On January 17, in Berlin, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, also known as DWV, and the German Association of the Gas and Water Industries, or DVGW, signed an agreement to step up their efforts to help set up a power-to-gas market. At the signing ceremony, which was attended by Thomas Bareiß, who has a leading role in the economy ministry, both organizations said they aimed to “gradually turn today’s fossil fuel economy into a climate-friendly energy system” by replacing natural with synthetic gas one step at a time.
In 2017, the DWV, which has so far been run mainly by volunteer leadership, begun talking to other advocacy groups about creating a shared office that would allow them to coordinate their campaigns and be even more effective in popularizing hydrogen technology. In late 2018, the association’s board of directors initially eyed a partnership with the BVES, the German Energy Storage Association, and in February 2018, at an extraordinary general meeting, most DWV members voted in favor of starting talks between the two organizations. At about the same time, the board also suggested a collaboration with the DVGW. As a result of the latter, the DWV and DVWG have now merged operations.
Consequently, the chairman of the DWV, Werner Diwald, called for a swift increase in fuel cell and electrolyzer production capacity and for the establishment of a hydrogen economy involving more than one sector. He said those steps could create 100,000 new jobs, especially in Germany’s economically disadvantaged regions.
Bareiß affirmed that the government had to devote more resources to supporting green electricity production from hydrogen and methane and he promised that it would. Gerald Linke, the chairman of DVGW, said he was “relieved to see more and more members of parliament recognizing the opportunities that hydrogen offers for bringing about carbon-neutral energy generation in multiple industries and creating long-term storage options. We consider the statements made by Mr. Bareiß a pledge to move forward on transforming the energy market by using multiple energy carriers, including green gas.”