With the recent IPCC report outlining the measures required to keep warming to below 1.5°C, implementing low-cost, low-carbon energy alternatives is more important than ever. With this momentum comes the need for experts to carry out strong, impactful programs to demonstrate new electrochemical technologies to the public.
More than 370 people came to the city of Cologne to attend the European Zero Emission Bus Conference, or ZEB for short. The event, which took place from Nov. 27 through Nov. 28, 2018, was a follow-up to the initial conference in London in 2016 and gave attendees the opportunity to keep up with advancements in fuel cell bus technology and tout upcoming projects.
One German fuel cell manufacturer that recently changed its name is new enerday, now known as Sunfire Fuel Cells. Based in Neubrandenburg, the company was acquired by Sunfire, headquartered in Dresden, last fall (see H2-international, January 2019). As part of the deal, Matthias Boltze, who used to be new enerday’s sole chief executive, now shares the role of CEO with Andreas Frömmel, vice president of sales and marketing at Sunfire.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Robert Rose, a pioneering force and a strong proponent of a future hydrogen economy. He passed away peacefully in the morning hours of October 17, 2018, at his home in Woodbridge, Virginia, after battling a long illness.
On February 12, Andreas Pichler became the new chief executive of the SOLIDpower Group, replacing Alberto Ravagni, who stepped down from his role as CEO of the fuel cell heater maker at his own request. Ravagni had worked for the Italian-based business since its founding in 2007. Pichler is expected to turn SOLIDpower into a globally leading manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells.
At the turn of the year, NuCellSys, a wholly owned subsidiary of automaker Daimler, became Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell. Besides the name change, the company announced a shift in strategy. Its chief executive, Christian Mohrdieck, explained that “fuel cells are an integral part of engine development at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell. The new name sends a clear message about our focus and underlines how important fuel cell technology will be in the years to come. It also brings us closer to integrating the company into Daimler’s corporate structure.”
Now that electrification has gained a foothold in the passenger car market, it is starting to have an impact on commercial vehicles as well. While electric trucks and buses have, for a long time, been studied and tested as part of research and demonstration projects around the globe, more and more politicians and environmental associations have begun to explore the potential that this, not so small, sector has for curbing emissions. Not unlike the market for passenger cars, the one for commercial vehicles may soon find itself on the brink of a revolution.
A few months ago, Germany’s Commission on Growth, Industry Restructuring and Employment published its final report, suggesting that the country phase out coal power production by 2038. The document, presented to the public on January 26, recommends replacing most of today’s generation capacity with gas-fired power plants. Additionally, its authors call for assisting regions affected by the changes.
Connecting offshore wind farms to the public grid is still fraught with problems. The main challenge is how to transmit the large amounts of energy generated in the North and Baltic Sea to the coast, since the lines have not yet been adapted to the task.