Prof Paul Upham presented a selection of the qualitative results of Hyacinth to the Climate Policy Group, at the Finnish Environment Institute. There was also interest from the Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production at the Finnish Environment Institute and from the Consumer Society Research Centre at the University of Helsinki.
The presentation focused on the expectations of the 145 R&D stakeholders interviewed for Hyacinth, regarding the prospects for hydrogen fuel cells, over the short medium and long term in five European countries. This was set this in the context of the sociology of expectations literature, which treats expectations as indicators of the prospects of technologies that as yet have limited market penetration.
While those expectations are quite mixed, there are some relatively widely shared views. For example there is some degree of consensus on the possible near term use of renewable hydrogen for electrical grid balancing, probably via injection to natural gas networks. In addition, hydrogen fuel cells are seen to probably have a number of relatively near term niche uses, such as for uninterruptible and auxiliary power.
The presentation was well-received and researchers were interested in the wide applications of the sociology of expectations literature, in which it is argued that technology roadmapping exercises would benefit from a keener awareness of the way in which collective visioning (such as roadmaps) interacts with stakeholders’ individual, pre-existing expectations. In other words, there is a case for understanding and responding to those expectations as part of roadmapping processes, so that stakeholders are more likely to view technology roadmaps as plausible. Presentation available: http://hyacinthproject.eu/results/presentations/
The HYACINTH project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU) under Grant Agreement Nº621228.