There it is – the national hydrogen strategy. Five federal ministries presented the cabinet-approved final concept in Berlin on June 10. Querulous months of intense cross-ministry wrangling over hydrogen colors, the targeted electrolyzer capacity and committee rosters preceded strategy publication as sector representatives prowled, yearning for news. Ultimately, the governing coalition agreed on a whopping EUR 7 billion package, plus an additional 2 billion for potential hydrogen export countries.
Hydrogen has now reached the highest political level: Even before the summer break, Chancellor Angela Merkel had already spoken out in favour of an H2 strategy for Germany. It was therefore she who set the course for the energy turnaround, even before Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmeier publicly announced the presentation of a corresponding concept at the end of the year.
The expansion of the H2 infrastructure continues – albeit much slower than it could be. The declared goal of having 100 hydrogen refuelling sites in Germany is expected to be achieved by mid-2020 – more than a year later than originally planned. By the end of 2021, 10 to 15 new locations are to be added each year.
In the middle of the summer break, Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier announced what the hydrogen and fuel cell industry has been waiting for for many years: a hydrogen strategy for Germany.
Letter to the editor from Klaus Lehmeyer
With great interest I read your article “The search for alternatives in the heating sector” in the H2-international issue January 2019.
I have had a fuel cell heating system for almost a year now. I spent quite some time looking for a new heating system for my building (built in 1955). As a certified energy consultant and efficiency expert, I have not made the task easy for myself.
This March, Shell presented a new study carried out in collaboration with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Focusing on transportation, the authors compared several different production pathways for hydrogen and took a closer look at the three regions spearheading global development: Germany, Japan and the United States. Jörg Adolf, who headed the project at Shell, said that hydrogen technology had made big advances over the past years, “not just in car use.”
The eighth and last eCarTec took place in Munich, Germany, on Oct. 18 to 20 last year. There will be another conference about electric transportation in fall in the Bavarian state capital, but its new name is “eMove360°” and it will offer a wider variety of topics about “Transportation 4.0” (electric transportation, connected and autonomous driving, materials and design).
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.
There is a major information deficit with the topic of hydrogen and fuel cell technology – both in expert circles and in the public realm. There are almost no affordable English magazines that cover the research results from other regions of the world. The few press releases which are published on the internet often suffer from a lack of detailed facts. For this reason the Hdrogeit Verlag is now offering a new information service which reports on the latest developments in the hydrogen and fuel cells sector: H2-international.
“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