BMWi starts incentive program for market launch

NAPE-nationaler-action-plan-webIn May 2015, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) presented the long-awaited funding instrument for the market launch of fuel cell heating devices. As announced by Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, the market launch is to be supported via the so-called Energy Efficiency Incentive Program. The program is part of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), which was passed by the German federal government at the end of 2014. With other projects, it aims to contribute to a big improvement in the level of effectiveness in the construction sector. The package of measures has an annual funding volume

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The provision of funding to fuel cells in CHP units

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Panasonics Vitalor

In March 2015, the German Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) introduced a new funding regulation: “Fuel cells for highly efficient combined heat and power units”. These FC-CHP guidelines aim to ensure the smooth transition of fuel cell-based combined heat and power technology from the research and development stage (R&D) to commercialization over the short and medium term. On this basis, the BMVI awards investment grants to fuel cell CHP devices in single and multi-family dwellings as well as in industrial and commercial properties which have an electrical output of up to 20kW. Playing a leading role here are the

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Federal Ministry for the Environment improves CHP support

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“Sales talk” during the Hanover trade show (Source: SOLIDpower)

At the end of 2014 the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) revised the mini CHP (combined heat and power) impulse program. It has now been in force since 1st January 2015, and has brought with it a range of new developments for FC heating equipment in particular, as fuel cells are more effective than conventional heating elements, a factor that is henceforth receiving funding. With this revision, the BMUB has used an

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Will China be a pioneer in FC mobility?

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The Qin is a bestseller in China (Source: BYD)

Considering the current fuel cell activities in China, it can be concluded with some certainty that over the course of years to come, the People’s Republic will not suddenly become a pioneer in the field of FC mobility. At the same time, however, in the area of research and development and on the governmental side, the country is now doing some initial groundwork with the use of renewable energy in the area of energy supply. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are playing an important role here.

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3rd National Electric Mobility Conference

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Chancellor of Germany Dr. Angela Merkel

“Germany will not be able to circumvent the provision of further funding.” This decisive pronouncement from Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel reflects the dilemma in which the German federal government currently finds itself: for budgetary reasons and due to frequently repeated refusals, direct funding in the form of a buyer’s premium has been ruled out – and yet without funding, it is unlikely that the self-defined goal of one million electric vehicles will be

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Rainer Seele leads OMV

Dr. Rainer Seele
Dr. Rainer Seele

Since 1st July 2015, Dr. Rainer Seele has been the new Board Chairman and Managing Director of the incorporated company OMV. As reported by the supervisory board of OMV AG, Seele was given a three-year contract with the option of extension for another two years. Seele, who is married and the father of three grown-up children, is following in the footsteps of Gerhard Roiss, who – as reported by the Austrian gas and oil company – left the company on 30th June 2015 on the basis of mutual agreement.

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ASUE and DVGW to cooperate

To gain further influence in the different interests in the energy sector, two associations in the gas industry have entered into a strategic cooperation: the Deutsche Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches (German Gas and Water Association / DVGW) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für sparsamen und umweltfreundlichen Energieverbrauch (Working Group for Energy Conservation and Environmentally Friendly Energy Use / ASUE). On 29th May 2015, the Chairman of the Board of the DVGW, Prof. Dr. Gerald Linke, and President of the ASUE, Dr. Ludwig Möhring, signed an appropriate agreement in Berlin. Its primary goals are

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Bob Rose reports about fuel cell activities in the US

Bob-Rose
Robert Rose

Eight companies that won a public competition for funds to build hydrogen fueling stations in California are scrambling this summer to meet an October 31, 2015, target date for opening their stations, with at least $4.5 million at stake. The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $46.6 million in 2014 for 28 stations and a mobile refueler. A start-up, FirstElement Fuel, won financing for 19, but there were seven other winners. CEC funding will pay 85% of station costs, but only if stations come on line before November 1, 2015. The subsidy goes to 75% November 2015 through February 2016, and to 70% thereafter.

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Teslas Powerwall battery causes hype

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Tesla Home Battery Powerwall (Source: Tesla)

Tesla (TSLA, US$245.00) has many friends in the offices of major banks and leading broking firms on the stock exchange. This is not only expressed in the market price, and especially the strong price increases in recent weeks (over 20%), but in many favorable comments and classifications. At the same time, there has been heavy speculation on falling prices when one looks at the number of short-sold shares (short interest) which is hovering around 24 million shares – with approx. 95 million shares which can be traded freely (approx. 124 million shares are outstanding).

Recently, the announcement of a new, high performance battery with the name PowerWall has recently caused a stir and resulted in strongly

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