Natural hydrogen

© Prinzhofer et al., 2018
© Prinzhofer et al., 2018

A promising source of clean and renewable energy

Natural hydrogen gas is known on Earth since the 1920’s. However, its potential interest as an exploitable source of energy has been growing in the past ten years. Early discoveries were either forgotten and neglected (Australia, Kansas, USA, Brazil, Mali) or located in remote areas where little if no economic interests can be devised (Mid-oceanic ridges, mountain chains).

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The bigger picture brings greater justice

Future accounting calculates sustainability

Christian Hiß
Hiss: “They key is to change the way we account for profits and losses.”

Money makes the world go round. Companies seek to maximize profits, countries their GDPs. In both cases, we are dealing with figures in dollars, euros or some other currency. But what about values or services without a price tag? Such as employee health. The advice and expertise of colleagues freshly retired. What is the long-term cost of cutting down a forest? How expensive is sustainable (or industrial) farming? So far, most accounting revolves solely around financial issues.

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Lift-off for hydrogen-powered aircraft?

Airbus wants fuel cell planes by 2035 – HY4 receives flight permit

Is this the future of flying? © DLR

Discussions regarding hydrogen as an optional, exceedingly lightweight aviation fuel are not at all new. One major drawback in switching from kerosene to another energy carrier is the corresponding, complete infrastructure overhaul. Due cause for hesitation. Regardless, some companies are seriously pushing to put hydrogen back on the agenda. Notably, last September, Toulouse-based Airbus announced the intention to bring to market a fuel cell-powered aircraft “by 2035.” Many other businesses have also presented plans to launch zero-emission aviation.

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Put it on the agenda

Christoph von Knobelsdorff

Interview with NOW chief executive Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff

As of May 15, 2020, the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) has a new chief executive. Formerly Klaus Bonhoff, who has moved to the German transportation ministry, his successor is Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff. Now is the time to take stock and ask what the future holds.

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The Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Observatory

The go-to resource for all things fuel cells & hydrogen

Where do you go to, to get curated facts on all things related to fuel cells and hydrogen? You could spend several hours searching project information or browsing company sites, digging around to find anything useful, or you could go straight to the fuel cells and hydrogen observatory (FCHO), a portal launched in September 2020 as the go-to resource for anyone wanting to find statistics, data and information about the sector. The Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking awarded the contract for the development and operation of the online portal and information source to the energy transition and strategy consultants, E4tech who worked with a team of industry actors to deliver this resource.

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Nucleus for a European hydrogen economy

Hydrogen Regions, Part III: HyExperts in Emsland

At the opening of H2-Region Emsland’s office in Lingen’s IT complex
© H2-Region Emsland
© H2-Region Emsland

It’s no coincidence Emsland has grown to be a leading hydrogen production area in Germany. In 2018, one powerful idea took hold at local business leader’s regular meetings: Emsland as a pilot region for generating, distributing and utilizing green hydrogen. Led by Tim Husmann – head of H2-Region Emsland’s partner network and office – and backed by regional authorities and Lingen’s city council, the suggestion quickly gained political support. Today, the Emsland reputation for thrusting Germany’s energy market transformation forward with green hydrogen is a far-reaching catchword. In 2019, Lingen became a HyExperts region. Fall 2020 exuberantly launched the H2-Region Emsland project, a 15-month drive for synergy between industrial hydrogen supply and transportation solutions.

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Hydrogen, a global priority


Comparing national policies

A year rich in change, 2020 brought a host of challenges and opportunities to the fore, as well as a new chance for the hydrogen sector to shine. Captivating both politics and the public, the sector experienced unparalleled dynamic. The industry recently received another boost as governments around the world published national hydrogen strategies, aiming to get in on the ground floor. Some also forged global partnerships to help their countries usher in an era of energy independence.

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Go East, hydrogen

What’s up in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia


Central and eastern Europe are no newcomers to the hydrogen market. Pertinent chemical and refinery industries can draw on a wealth of expertise. Poland, the region’s most important economy, was one of the European Union’s top three hydrogen countries in 2018, producing a total of 1.3 million tons. Unfortunately, much of the hydrogen is fossil fuel-sourced and not available on the open market. Still, efforts to make chemical companies and refineries part of a new hydrogen economy are underway.

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Toward ‘HydroGenewables’ in Norway

H2 projects in Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and France

Card with Hydrogen Goals

In June 2020, the German government adopted a national hydrogen strategy, spelling out clear ambitions, concrete targets and a solid plan of action for the next 20 years, including an increase in production capacity to 5 gigawatts by 2030 and 10 gigawatts by 2040. Overall, the country will invest EUR 9 billion in new business and R&D ventures. By 2050, hydrogen produced in Germany could cost less than EUR 1 per kilogram.

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Pyro-catalytic hydrogen production

Improving waste heat recovery

The pyroelectricity phenomenon – crystals converting thermal energy into power – has been known since antiquity. Our ancestors observed that tourmaline thrown into a fire attracted and then repelled ashes. Seventeenth-century scientists began studying the effect in detail, discovering the electric charges are the result of modified crystal structures.

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