The number of electric vehicles in use on Austrian roads could grow from 4,700 to around 8,000 this year, according to a statement made by the country’s environmental protection agency. In 2017, the figure could jump to 23,000; in 2020, there could be around 174,000 electric cars driving in the Alpine state. Jürgen Halasz, chair of the association for electric transportation at the federal level (BEÖ, see also HZwei issue from April 2015), an organization founded at the beginning of last year, believes that even a figure of 250,000 will be possible. All of these forecasts, however, include plug-in hybrids as well.
At the beginning of this year, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association had its first-ever H2 economic forum in the German capital. On Feb. 18, 2016, around 50 representatives from politics and business were invited to the Dutch embassy in Berlin to discuss green hydrogen opportunities with Germany’s federal environment minister, Barbara Hendricks.
Expectations exceeded – this best sums up the three days from March 15 to 17 in Düsseldorf, Germany. In its fifth year, the Energy Storage Europe (ESE) and the four events taking place at the same time were able to attract an even greater number of participants: around 50% more exhibitors and 60% more attendees from the industry compared to the previous year. The mood in the Congress Center Düsseldorf right next to the Rhine was cheerful – and rightly so.
This is a report from Mortimer Schulz, the owner and founder of solutions in energy e.U., who drove a rented Hyundai Tucson ix35 FCEV on February 16th and 17, 2016 from Innsbruck to Amsterdam with a total distance of 1,099 kilometres (km). His motivation was to gain experience in pursuing a journey in a fuel cell vehicle with a limited number of hydrogen refuelling stations along the way. The four stops were Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Duesseldorf and Helmond.
The idea has already been tossed around for twenty years – now it is finally being realized: The development of a market-ready fuel cell bike. As gas specialist Linde announced in November 2015, it took in-house engineers less than three months to design an electric-assisted pedal cycle equipped with a fuel cell instead of a battery pack. The required hydrogen is brought along in a composite tank, which can hold 34 grams of the gas
Not too long ago, France’s capital had been the venue for the UN Climate Change Conference COP21. Even if hydrogen and fuel cell technology was not a separate item on the agenda, it is a good bet that many of the around 40,000 participants – from government officials to business associations and unions to environmental and religious organizations – have developed a basic understanding of this technology
The presentation of the results of the H2IntraDrive project was not a sales event or press conference – it was both. On Nov. 23, 2015, the project partners as well as representatives of prospective new partners and some reporters gathered in the BMW factory in Leipzig to take a look at the results of two years of development. The important thing to take away from the event was:
The World of Energy Solutions (WES) is slowly turning into a battery-only exhibition. The event, whose most recent instalment took place in Stuttgart from Oct. 12 to 14, 2015, was originally launched as the regional fuel cell conference f-cell. Fifteen years ago, a small number of hydrogen and fuel cell experts met in the House of Economy in Stuttgart to talk about their research at test labs and workshops. The conference was accompanied by a small exhibition showcasing products of businesses mostly based in Germany’s Swabia region.
Messe Düsseldorf and the European Association for Renewable Energy (EUROSOLAR) agreed at the end of last October to work together more closely in the future. They signed a collaboration agreement to better link the International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES) with the Energy Storage Europe (ESE). The tenth year since its inception will see IRES – which is considered by its organizers to be the “leading conference on research and social aspects of energy storage” – merge with ESE, a conference primarily focused on economic and financial issues.
Europe’s first research facility to test the storage opportunities for hydrogen at former natural gas reservoirs was inaugurated last fall in Austria’s city of Pilsbach. On October 5, Austria‘s Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Alois Stöger, celebrated the inauguration of the plant, which is part of the EUR 4.5 million project Underground Sun Storage