In the middle of the summer break, Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier announced what the hydrogen and fuel cell industry has been waiting for for many years: a hydrogen strategy for Germany.
The announcement of an H2 roadmap to be presented in autumn is also likely to have been of particular interest to large parts of the entire German energy industry, as it could mark a turning point in energy supply. What is decisive now, however, is how concretely this hydrogen strategy will be developed. Not only the success of the energy turnaround will depend on this, but also social peace (see Fridays-for-Future, driving bans, etc.).
The official tag of the press conference, which Altmaier held in Berlin on 18 July 2019, was the presentation of the “Handbook Reallabore”. The announcement of the winners of the “Reallabore der Energiewende” (Real laboratories of the energy turnaround) competition of ideas alone, which went hand in hand with this, provided sufficient publicity material, since a total of 90 consortia – “an enormous response”, according to Altmaier – had applied, of which 20 locations were ultimately selected. In these real laboratories, hydrogen technologies in particular are now to be tested nationwide on an industrial scale and in a real environment in order to strengthen the value chains in Germany within the energy sector. The selected ones are now called upon to submit their applications for the funding provided (100 million euros annually on the part of the Federal Government plus the industry’s own funds).
The new handbook contains tips and concrete practical examples with the aim of encouraging companies, research, politics and administrations to test and implement smart ideas in the future.
“As test spaces for innovation and regulation, real laboratories make it possible to test new technologies and business models under real conditions […]. In the process, state rules and regulations are opened for testing purposes – also in order to learn which legal framework is the right one.”
read more in H2-international October 2019