareness and/or acknowledgement of the key features of FCH technologies within national legal codes and local planning by-laws, along with additional bureaucracy and complex sets of procedures and requirements, can significantly hamper FCH installation and operational processes.

Promoters of projects and activities using FCH technologies are obliged to allocate substantive time and effort on overcoming legal-administrative barriers related to:

  • Planning and installation / operations processes for FCH technologies (i.e. notification, registration, licensing, safety and environmental impact assessment, etc.)
  • Electricity grid connections (for consumption, storage or injection of electricity derived from FCH installations)
  • Gas grid connections (either for consuming natural gas for FCH power output or for injecting hydrogen into natural gas networks for load balancing and subsequent energy abstraction)
  • Certification, registration, use and parking/storage of fuel cell electrical vehicles (FCEVs)
  • Fuel definition – particularly related to H2 as a transport fuel and for the dispensing of H2 at Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS) or use of H2 in other transport related or stationary applications

Compliance is complex and time consuming and the information on the applicable procedures is difficult to identify for businesses wishing to install, operate and use FCH systems locally, nationally and internationally. In some cases rules are inexistent or uncertain as it is not clear whether rules or procedures developed for other gases and technologies will be applied to hydrogen and fuel cells by the authorities. Regulators and administrative authorities themselves have limited information about procedures and practices applied in other countries.

As a result, the development and the sustainable establishment of markets for applications using fuel cells and hydrogen technology in many European countries is unnecessarily delayed.


There are two key objectives under the scope of the project and these should relate to barriers where a region or a Member State has a direct mandate to address the identified barrier(s). The first objective is to provide a comprehensive set applicable requirements and procedures for FCH technology installation and operation – and to make the information readily accessible and available to both those who set / regulate the requirements, processes and procedures and those wishing to install and operate the FCH technologies. It also requires measuring their impact in terms of delay and costs. Further, it is necessary to facilitate the comparison of the requirements and procedures applied in the different states and regions of Europe.

The second objective is to reduce the time and costs for compliance by preparing recommendations aiming at simplification of the requirements and procedures or facilitation of compliance.

To achieve both objectives, the action should be organised around three successive steps:

  • Research and analyse administrative processes in European countries by means of both desk research and interactive industry surveys.
  • Formulation of concrete recommendations, whether based on observed ‘best practices’ or new procedures, to be prepared in the format of an advisory paper for each country (or region). The recommendations should be publicly discussed, in particular with industry stakeholders and public authorities before being finalised
  • Promotion of recommendations and improvement of the administrative framework: policy papers should be presented to relevant public authorities, utilities and other involved bodies at the national, regional and EU level. Dissemination workshops should also be organised.

In terms of geographical scope, it may not be possible to cover all EU countries and associated countries, the action should cover at least 12 of these countries and focus on those countries with largest capacity and potential for RES, linked to green and waste hydrogen production and use, providing best opportunities for deployment of FCH technologies. In countries where regions play an important role in defining administrative requirements and procedures applicable to FCH technologies, the analysis and the recommendation should include the regional level.

The consortium should include a strategy to ensure the continuity of the activities after the end of the FCH JU funded action. This strategy should ensure that the database continue to be available and be updated after the end of the action. It should also ensure that the policy papers and the associated recommendation continue to be promoted.

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1.0 million allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Duration: 2 years.

A maximum of 1 project may be funded under this topic.

Expected Impact:
  • An online and publicly available database of legal and administrative processes in main EU countries with a focus on those countries where the deployment of FCH technologies are the most advanced .and, to the extent possible, on all 12 selected EU and associated countries. The database should also enable the comparison of the different administrative frameworks and their implication in terms of costs and delays. Reference example databases include;; and
  • Policy papers country by country in English and the relevant national language describing the administrative barriers and their effect in terms of delay and cost as well as recommendation for removing/reducing these barriers
  • Constitution of a network a national associations/experts, well-coordinated and equipped with the necessary information and able to support maintenance and update of the database and promotion of policy papers

Public link:   Only for registered users

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