Membership of the German hydrogen and fuel cell association DWV is going up and up. Not only that, the difficult energy policy situation at the moment means the association is gaining in importance too. For several years the DWV has been evolving into a central industry association alongside the German gas and water industries association DVGW. In order to further improve cooperation between the two organizations, in spring 2021 the DWV executive committee selected Thorsten Kasten, at the DVGW’s suggestion, to become its second chairman (see H2-international, August 2021). H2-international spoke to Kasten during the Hannover Messe about his first year at the DWV and to Tilman Wilhelm, who from April this year has headed up the regulatory policy, press and public relations work of the DVGW, about the challenges in the energy space.
The tasks of grid operators include, on the one hand, the safety-oriented design of the gas infrastructure and, on the other hand, guaranteeing the proper functioning and operational reliability of the gas networks over their lifetime of use. Network operators ensure this by adhering to the requirements in the technical regulations of the DVGW, the German association for gas and water standards (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V.), for all gases in accordance with reference sheet (Arbeitsblatt) G 260. Which now also includes hydrogen. With the publishing of the new Energiewirtschaftsgesetz (German energy industry law, EnWG) in August 2021, the DVGW also became responsible for establishing the technical rules and requirements for the supply of hydrogen by pipeline to the general public. On the one hand, this is a leap of trust in the expertise of the gas industry and, on the other, an impetus to further develop the regulatory framework especially for hydrogen.
For the production of the 14 TWh of green hydrogen capacity the German federal government expects by 2030, no more water is needed than what a city with around 200,000 inhabitants consumes. This was the calculation of the DVGW (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches), the German association for gas and water standards, in the study “Klimaschutz und Resilienz” (climate protection and climate resilience) from April 2021. According to it, the use of electrolyzers with comparatively low input of water is feasible. Electrolyzers also perform favorably in comparison to coal-fired power plants. For example, the water demand of the energy industry today, which is primarily coal-fired, is more than 50 percent of the total water withdrawal of Germany for the year 2020, according to data from the federal environmental agency UBA (Umweltbundesamt).
Since April 2022, the former head of communications at the German national organization for hydrogen and fuel cells (Nationale Organisation Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie GmbH, NOW) has been working at the German association for gas and water standards (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V., DVGW). Tilman Wilhelm, who had been responsible for the public image of NOW since 2008, henceforth works as head of regulatory policy, press and public relations at the trade association. Dr. Gerald Linke, managing director of the DVGW, said, “With Tilman Wilhelm, a proven hydrogen and mobility expert with excellent political connections in Berlin and on the EU level is taking over responsibility for communications at the DVGW.”
In April, gas and water industries association DVGW tapped Thorsten Kasten, 52, to co-lead hydrogen and fuel cell organization DWV. By unanimous vote, the DWV executive committee later confirmed the DVGW’s candidate as its new co-chair of the board. Kasten now serves alongside Werner Diwald, who has led the DWV since 2014.
Interview with Gerald Linke, DVGW chairman
The German gas and water industries association DVGW has for some time been increasing its efforts in relation to hydrogen. In early 2018, it entered into initial negotiations with the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, DWV, with the aim of intensifying the cooperation between the two organizations. At the end of 2020, DWV members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the partnership proposed by the board. What unites these two associations and what could the gas industry look like in the future? Gerald Linke, DVGW chairman, shared his views with H2-international.
Amendments cut clean energy surcharges on hydrogen
Experts agree, German parliament has scored an important hydrogen economy victory. EEG,amendments exempt hydrogen from a good portion of clean energy surcharges. What we need now is a renewable capacity to match.
DVGW partnership with DVGW confirmed
For years now, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, DWV, has been trying to find a new path forward. The association’s annual meeting in Hamburg, Germany, last September did nothing to remedy matters as members once more put off several decisions regarding its future. Finally, a well-organized online event held on Dec. 4 greased the wheels of reform, speeding the DWV on its way to becoming a powerful industry association.
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.
This March, the German gas and water industries association DVGW published the findings of a study called “Hydrogen electric vehicles – trends and outlook,” which the organization had commissioned to evaluate the prospects for hydrogen in the transportation sector.