In 2019, Reinhard Christiansen, the chief executive of Energie des Nordens, or EdN, is continuing at the same pace at which he implemented his ideas last year. On January 24, he signed a purchase deal for another PEM electrolyzer, in addition to the 225-kilowatt unit, type ME 100/350 by H-Tec Systems, that was started up in October 2018. He is planning to have the new and larger ME 450/1400 device with a capacity of 1 megawatt installed in the German town of Haurup. Reportedly, this second plant will inject 3.75 million kilowatt-hours of hydrogen, produced from surplus wind power, into Germany’s pipeline system.
A small, decentralized power-to-gas system was started up in a residential development in Augsburg, Germany, at the beginning of this year. Exytron, the Rostock-based manufacturer of the installation, said it was the first of its kind around the globe to store surplus renewable electricity in synthetic natural gas and extract power when needed. With the help of the company’s SmartEnergyTechnology, “the system reduces emissions by 70 percent to 100 percent,” said the business’s sales director, Klaus Schirmer.
On January 17, in Berlin, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, also known as DWV, and the German Association of the Gas and Water Industries, or DVGW, signed an agreement to step up their efforts to help set up a power-to-gas market. At the signing ceremony, which was attended by Thomas Bareiß, who has a leading role in the economy ministry, both organizations said they aimed to “gradually turn today’s fossil fuel economy into a climate-friendly energy system” by replacing natural with synthetic gas one step at a time.
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.
In January, Eui-sun Chung, the executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, was named co-chair of the Hydrogen Council. He now heads the organization together with Benoît Potier, Air Liquide’s chief executive and chairman of the council since its founding in 2017. Both stressed the import of creating a zero-carbon hydrogen society.
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.
During his time as chairman of the German NPE’s steering committee (National Platform for Electric Mobility), Henning Kagermann seemed, for the most part, to be little enamored with hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Now, in his role as head of National Platform for the Future of Transportation (NPM), things might have changed, so H2-international asked him again about his opinion:
Early into the Fuel Cell Innovation Forum, organized by the BDH and Zukunft Erdgas, both spokesmen for the Fuel Cell Initiative, or IBZ for short, were visibly tense, seemingly worried that the government might drop its support for residential fuel cells. But after Thomas Bareiß, who works at the German economy ministry, told those gathered on Oct. 10, 2018, in Berlin the heaters had been short-listed for incentives in 2019, you could hear them breathe a sigh a relief.