Professor Eicke R. Weber stepped down from his position as director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in late 2016. He reportedly did so for age-related reasons, although a successor has not been named yet. Since 2006, Weber had been head of the Freiburg-based institute and professor of physics/solar energy at the University of Freiburg.
What furthered my interest in hydrogen was a presentation in 1989 by Joachim Gretz, the head of the EU’s Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, about the then running Quebec project. I had already been interested in the technology many years prior to that event: I can still remember clearly how the board chair of German Shell, Johannes Welbergen, told me during a conversation that H2 was the future for which we still had to wait
November 2015 saw the publication of the Fuel Cell Industry Review 2015, including market data and analyses for 2015. Since 2014, a team led by E4tech had contacted fuel cell companies around the globe, aggregated their supply figures and can now show the latest trends in the industry, much as Fuel Cell Today had done before its survey came to a halt. The following will present some excerpts from the review.
Dear Reader, I would like to present you with some short number examples: The German Callux program installed 474 fuel-cell heating systems within eight years; the original target was 800. Japan currently has over 140,000 of these systems. The German 50 Filling Station program was supposed to set up 50 H2 filling stations until the end of 2015. In the end, there were only 19. Until the middle of 2016, another 23 are said to be added. Meanwhile, Japan has already had 80 of these stations in operation (On a side note, the CEP predecessor, the Verkehrswirtschaftliche Energiestrategie, had envisioned 2,000 public H2 filling stations until 2010).
The State of California is becoming more optimistic about early fuel cell vehicle sales, based on a survey of automakers. The fuel cell vehicle fleet is estimated to reach 34,300 by the end of 2021 (see chart). The estimate is high enough to raise concerns that California’s aggressive fueling station deployment program may fall short of demand.
What impact does the ongoing electrification of the automotive industry have? Which technology fields will be affected by the structural changes? What needs to be done not to lag behind? Questions like these are a concern especially to regions highly dependent on the car industry. In a search for answers, the State Agency for Electric Mobility and Fuel Cell Technology, e-mobil BW
In the good-natured international race to deploy hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), Japan has taken a clear lead, with 74 stations approved to date, a dramatic jump from the 45 stations operating or under construction at the end of 2014. By comparison, California and Germany have about 50 stations in operation or under development.
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 $46.6 million in 2014 for 28 stations and a mobile refueler. A start-up, FirstElement Fuel, won financing for 19, but there were seven other winners. CEC funding will pay 85% of station costs, but only if stations come on line before November 1, 2015. The subsidy goes to 75% November 2015 through February 2016, and to 70% thereafter.
FuelCell Energy (FCEL, US-$ 1,20) has reported a wide range of orders and technological breakthroughs. At the 2015 Hanover trade show, the biggest fuel cell in the world was presented (4.5 m. long), with an output of 400 kW. The company sees itself to be well on the way to be able to construct innovative, high performance complete FC systems for large scale use (universities, industry, hospitals, and much more) in order to be able to produce clean electricity very efficiently and to put the waste heat to use as well. With the partners O & G Industries and CT Energy + Technologies, an order was gained from the US city/municipal authority Beacon Falls in Connecticut for a 63-MW-FC power plant, which according to the company will be the biggest of its kind in the world when it is complete. It proved possible