Membership of the German hydrogen and fuel cell association DWV is going up and up. Not only that, the difficult energy policy situation at the moment means the association is gaining in importance too. For several years the DWV has been evolving into a central industry association alongside the German gas and water industries association DVGW. In order to further improve cooperation between the two organizations, in spring 2021 the DWV executive committee selected Thorsten Kasten, at the DVGW’s suggestion, to become its second chairman (see H2-international, August 2021). H2-international spoke to Kasten during the Hannover Messe about his first year at the DWV and to Tilman Wilhelm, who from April this year has headed up the regulatory policy, press and public relations work of the DVGW, about the challenges in the energy space.
H2-international: Mr. Kasten, you have been co-chairing the DWV with Werner Diwald since April 22, 2021. How did you find your early days in the role?
Kasten: The three years before I joined the DWV were all about developing new business areas at VNG AG, including neighborhood solutions, as well as about collaborating with startups – in other words the innovation space – with a view to transforming the energy sector. Under my leadership we were able to notch up a number of successes, among them partnerships with startups which have focused on pyrolysis as a means of hydrogen production. After spending many years working in energy supply companies, the responsibilities at an association such as the DWV are, as you would expect, much more general and varied in nature. Being in charge of infrastructure and education areas as well as the association’s general organization and development means I can actively bring many things from my previous positions as well as my expertise in energy sector transformation.
H2-international: What exactly is the goal of the cooperation agreement between the DVGW and the DWV?
Wilhelm: Both associations presume that, as the energy supply system evolves, we will need gas molecules in similar proportions to what we do today – it’s just that increasingly they will be green and renewable. The DVGW represents a major part of the value chain in terms of today’s natural gas grid and the future hydrogen grid. This part has now started converting to hydrogen – for instance, the upstream and downstream areas of production and application. The DWV and the DVGW pursue the same goals and represent the same positions which is why we are working together.
H2-international: How are responsibilities divided between the associations?
Wilhelm: The DVGW has a very strong scientific and technical foundation, not least with regard to the scientific institutions that make up the DVGW group. This also naturally provides the basis for engagement with the political establishment. What’s more, the DVGW creates technical standards which means it’s very close to what is happening down on the ground, making it a good intermediary between the political sphere and industry.
Kasten: The DWV’s primary focus is on policy work. Here, our main emphasis is on areas and commercial fields that want to ramp up hydrogen in Germany and Europe so as to safeguard future energy supplies.[…]
… Read this article to the end in the latest H2-International
Interviewer: Sven Geitmann