On May 31, 2017, the East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer based in Regensburg, Germany, went out of business. Also known as OTTI, it filed for insolvency on Oct. 27, 2016, when it was on the verge of not being able to meet its financial obligations, and insolvency proceedings commenced on Feb. 1, 2017. No potential investor could be found and four decades of conference organizing came to an end this year.
Maroš Šefčovič, vice president of the European Commission’s Energy Union, spent twenty minutes during Hannover Messe to discuss the role of green hydrogen in the energy transformation with representatives from industry. The conversation at NOW’s booth was followed by the DWV and industry representatives presenting Šefčovič with a position paper by the industry. It called on the European Commission to consider a legislative change
On March 30, 2017, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association organized a parliamentary evening at the French embassy in Germany’s capital of Berlin. The embassy had already been the venue for a similar meeting between politicians and industry representatives three years ago. The topic was the economic feasibility of hydrogen transportation, this time including rail and maritime applications besides the much-discussed issue of road vehicles.
Johannes Schiel, formerly managing director of VDMA’s Fuel Cells working group, left the German association of machinery and equipment suppliers at the end of April. His successor, Gerd Krieger, used to be his mentor and had been deputy director of VDMA’s Power Systems department. Krieger has worked for the association for 25 years.
Since last December, industrial gas supplier Linde has been trying in a second attempt to merge with its American competitor Praxair. On June 2, 2017, Linde’s supervisory board finally approved the merger, a decision that was not without controversy. As Reuters has reported, one of the six worker representatives had abstained from voting, effectively turning a split decision into a six-to-five vote in favor of the deal.
The marketing of fuel cell buses has begun: The successful completion of several showcase projects (see HZwei issues from January 2011 and 2014 and March 2017) and the conclusion of the CHIC conference in London late last year were followed this January by the launch of the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe, or JIVE for short, and MEHRLIN
In November 2016, E4tech published data and analyses on the fuel cell industry in its latest edition of Fuel Cell Industry Review. Since 2014, it has contacted businesses in the industry and aggregated their shipment figures to capture the most recent market developments. The following sections will present some excerpts from this review and explain the changes to the preliminary 2016 figures published last November.
Japan remains fully committed to integrating hydrogen into its national energy mix, and is looking to Europe and to a lesser extent the U.S. for markets and research support. Developers f residential fuel cell systems have all found European partners to bid for FCH-JU funding. And Japan’s Toyota has quietly led an international effort to engage corporations
The RD&D activities of the industry and the public sector have successfully established a global market for hydrogen and fuel cells. There is growing consensus about the importance of these clean energy carriers in transportation and several manufacturing segments. Countries such as Germany, Japan and the United States – and organizations such as the European Commission – have been spearheading efforts in research, development and demonstration technologically and politically to show how sustainable and reliable these resources really are.
The 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference will take place next year in Brazil – with the help of a German business. Co-organizer of the WHEC 2018 held under the auspices of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy is reported to be Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse. The hosts in Rio de Janeiro from June 17 through 22 will be the Laboratório de Hidrogênio, or Lab H2 for short, and the Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa de Engenharia, or COPPE UFRJ.