One of the biggest electric transportation conferences in the world will open its doors from Oct. 9 through 11 in the German state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart. In 2017, the city’s show grounds will see three events run in parallel – the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition, or EVS for short, the f-cell and the Battery+Storage. One day before the start of those, Stuttgart will have its Electric Transportation Day, AtEm.
The zero-emission future of the transportation sector has prompted an increasing number of energy policy debates on railroad electrification. At Hannover Messe, it was Alstom’s new fuel cell train that garnered much attention. After having been developed in less than two years, it had its first run in mid-March and will reportedly be used to transport passengers starting in 2018.
Germany is experiencing a further ramp-up of hydrogen filling stations. On July 31, two new ones started serving customers in Sindelfingen at the A81 freeway and in Pforzheim at the A8. The former, a Shell station southwest of Stuttgart, is in direct vicinity of the Daimler factory that houses the carmaker’s R&D facilities on fuel cell technologies. Stijn van Els, chair of the German Shell companies, said: “Hydrogen is a promising technological field. We expect this alternative engine fuel to play an increasingly stronger role in markets such as Germany, the Benelux countries, the UK and the US from the 2020s on.”
The German H2 infrastructure is growing steadily. Early this year, Linde expanded its offering around Munich by turning the Linde Hydrogen Center in Unterschleissheim into a public refueling station. What had previously been the industrial gas supplier’s hydrogen R&D facility has been used since Jan. 12 to fill up fuel cell cars such as the ones owned by Linde’s subsidiary BeeZero.
A look at this year’s calendar will reveal the absence of three trade shows previously held in Munich, Germany: eCarTec, Materialica and sMove. They’re not gone, but have been integrated into the eMove360° Europe, which takes place from Oct. 17 through 19. Robert Metzger, CEO of Munich Expo, said that the change in program had already paid off. This April, the number of exhibitors had already surpassed last year’s figure
ZBT based in Duisburg in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has just received approval for four individual publicly funded projects that will make it possible to set up a unique hydrogen array and develop new inspection and testing methods for hydrogen infrastructures. These projects will expand the technology portfolio of an organization which has just celebrated its 15th anniversary and enable it to establish partnership initiatives focused on user and infrastructure scenarios.
Carbon dioxide may be a greenhouse gas, but it can also be a raw material source in industries such as plastics processing and renewable energy generation, where it could gradually replace natural gas and crude oil. Capturing carbon dioxide directly from air provides several advantages for combatting climate change. While limiting the atmospheric concentration of CO2, it offers new opportunities in the chemical industry and in transportation and could dramatically lower harmful emissions by cutting into fossil fuel demand.
The supply volatility of renewable sources such as solar and wind will need to be countered by powerful and efficient systems that can store the generated energy at any time and make it available as soon as demand requires. One solution to solve this challenge is energy storage in a material such as hydrogen (power-to-gas).
The Next Energy research center has gone through uncertain times recently. Last November, the German government did make EUR 7 million per year available to fund the organization, but those millions would only be paid if Next were incorporated into the DLR, the German Aerospace Center. Its integration into the government’s main research organization on aerospace and energy technology, transportation and safety in basic and applied research is intended to save 120 jobs in Oldenburg, Germany
The German government has set clear targets for emissions reduction, starting at minus 40 percent by 2020, 55 percent by 2030, 70 percent by 2040, and 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. One option to meet these targets is to increase renewable use to at least 80 percent of total market size (local electricity production and imports minus exports) by 2050. Intermittent renewable sources such as PV, onshore and offshore wind power will be crucial to meet demand due to their huge potential and will dominate any future electricity market.