Stakeholder feedback on MATISSE sustainable hydrogen scope and visions: Findings from the February 2006 hydrogen stakeholder workshop
As part of a cluster workshop on sustainability of hydrogen transport technologies held in Frankfurt on 21st February 2006, MATISSE researchers conducted break-out discussion groups with, and distributed self-completion questionnaires to, stakeholders in hydrogen transport technology. The break-out group discussions revealed that stakeholders do not hold naïve views about the potential for hydrogen by itself to meet requirements for sustainability within either transport or wider energy systems. Most stakeholders did not equate hydrogen transport technology with sustainable mobility. For sustainable transport, stakeholders acknowledged the importance of modal shift and reduced demand (through more public transport use, congestion charging, teleworking, etc.); two groups emphasised a need for societal value change (e.g., away from aspirations to own powerful/luxury cars). Furthermore, for many (though not all) stakeholders the future involves hydrogen technologies co-existing with other transport technologies, e.g., biofuels and hybrid vehicles. Several participants pointed to the risks associated with focussing on one technological solution to the exclusion of possible alternatives. Nevertheless, stakeholders were broadly positive about hydrogen technologies; many pointed to the potential for hydrogen to offer a solution to problems of emissions, energy security and international competition. Participants highlighted a range of requirements that hydrogen - or indeed alternative technological, institutional and behavioural options for sustainable transport/energy systems - must meet to be defined as "sustainable". These requirements go beyond simply considerations of hydrogen production and supply to include sustainable levels of mobility and societal values that impact on travel choices.
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research
SERI Nachhaltigkeitsforschung und -kommunikations GmbH, Wien