Fraunhofer Hydrogen Labs

Test area of the Hydrogen Lab Leuna, © Fraunhofer IMWS / Moritz Kühnel
Test area of the Hydrogen Lab Leuna, © Fraunhofer IMWS / Moritz Kühnel

Test centres for industrial hydrogen technology start operation

The industry needs reliable technologies for the broad application of green hydrogen. In the Hydrogen Labs, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is pooling its expertise in the generation and use of green H2 and creating a unique research infrastructure for practical performance and load tests on an industrial scale in order to decisively advance the development of H2 technologies suitable for mass production and thus the market ramp-up.

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First endurance tests for alkaline fuel cells

AFC projects at ABB and FZ JülichAFC Living Lab

Alkaline fuel cells, with their very low use of precious metals, are an alternative to PEM fuel cell technology. Another benefit is the higher tolerance to impurities in the supplied hydrogen. The focus of their work is particularly in the stationary sector. Two current projects with systems from AFC Energy bring dynamism to the still rare project landscape with alkaline fuel cells: The cooperation with ABB on their HPC charging solution for electric vehicles and the future project LLEC at the Jülich Research Centre.

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Hydrogen Romantic

RomanticMany readers, especially those who’ve been following the hydrogen industry for a while, will already be acquainted with the name T. Nejat Veziroglu, also known by his decades-long moniker “Mr. Hydrogen.” Now over 90 years old, he rose to international prominence following his pivotal role in the growth of the global hydrogen market, including as the longtime organizer of the World Hydrogen Energy Conference.

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IEA Roadmap

IEA CoverOn 18 May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented a special report that could help implement the path to an era of net-zero emissions in the energy sector by 2050. The path to be trodden for this is narrow, but it offers amazing benefits. The report is the world’s first comprehensive study on how the transition to a net-zero energy system by 2050 can succeed globally. According to the study, the most important measures are the rapid expansion of renewable energies and the drastic reduction of fossil energy sources.

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The immensity of hydrogen

Porttrait Dirk Müller, © Dirk Müller
“Mr. Dax”, © Dirk Müller

Interview with stock market pundit Dirk Müller

For months now, hydrogen has been dominating the conversation. But far from it being a topic of discussion confined to the energy sector, it’s also a subject on the lips of many stockholders. Internet platforms have been brimming over with posts: a cacophony of news, views, speculation and rumor. And an increasing number of providers are luring potential clients with – sometimes dubious – market studies supposedly offering fresh insider intelligence with the promise of maximum stock returns. One of the best-known stock market experts in Germany is Dirk Müller – otherwise known as Mr. Dax. Many years back he predicted that hydrogen would have a major role to play not just in the energy industry but also on the stock markets. H2-international talked to Müller about his experiences, expectations and share trading strategy.

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High expectations for H2 trucks

Expections, © H2 Mobility
© H2 Mobility

Two truck heavyweights become partners

Volvo and Daimler have substantiated their plans to use hydrogen for large long-distance trucks. During an online presentation event at the end of April 2021, Martin Lundstedt, President of the Volvo Group, specifically named the high possible payloads and the long ranges as decisive criteria for the use of fuel cell technology. He also held out the prospect of large-scale production starting after 2025 and a gigafactory for fuel cells being built by then. Initially, pre-series production is to take place in Esslingen near Stuttgart. The final location question is to be clarified in 2022.

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Is Japan heading for a hydrogen society?

Fukushima Hydrogen Research Field, © Toshiba
© Toshiba

Hydrogen set to play a vital part in green growth strategy

In 2017, Japan became the first industrialized nation to set out its national hydrogen plan. As part of the hydrogen society strategy, massive investments have been made in pioneering pilot projects, albeit with a clear focus on the importation of blue hydrogen. The Japanese hydrogen roadmap foresees expansion on the user side – through fuel cell vehicles, mini combined heat and power units in buildings, and the energy supply – as well as infrastructure build-out and, above all, the rapid establishment of supply chains abroad. And thanks to the Japanese government’s new climate target and green growth strategy, hydrogen has now assumed an even greater significance.

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Starting signal for the Heidekrautbahn

Instead of the end of 2020, the handover of the funding decisions took place on May 3, 2021. Both the Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer, and the Brandenburg Minister of Economics, Prof. Jörg Steinbach, as well as the Minister of Infrastructure, Guido Beermann, appeared at the small railway station in Basdorf to hand over the letters of approval for 25 million euros live on site.

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Direct route to green hydrogen

Portrait Christiane Averbeck, © Climate Alliance Germany
© Climate Alliance Germany

Interview with Christiane Averbeck of Climate Alliance Germany

Discussions around Germany’s approach to hydrogen are in full progress. Although several members of the German government regularly emphasize that green hydrogen will benefit the most from public funding, there are also those who want to see blue and turquoise hydrogen playing a key role – with some of those voices coming from Germany’s National Hydrogen Council. Two environmental associations, BUND and Climate Alliance, have now distanced themselves from this view by declaring their opposition to the use of fossil-based hydrogen and natural gas. In this interview, Christiane Averbeck, executive director of Climate Alliance Germany, outlines her objections to the strategy discussed by the hydrogen council this spring. Climate Alliance Germany is made up of around 140 organizations from all sectors of civil society. Averbeck has been a member of the National Hydrogen Council since June 2020.

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Green hydrogen comes out on top

Trend in hydrogen production in the EU, © Hydrogen4EU
© Hydrogen4EU

Germany plans to overdeliver on EU targets

 

Climate change has become a hot topic in the runup to the German election, with politicians imbued with a new sense of urgency. In April 2021, Germany’s constitutional court published its ruling on the country’s Climate Change Act, triggering the need for swift action to toughen up emission targets: In just a few days the federal cabinet agreed to a new climate law which then quickly received its blessing from the powers that be. Preparations to implement European RED II legislation have also been progressing at speed. So what does this mean for the hydrogen and fuel cell sector?

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