BioLPG ready for the off

gas tank

Equal pegging for bioLPG and renewables in newbuilds

Liquefied petroleum gas derived from biomaterials has been legally recognized as a green compliance option in the German heating sector for over two years. Also known as biopropane, bioLPG could play a vital future role particularly in rural areas. What’s more, there are also many pilot projects with synthetic LPG that can be manufactured using green hydrogen. This article provides an overview.

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New hydrogen technology course

Bavarian university gets hydrogen experts on board

Skills compass for the mechanical engineering bachelor’s program at FHWS © FHWS
Skills compass for the mechanical engineering bachelor’s program at FHWS © FHWS

The mechanical engineering faculty at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, FHWS, is taking action to address the energy transition by developing a new hydrogen technology course. The move comes amid Bavaria’s drive to accelerate regional development through its Hightech Agenda program which is channeling investment into clean technologies. From October 2021, FHWS students should have the option to delve deeper into the subject of hydrogen, giving them the chance to pursue a career in this environmentally crucial area. The new course focuses particularly on the development and operation of hydrogen plants as well as plant and workplace safety. FHWS intends to shape the content of the course through continuous dialog with businesses and their specialist staff, with the expectation that this will lead to project collaborations at a later date.

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Hydrogen from offshore wind

Hydrogen production in the Polish Baltic Sea

Targets for wind capacity in Poland © PGEB
© PGEB

On Jan. 15, 2021, the second chamber of the Polish Senate passed a bill designed to facilitate the development of offshore wind power in the Polish area of the Baltic Sea. Once the bill is signed by the president of Poland it will be able to enter the statute book. In the proposed legislation the Polish government intends to offer exceptionally generous support to the offshore energy sector, with grants of up to EUR 25 billion.

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Cold chamber for hydrogen truck tanks

In February 2021, JA-Gastechnology, also known as JAG, shipped a permeation climatic chamber to a U.S. commercial vehicle manufacturer. Based in Burgwedel, Germany, JAG reported that it is the “world’s biggest climatic chamber for hydrogen trucks,” capable of carrying out pressure cycling tests and permeation measurements. With an internal diameter of 10 feet (3 meters), … Read more

Element Eins and Hybridge stopped

Two prominent power-to-gas proposals – Hybridge and Element Eins – have received a rejection from Germany’s Federal Network Agency. The network operators Amprion and TenneT had hoped for an easing of regulations as part of the national hydrogen strategy (see H2-international, August 2020). However, the companies have now suffered a setback in a tussle that has since begun over future market share and profitable business areas.

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Coordination Office for Hydrogen opens

Portrait Philipp Braunsdorf © NOW
© NOW

Although Germany’s Coordination Office for Hydrogen officially launched at the end of last year, at that time it was not yet clear who would be working there or where it would be based. Premises are now due to be acquired in April, with central Berlin earmarked as the location. Taking up the leadership role is Philipp Braunsdorf from the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, or NOW. He is supported in his role by two deputies, one from the German energy agency dena and the other from the non-profit company ZUG.

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Come on!

Cover "Come on!"

When the Club of Rome’s first book was published in 1972 it caused quite a stir. A report on the state of humanity, “The Limits to Growth” was penned by Donella and Dennis Meadows, two scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in the U.S. Even back then, the two authors were able to demonstrate that each person’s individual, localized behavior not only has an impact locally but has global repercussions and that these repercussions extend beyond an individual person’s time frame and sphere of activity. Since then it’s become clear that the excuse of “what I do here doesn’t bother anyone” no longer stands up to scrutiny.

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Hydrogen reshapes energy industry

The reshaping of the energy landscape is well under way. And as the energy industry begins its transformation, it’s become apparent that hydrogen has a major role to play in the new world order – albeit not straightaway, but in the near future. Hence we see every imaginable organization jostling for position to take advantage of this restructuring and perhaps also to shape its direction.

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Frosty reception for hydrogen grid legislation

Two-pronged approach causes controvers

Gas grid expansion, © OGE
© OGE

Draft legislation on the regulation of hydrogen networks, which was recently unveiled by the German government, has been met with little enthusiasm by the gas industry. In particular, criticism has focused on the distinction drawn between gas and hydrogen infrastructure. This two-pronged approach will prevent coordinated development, it has been claimed. However, there are also those who take a more favorable view and cite the positive effects the legislation will have in terms of clear cost allocation. Further questions remain over hydrogen blending and the kind of possibilities that will be opened up by truly comprehensive cross-sector regulation that also incorporates electricity.

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Fuel cell trains on the move

The Coradia iLint in Austria,
Alstom
© Alstom

The evocatively named Heidekrautbahn, or heather railroad, has a long history: Since 1905 it’s enabled city dwellers to escape from the German capital into the surrounding Schorfheide countryside to the north. However, efforts to resume the passenger service between Basdorf and Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, which was discontinued in 1983, have been drawn out over many years. On Dec. 14, 2020, a grant was due to be awarded that would make this rail link a vital part of a large-scale hydrogen project. According to the proposals, the trains would be powered by fuel cells using renewable energy supplied from regional sources and an electrolyzer would be acquired along with additional hydrogen vehicles. In spite of these preparations, the pandemic has, nevertheless, put the launch on hold.

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