Understanding your context


Overall, there are two aspects of developing an FCB project which has considerable influence on the ease and success of the future project path. FCB projects which have been established:

  • within a broader industry / energy system / environmental context,
  • with realistic expectations which recognise that the technology is still developing (see next sub-stage),

These are more likely to be and be perceived to be, successful by immediate stakeholders, as well as the broader community.

Project Conceptualisation – Challenges and Best Practice Solutions. (Based on 22 Responses from Active Sites in the JIVE Projects)


Best Practice Solutions

Starting with an innovative project

  • Hydrogen is a new fuel in public transport, and its introduction poses challenges very similar to other innovative projects
  • While there is nothing exceptional in terms of project management when setting up and running an FCB project, such highly innovative activities require considerable resources. Many respondents mentioned that, in addition to financial issues, they did not have enough people and time for the project

Build a vision

  • Communicate how your FCB project links to/support a vision which includes local or national industries, community use for hydrogen and/or clean energy supply in general; this may have to start with very basic facts, such as battery-electric buses (BEBs) being not the only zero-emission option
  • Know and connect with the political agenda for low carbon vehicles at any or all of local, regional or national levels

People make hydrogen happen

You will need:

  • A committed Project Team consisting of knowledgeable and experienced staff
  • Effective, collaborative teamwork to develop the project and overcome challenges
  • Committed and well-informed organisational decision-makers and elected officials

Political/Legal environment can intervene

  • The political/legal environment can adversely affect the project, e.g. elected supporters can lose an election, complying with national laws can delay action

Know your context

  • Avoid or mitigate against getting caught up in election cycles
  • Understand legal frameworks for tendering, contracting, safety permitting

Preparatory work can be extensive

  • Innovative projects mean much information needs to be gathered, and there are not a lot of templates available to follow
  • A key challenge is to understand and accept that there will be things you don’t know that you don’t know and that you cannot absorb and understand every piece of information when you, e.g. read recommendations from an earlier project for the first time

FCBs and HRSs

  • Find out as much as you can about FCBs and HRSs early in your project conceptualisation; re-visit resources regularly as questions arise
  • Be clear on the benefits of FCBs – but be equally honest about the costs and risks
  • Visit sites where FCBs are in operation to obtain first-hand information
  • Attend workshops offered by ongoing projects to learn about experiences, challenges and solutions
  • Try to obtain written information in the local language to forward to your stakeholders