The new elected Board will lead Hydrogen Europe’s advocacy activities and represent the industry’s interests in the European public-private partnership working to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technologies
Brussels -- The 97 members marked a new chapter in the history of Hydrogen Europe with the election earlier this week of three new Board Members.
Raphaël Schoentgen, Director of Research and Technologies at ENGIE, will assume the role of Chair while Didier Pfleger, Senior Vice President at Alstom is the new Treasurer, and Valérie Bouillon-Delporte, New Business Opportunities Director at Michelin will become Transport Chair. They will work alongside Dr Katharina Beumelburg, Executive Vice-President Hydrogen Solutions at Siemens and Thomas Melczer, Director of Business Development at Proton Motor, who will keep serving as Energy and Membership and JTI commitment chairs respectively. Andreas Froemmel, VP of Business and Commercial Development at FCES, will become Vice-Chair and continue to lead the Energy Transition Solutions pillar.
Hydrogen Europe received exceptionally strong candidacies showing the momentum being reached by the sector and the Association. The six Board members will lead Hydrogen Europe’s advocacy activities at EU level and represent the industry’s interests in the Governing Board of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the European public-private partnership working to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technologies.
Many of the sector’s advances have happened under the auspices of the outgoing board members, Pierre-Etienne Franc, VP of Advanced Business & Technologies at Air Liquide as Chairman, Henri Winand, former CEO of Intelligent Energy as Treasurer and Georg Frank, Senior Manager Fuel Cell Advanced Engineering & Research at Daimler as Transport Pillar Chair.
In his first speech as Chair of Hydrogen Europe, Raphaël Schoentgen highlighted: “It is exciting to see leading corporates and innovative SMEs coming together convinced the time for hydrogen is now. We are grateful for the work that has already been done by the Board and the members. There are both challenges and opportunities ahead but we could not think of a better foundation to build on. The years to come will bring changes in European legislation that will impact our sector be it for the spread of energy storage, the use of hydrogen as an alternative clean fuel for transport or the deployment of our technology for heating and cooling. In order to be relevant we need to keep increasing our efforts to engage in regulatory affairs, alliance building and the media. This will be our roadmap for the years to come.”
As he moves from the role of a Board member to the Vice Chair, Andreas Froemmel is keen to press ahead towards full speed commercialisation. “The technology is mature and ready to scale up. To get to the next level we need to continue to show its potential via large scale inter-sectoral demonstrations. The European public-private programme will be key here. Such demonstration projects will also allow identifying the steps that need to be taken by all actors involved, private and public authorities, to bring hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to full market deployment.”
Handing over after six years at the forefront of the Association, Pierre-Etienne Franc said: “Hydrogen Europe, at the time called NEW-IG, was born eight years ago very much like a start-up. Since then we have doubled our membership, secured €1.3bn under Horizon 2020 to help bring the technology to market and rebranded and strengthened the association with a new team and new tools to set the tone of what is coming next. This is the best legacy we can leave the new Board team so they can go even further towards our ultimate objective of making hydrogen energy a reality across Europe for the benefit of its citizens and businesses.”
On top of the leadership changes, Hydrogen Europe confirmed it is opening its membership not only to individual industry members but also to national associations. The move is intended to consolidate efforts and resources as well as leverage synergies for the most effective advocacy work. It is expected that several national associations such as the French, British, Latvian, Belgian and German ones will formally join the Hydrogen Europe before the end of the year and discussions are ongoing with others.
About Hydrogen Europe
Hydrogen Europe is the leading industry association working to make hydrogen energy an everyday reality in Europe. The group represents almost 100 companies, both large and SMEs, and partners with the European Commission and the research community in a public-private partnership, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, worth €1.3 billion to accelerate the market introduction of these clean technologies in energy and transport. It also serves as the industry’s reference point and key advocate towards European decision-makers.