India has joined 14 other nations and the European Commission in signing a crucial pact to coordinate hydrogen research and technology development.
Representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, China, European Commission, France, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Italy, Korea and Norway, besides India inked the accord, formally establishing the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy on November 20 at its inaugural meeting in Washington, a US Embassy release said in New Delhi on Monday.
Under the terms of the agreement, the ministers established two committees -- a steering committee and an implementation-liaison committee -- that are expected to identify issues, which will be the focus of their work during the next year.
The IPHE will allow the participating nations to leverage limited resources, bring together world's best intellectual skills and talents to solve difficult problems and develop interoperable technology standards.
Hydrogen fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction that produces electricity, water and heat. The electrical current produced can be used to power anything from portable computers to entire buildings. It is also believed that fuel cell technology will offer a clean replacement for the internal combustion engine.
US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in Washington that the signing of the non-binding agreement and the launch of the partnership marked a significant advancement in countries from around the globe working together for a safe and environmentally-benign hydrogen economy.