Forming the EU hydrogen strategy

January 28, 2004, 15:30 CET

"Our task is to identify and recommend research initiatives and to draw up a strategy and action plan for the introduction of hydrogen and fuel cell technology," says Elisabet Fjermestad Hagen in Hydro's New Energy unit.


The appointment of Fjermestad Hagen is seen as a recognition of Hydro's involvement in the field of hydrogen. Her presence in the executive committee of the advisory council will give both Fjermestad Hagen and Hydro valuable insight into developments within this technology in Europe.

"The EU is working on establishing a separate apparatus for research and development in order to maintain the industry's competitiveness and promote the EU's targets which include securing energy supply from new energy and other environmental targets. I hope our contribution can help to push this ahead, although we are still far from the paradigm shift that is needed before hydrogen becomes a major energy carrier," says Elisabet Fjermestad Hagen.

Long experience

Fjermestad Hagen has long experience in this field, and also plays a key role in the work currently underway in Norway to introduce more hydrogen solutions in the energy sector.

She also leads the expertise group set up by the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications, Torild Skogsholm. This group is looking into how Norway can promote the development and use of hydrogen and zero-emissions technology in the transport sector.

She believes one of the advisory council's most important tasks is to think along new lines and look at the business opportunities and applications that are of interest, in addition to evaluating initiatives within research and development.

"I'm looking forward to being part of this advisory council, which aims to strengthen European efforts in this area; it will be interesting to take part in setting the framework for this work," concludes Elisabet Fjermestad Hagen.


  • The advisory council for The European Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Platform is made up representatives from 35 European companies and organizations in addition to representatives from the European Commission.


  • The council follows on from a think-tank Hydro was involved in from the autumn of 2002, and will, amongst other things, pave the way for a joint European platform for fuel cells and hydrogen technology.

  • The members of the council have been hand-picked and are from energy companies such as BP, Shell and Gaz de France, from industrial companies such as Siemens, DaimlerChrysler, BMW and Renault, and from environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and The World Wildlife Fund, in addition to representatives from the European Commission.