Not so long ago, CO2 certificates were still the epitome of a bureaucratic failure: Hardly anyone wanted them. They were introduced into the energy industry, but in a way that hardly allowed them to have any effect.
Climate change is very unpleasant. But it also becomes uncomfortable to do something about climate change. In Germany, the Coal Commission was formed with the task of conceiving and planning the phase-out of coal. It can last up to twenty years, it’s been agreed. The affected regions painfully fast, and the climate protectors unbearably long. Germany’s withdrawal from coal is not enough for global climate protection. Around 1,300 new coal-fired power plants are currently being built or planned worldwide. And 90 percent of all new coal-fired power plants are built in developing countries. Those who understand these figures will think that the game against climate change has long since been lost.
Something is happening in politics. After decades of niche existence, hydrogen now seems to have become socially acceptable – at least in some circles.
Baden-Württemberg is home to a large part of the German automotive industry. However, the new headquarters of German battery research will be located in North Rhine-Westphalia, not in Ulm. Therefore, the HyFab project comes to Baden-Württemberg for this purpose.
Prof. Volker Quaschning has been drawing attention to the climate problem for months with many public contributions and actively supports the Fridays-for-Future-Kids by, for example, setting up the Scientists-for-Future group and thus providing scientific support for the youth movement. In mid-August, he published a fact check on the question: Which car has the best climate balance? In this context, he also pursued the thesis that it would be better to rely on the fuel cell car rather than the battery car for climate protection.
H2ME is considered to be the largest hydrogen project in Europe: Since 2015, around 170 million euros have been invested in over 1,400 H2 vehicles and almost 50 filling stations throughout Europe – 67 million euros of which in the form of subsidies.
For years there has been a discrepancy in the hydrogen sector between North America and Europe: Over on the other side of the Atlantic, fuel cell-powered industrial trucks are enjoying great popularity, while their number in Germany is more in keeping with homoeopathic doses.
Hydrogen technology and steam turbines – this is the motto in Görlitz from now on. After the planned closure of the Siemens plant on the Polish border, announced two years ago, had caused a great deal of displeasure, the major corporation gave in and signed a declaration of intent in mid-July 2019 together with the Free State of Saxony and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in order to strengthen the location in the long term and support structural change in Lausitz.
Similar to Tesla years ago, completely new players are now entering the market in the fuel cell sector, with the potential to mess up the previous business of vehicle manufacturers. In May 2019, the Chinese start-up Grove Hydrogen Automotive Co., Ltd. presented itself to the public for the first time after three years of preparation.
I’m a hydronaut. No, that’s not a term for an underwater astronaut, but a term Honda uses to describe me, as one of their Clarity Fuel Cell electric vehicle (FCEV) drivers on California’s road today. Between three automakers (Honda, Toyota, Hyundai) there are now over 7,000 (Aug 1, 2019) FCEV’s on the road.