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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs > Releases > Fact Sheets > 2003
Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC
November 25, 2003

International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE)

A growing number of countries have committed to accelerate the development of hydrogen energy technologies in order to improve their energy, environment, and economic security. These commitments demonstrate that many countries share a common interest in advanced research and development supporting the demonstration and commercial use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. International cooperation is vital to achieve national hydrogen and fuel cell technology program goals for transportation systems and stationary applications. Building a safe and efficient worldwide infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage, transport, distribution and use is a multinational task that requires careful planning and cooperation. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation on hydrogen and fuel cell technology already exists, and these relationships offer a solid foundation for building a robust and agile international partnership to help the world advance toward a sustainable hydrogen economy and to address our greenhouse gas emissions levels.

The United States believes that the establishment of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) will create a mechanism to organize and implement effective, efficient, and focused research, and to develop and deploy activities that advance hydrogen and fuel cell programs. The coordination instituted through the IPHE will leverage limited resources and bring together world’s best intellects and talents to solve difficult challenges to making the hydrogen economy a reality.

Secretary Abraham hosted the inaugural meeting of the IPHE November 18-21, 2003 in Washington, D.C. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EC, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. formalized their membership in the IPHE by signing the terms of reference.

It is envisioned that the IPHE will foster the implementation of cooperative efforts to advance research, development, and deployment of hydrogen production, storage, transport and distribution technologies. The IPHE will also enhance collaboration on fuel cell technologies, common codes and standards for hydrogen fuel utilization, and help to coordinate international efforts to develop a global hydrogen economy. The IPHE will seek to coordinate closely with the International Energy Agency, as its work is an important complement to IPHE efforts.

The ultimate goal of the IPHE will be to enable participating countries’ consumers to have by 2020 the practical option of purchasing a competitively priced hydrogen powered vehicle that can be conveniently refueled. This goal can be realized by achieving the following benchmarks:

  • Hydrogen powered vehicles are competitive with conventional vehicles.
  • Hydrogen is safely and efficiently produced and delivered to consumers at prices and availability competitive with conventional fuels, without adverse environmental impacts.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells provide stationary and portable power.
  • Fueling and storage infrastructure enables ready access to fuel for hydrogen vehicles.
  • Storage technologies ensure hydrogen vehicle systems operate at the same levels of safety, performance and range as conventional vehicles available in 2003.
  • An internationally consistent system of safety codes and standards related to hydrogen utilization is developed and adopted.

Working together through this partnership, we can build on the robust efforts taking place around the globe, and bring that collective effort to bear on one of the greatest challenges ahead of us -- charting the path to the hydrogen economy. The United States believes that partnerships that leverage scarce resources, develop technology standards, and foster private-public technology and infrastructure collaboration can more easily overcome the technological and institutional barriers that can inhibit the development of a cost-competitive, standardized, widely accessible and safe hydrogen economy. We invite interested nations to join us in this effort.

U.S. Government Point of Contact: Dr. Robert K. Dixon (Phone: 202/586-9220; Email: robert.dixon@ee.doe.gov)



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