Hans-Olof Nilsson from Sweden is an electrical engineer who used to work in the refrigeration and telecoms industries and now co-manages a clean energy consulting firm focusing on off-grid solar power and hydrogen storage solutions. A few years back, he decided to go off-grid, by storing solar energy in summer as hydrogen to keep warm in the cold Swedish winter. One day, he invited me to visit his house, which has more than 5,380 square feet (over 500 square meters) of space and is just 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) away from Gothenburg.
The race to build the biggest multi-megawatt power-to-gas plant has begun: On February 11, in Berlin, TenneT and two transmission system operators, namely Amprion and Open Grid Europe, or OGE for short, announced their joint plans to construct a 100-megawatt electrolysis system. As part of Hybridge, they intend to put up a hydrogen production system and adapt an OGE pipeline near Lingen, in Germany’s Emsland region, to transport the gas. The project is expected to cost EUR 150 million.
The steadily growing interest in hydrogen and fuel cells will be on full display at this year’s Hannover Messe, to be held April 1 through April 5 at Hanover’s convention and expo center. This time, the event will shine an even bigger spotlight on integrated energy systems. Its organizers expect over 1,000 exhibitors to unveil new ideas, such as their plans for integrating heat with electricity in industrial settings and storing wind and solar energy as hydrogen and methane or using it to create liquid fuels.
In 18 years of managing the f-cell show, its organizers have seen many trends, and businesses, come and go. Some companies that used to exhibit at the event no longer exist. Some of the speakers at past events have worked for multiple employers in the meantime. And before last year’s decision to move back to Stuttgart’s Haus der Wirtschaft, the show itself took place on the city’s showgrounds.
On Oct. 16, 2018, the eMove360° show in Munich was no longer an event that attracted mainly fans of battery-powered vehicles. For the first time, it featured a conference on fuel cell cars, attended by around three dozen people. However, the main question during this eMove360° Fuel Cell Conference, which took place at the same time as the show, was not whether battery or fuel cell vehicles would make it on the market but if and how the technologies could be combined.
Industrial gases producer Linde has a new hydrogen production system in Leuna, providing more evidence of the company’s shift in strategic focus. On Oct. 24, 2018, Linde announced that it would add another hydrogen liquefier to its chemical manufacturing facilities in Saxony-Anhalt. The unit, scheduled to come online in 2021, would double production capacity to ten metric tons of hydrogen a day and would, like the old one, be linked to the regional pipeline system
UK-based Enrichment Technology Company, or ETC for short, has decided to split its German E&MS subsidiary into two: On Sept. 27, 2018, it announced separate contact numbers for the new companies located in Jülich, where Nproxx Jülich has been put in charge of constructing hydrogen tanks, while Pronexos will manufacture carbon-fiber composites and rollers, among other things.
After three years of negotiations, the RED II bill was accepted by the European Commission, Parliament and Council in mid-June. Now, the parliament and council will need to make the agreement legally binding by approving the text of the renewable energy directive.
On July 10, the Hydrogen Europe association opened its new main office. The event to mark the occasion took place in the White Atrium building on Avenue de la Toison d’Or in Brussels. Among the guests were prominent figures such as Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s commissioner for climate action and energy.
Plansee SE, which specializes in high-temperature materials and is based in Reutte, Austria, will discontinue its fuel cell business. Early this year, management had announced that the company intended to refocus attention on core operations, namely molybdenum and wolfram production, and abandon research on metal-supported fuel cells. It is said, however, that Global Tungsten & Powders, a fully owned Plansee subsidiary headquartered in Towanda, USA, will continue