The quiet life is over. That much is clear, even to the German hydrogen and fuel cell association DWV. Growing interest in hydrogen and fuel cells has some wanting to turn the organization into a powerful industrial body.
Mathias Bode, FuelCon and Sensotech’s longtime chief executive, has decided to change careers. An automation technician by trade, he is now working for Aquin & Cie., a privately owned consultancy that specializes in mergers and acquisitions, mainly in the industrial automation, automotive testing and electric vehicle markets.
Bode founded Sensotech in 1990 and FuelCon in 2001, developing the latter into a major supplier of fuel cell and battery test equipment. He also supported FuelCon’s acquisition by the Japanese Horiba Group in 2018. He told H2-international that “Horiba asked me to stay with the company. But after 30 years in the market, I wanted to try out something new. Day-to-day business is now in the hands of Horiba Europe’s Markus Bode [no relation].”
The IfW World Economy Institute Kiel has criticized the German government‘s Covid-19 stimulus package, saying some elements of it are “harmful.” A mid-August IfW analysis titled “Incentive boom thanks to Covid-19?” found that the “one-sided, massive incentivization of all-electric vehicles” is pushing other car markets to the sidelines. Its authors suggest eliminating EUR 4.4 billion from the stimulus package approved on June 3 “without replacing the funds with other incentives.”
The National Hydrogen Council is a vital element of the German hydrogen strategy published in June and comprises 26 representatives for industry, academia and civil society.
Now that’s what you call luck. Right around the editorial deadline of our sister magazine HZwei, the German government debated, passed and presented its strategy to support the hydrogen and fuel cell industry.
Five federal ministries were involved in drafting the strategy. Their compromise agreement sets a 2030 target of “only” 5 gigawatts in installed electrolyzer capacity, not 10, as the German science minister Anja Karliczek strongly proposed.
Understanding how the presence of cations causes polymer electrolyte membranes to degrade is important to advancing PEM research. Fraunhofer ISE has been focused on analyzing various types of cations for their impact on perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes. This analysis is significant in understanding the catalytic effect individual cations have on forming radicals that attack PFSA polymers. How chemical stable these polymers are was investigated using Fenton’s reaction.
A key objective in Germany’s hydrogen strategy is to create international partnerships with green hydrogen exporters. To this end, Gerd Müller, the German minister for international development, recently signed a cooperation agreement with one of the Maghreb countries, announcing: “Together with Morocco, we are developing the first industrial system to generate green hydrogen in Africa.
In late May, transmission network operator Open Grid Europe (OGE) formed a joint venture with TÜV Süd and Horváth & Partners to “provide a path to a hydrogen economy.” During the startup online video call, the united front of chief executives confirmed their intention to explore new markets and bring their expert knowledge in hydrogen technology to industrial, logistics and transportation companies to allow them to draw on this valuable resource.
Hydrogen is considered the ideal raw material for a sustainable energy market transformation. However, some questions still await answers. Where will we get our hydrogen? Will we use the gray, blue, turquoise or green variant in the distant and not-so-distant future? Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources and often generated via water electrolysis.
Once again, the two major German political parties lock horns over the national hydrogen strategy, increasing pressure on the governing coalition to decide before the summer recess. In early May, twelve MPs from the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) circulated a statement demanding a rapid escalation in renewable hydrogen facilities and calling for new partnerships with African countries.
Hot on the CDU’s heels, the Social Democrats (SPD) issued their version, pressing for a more ambitious hydrogen strategy and faster capacity additions.