All eyes will be trained on Hannover Messe to see what shape this year’s event will take. The good news for the hydrogen and fuel cell sector is that the German trade show is indeed taking place. The bad tidings are that it will not be a face-to-face affair. Event organizer Deutsche Messe is, however, confident that the fair will still have plenty to offer.
US manufacturer Nikola is the company currently making the most waves in the nascent hydrogen market, emerging as another success story similar to Tesla‘s. Its critics, however, consider the Phoenix-based would-be truck maker to be just as overrated as its competitor from Fremont, as it has yet to deliver on most of its promises.
Like Clean Logistics in northern Germany, Quantron, headquartered in Gersthofen near Augsburg in the south of the country, is planning to convert diesel trucks to run on fuel cells. Founded by Andreas Haller last summer, the business presented a fuel cell truck concept this June before revealing more details about the vehicle at a press conference and during a workshop in Frankfurt in early August. Haller not only managed to get multiple partners on board, but his new company has also been endorsed by climate change advocate Hannes Jaenicke.
In summer, the German government published its national hydrogen strategy, drafted with input from several federal ministries. An example of this intergovernmental collaboration was education minister Anja Karliczek’s idea for creating the post of Green Hydrogen Innovation Commissioner, to ensure that the strategy’s ambitious aims lead to swift action, her ministry said. H2-international spoke with Stefan Kaufmann, who was appointed to the post, about his new job and his concrete plans for the industry. A lawyer by trade, and a member of the Christian Democrats, he has been in parliament since 2009, representing voters in Stuttgart South.
To get eFarm underway, German transportation minister Andreas Scheuer and many of the project’s partners came to Bosbüll on July 7 despite dreary weather. “Germany’s largest hydrogen transportation project,” as GP Joule calls it, involves building two fueling stations, two fuel cell buses, seven tanks to deliver gas by truck, and five 225-kilowatt electrolyzers, each of which will be put up at a different site.
How I miss those face-to-face events. The hustle and bustle in the hallways, the in-person conversations, and, of course, the latest news coverage. And now? No networking, no rumors. All of this makes it quite difficult to gauge the mood in the industry, shifts in companies’ market positions and the outlook for the year ahead.
How important synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, will be in a future energy system is a question many are hotly debating these days. The answer, of course, depends on whom you ask and whom they represent. To bring some facts to the table, energy institute ifeu recently conducted a study for German environment agency UBA to determine the amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants emitted by fuels produced through power-to-X.
It’s been over 20 years since the “Magazin für Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzellen” started covering the hydrogen and fuel cell sector. H2Tec, as it was called at the time, was launched by Hanover-based SunMedia Verlags GmbH at the turn of this century. In 2005, the company decided to cease publication and transfer the rights to the trade magazine to Hydrogeit Verlag, then and now Germany’s premier source for books about hydrogen and fuel cells.
The new Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 withmarket data and analyses was published in January 2020. Since 2014, E4tech’s team has been contacting fuel cell companies worldwide to build it, aggregating their supply figures and creating an independent annual reference point on the current state of the fuel cell industry. Some excerpts are presented below.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) is regarded as one of the pioneers of fuel cell technology, at least in Germany. The globally active seal manufacturer is one of those automotive suppliers who see the far-reaching changes in the mobility sector as an opportunity. With the purchase of battery manufacturer XALT Energy and parts of FC supplier Elcore in 2018, the basis was laid. Claus Möhlenkamp, Chairman of the Management Board, explained to H2-international that this combination brings not only technological but also cost-specific advantages.