Not so long ago, CO2 certificates were still the epitome of a bureaucratic failure: Hardly anyone wanted them. They were introduced into the energy industry, but in a way that hardly allowed them to have any effect.
Climate change is very unpleasant. But it also becomes uncomfortable to do something about climate change. In Germany, the Coal Commission was formed with the task of conceiving and planning the phase-out of coal. It can last up to twenty years, it’s been agreed. The affected regions painfully fast, and the climate protectors unbearably long. Germany’s withdrawal from coal is not enough for global climate protection. Around 1,300 new coal-fired power plants are currently being built or planned worldwide. And 90 percent of all new coal-fired power plants are built in developing countries. Those who understand these figures will think that the game against climate change has long since been lost.
Something is happening in politics. After decades of niche existence, hydrogen now seems to have become socially acceptable – at least in some circles.
Baden-Württemberg is home to a large part of the German automotive industry. However, the new headquarters of German battery research will be located in North Rhine-Westphalia, not in Ulm. Therefore, the HyFab project comes to Baden-Württemberg for this purpose.
Prof. Volker Quaschning has been drawing attention to the climate problem for months with many public contributions and actively supports the Fridays-for-Future-Kids by, for example, setting up the Scientists-for-Future group and thus providing scientific support for the youth movement. In mid-August, he published a fact check on the question: Which car has the best climate balance? In this context, he also pursued the thesis that it would be better to rely on the fuel cell car rather than the battery car for climate protection.
Hydrogen technology and steam turbines – this is the motto in Görlitz from now on. After the planned closure of the Siemens plant on the Polish border, announced two years ago, had caused a great deal of displeasure, the major corporation gave in and signed a declaration of intent in mid-July 2019 together with the Free State of Saxony and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in order to strengthen the location in the long term and support structural change in Lausitz.
The current interest in hydrogen is almost frightening. Too often we already had H2 hypes, according to which the image of hydrogen was worse than ever before. A number of industry representatives with whom I have talked these days are therefore sceptical and fear that the hope for sustainable change that is just emerging will immediately be destroyed again.
In the middle of the summer break, Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier announced what the hydrogen and fuel cell industry has been waiting for for many years: a hydrogen strategy for Germany.
The scientists on Ulm’s Eselsberg might have experienced a real roller coaster ride of emotions at the beginning of July 2019. First came the no to the battery location, but then the yes to the fuel cell location.
The Saxon city of Chemnitz is increasingly developing into a Mecca for hydrogen enthusiasts. On July 17, 2019, the Technical University there and the company Continental Powertrain will open a new H2 laboratory equipped with a test rig for researching modern fuel cell vehicle systems.