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UK Fuel cell initiative

20 June 2005 – A new body to drive forward the development and deployment of fuel cell technology in the UK was launched in London last week. The Fuel Cells UK Industry Association will communicate and champion the industry’s aspirations across the policy, research, industrial and financial communities.

Peter Bance, CEO, Ceres Power plc, emphasised that “As the UK fuel cell industry comes of age and prepares for commercial roll-out, this a crucial moment to raise public awareness of the potential of this technology in a wide variety of applications. It should ensure that Government and industry co-operate on the necessary measures for success in the UK. Forming the Industry Association is a key first step.”

In light of the commitment of the UK Government to support demonstrations of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, the Industry Association aims to provide a vital means for orchestrating the efforts of the industry to maximise the benefits and synergies.

Dennis Hayter of Intelligent Energy pointed out that “galvanising a critical mass of players along the UK fuel cell supply chain is essential for our industry here and now.” He added, “through a strong, unified voice, the industry is now able to manifest a significant presence and engage with the policy-making and financial sectors and end users.”

Senior representatives from Johnson Matthey and Ceramic Fuel Cells also expressed their support and commitment to the Industry Association during the launch event on 14 June. On that evening, organisations of the calibre of Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems, Baxi Group and Voller Energy plc, indicated their support and eagerness to participate in shaping the future of the industry within the framework of the Association.

The Fuel Cells UK Industry Association will be managed by Synnogy, which will build on the successful completion of earlier industry-wide initiatives made possible by seedcorn funding from the DTI during the period 2003-2004. The Association will be led by an Executive Committee including representatives from leading UK fuel cell companies. The work programme of the Association will be guided by the Yearly Charter which will be agreed by its members in early July.