The core statements of Messe Düsseldorf were contradictory: On the one hand, Hans Werner Reinhard, the managing director of the trade fair company, explained: “A new industry is emerging here. […] We want to have the central platform for energy storage in Germany.” On the other hand, he stated that the exhibitor figures for 2019 were “rather in a horizontal movement”:
For a long time it was very quiet around the H2 combustion engine. Only Keyou GmbH from Munich adhered to this technology. Now the team of former BMW employee and current Keyou managing director Thomas Korn is receiving support from a prominent source: Deutz AG signed a cooperation agreement with Keyou at the end of March 2019. In addition, the Cologne-based company announced that a first prototype using hydrogen as a fuel had already been developed.
The responsibilities of Deutsche Messe AG are changing: Benjamin Low, the former Global Director of the Hannover Messe, left the Lower Saxony trade fair company at the end of February 2019. His successor is Basilios Triantafillos, who previously headed Energy in Hanover. From now on, the graduate economist will be responsible for all energy topics as well as for compressed air and vacuum technology and global business and markets – in Hanover, but also in Asia and North and Central America.
The SOLIDpower Group does not come to rest. After Alberto Ravagni left SOLIDpower S.p.A. in mid-February 2019 and made way for Dr. Andreas Pichler, who is from Austria, as the new Managing Director, Andreas Ballhausen also left SOLIDpower GmbH at the end of March 2019. He was replaced by Gerald Neuwirth, who will henceforth steer the fortunes of the German company as Managing Director and Sales Director of the Australian-German-Italian Group.
The election of the new chairman of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) had already taken place during the New Energy Days in Husum, but the first public appearance took place in Hannover. At the Public Forum of Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Europe the baton handover took place: Thomas Bystry, who took early retirement from Shell in May 2019, led the initiative for over three years.
The Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems presented a new fuel cell stack at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm, Sweden, in mid-June 2019. The FCmoveTM-HD is specifically designed for the Heavy Duty Motive Market. According to the manufacturer, the compact, robust stack enables significantly more cost-effective operation and higher reliability with 50 percent fewer parts (40 percent volume and 35 percent weight reduction).
A trade fair is usually conceived of as an exhibition of manageable size, where some experts present very special products which are then critically examined by a moderate number of visitors. The Intersolar isn’t like that.
It was full in Hannover, at least so full that almost all the halls on the exhibition grounds were occupied. Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, put the number of exhibitors at 6,500 – just as high as in the comparable year 2017. At 215,000, the number of visitors was somewhat higher than in 2018, but significantly lower than two years ago.
The German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) took a decisive step during this year’s general meeting on 14 May 2019 to be able to make a stronger commitment in the future to the development of a green energy industry based on hydrogen as an energy source.
It’s been a long time since things were moving forward at the pace they have been in recent months. And it has been just as long since the mood was that optimistic in the energy sector. Wherever you look, you feel as if a new chapter has begun. It certainly feels a lot different than past times of doom and gloom in the fuel cell and hydrogen industry.