Methanol as a central building block of a sustainable energy future

© Global Energy Solutions
© Global Energy Solutions

Guest commentary by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Franz Josef Radermacher

Germany focuses too much on national goals in the fight against climate change (climate nationalism). However, these are of little relevance in the global context. This focus leads to unfavourable strategies, for example in the areas of green electricity, green hydrogen and synthetic fuels. All considerations are dominated by scarcity and too high costs. Because in Germany people want to produce themselves what should be imported wisely. Just as 70 per cent of energy has been imported up to now.

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How can Germany and Europe lead the way in fuel cell mobility?

Overview of recommended actions, © NPM
© NPM

National Platform Future of Mobility reveals its position paper

The chances of fuel cell technology making a breakthrough in mobility applications are looking good. Various developments are helping the rollout, expansion and deployment of fuel cell technologies in many different areas of the transportation sector. These include the technological maturity of the automotive industry, potential synergies in connection with other hydrogen applications and sectors, considerable changes to the regulatory framework and new political ambitions, as articulated in Germany’s national hydrogen strategy. But how is the German and European vehicle manufacturing industry poised when it comes to fuel cells?

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Building a hydrogen economy on the Baltic Sea coast

Ideas map, © LEKA
© LEKA

Fifth part of the Regions series: HyStarter Rügen-Stralsund

What role can the production of green hydrogen play in the future for regional added value creation in a rural, structurally weak, but large area region with a high share of renewable energy production capacities? Which generation paths make sense at different locations, and which framework conditions must be fulfilled in order to achieve this? Where is there potential for hydrogen applications in the district of Vorpommern-Rügen? With these questions in mind, the HyStarter Region Rügen-Stralsund started a one-year strategy process in December 2019 to develop a vision, define fields of action, analyse selected locations and technology concepts, and adopt a roadmap until 2030 that describes a whole bundle of measures to be implemented in the future.

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Digital value creation in a green hydrogen economy

Results of Fraunhofer’s PLATON research project

Hybrid value creation model for the green hydrogen economy
Hybrid value creation model for the green hydrogen economy

Three Fraunhofer institutes in Germany – IAO, IIS and IMW – have been tackling key questions on the nature of digital value creation in relation to green hydrogen. The research comes as part of the PLATON project which has been investigating the platform economy in the hydrogen sector. The results of the project have now been published in a study. The outcome is a hybrid value creation model that helps companies to take a systematic approach to digital value creation.

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Starting signal for the Heidekrautbahn

Instead of the end of 2020, the handover of the funding decisions took place on May 3, 2021. Both the Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer, and the Brandenburg Minister of Economics, Prof. Jörg Steinbach, as well as the Minister of Infrastructure, Guido Beermann, appeared at the small railway station in Basdorf to hand over the letters of approval for 25 million euros live on site.

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Green hydrogen comes out on top

Trend in hydrogen production in the EU, © Hydrogen4EU
© Hydrogen4EU

Germany plans to overdeliver on EU targets

 

Climate change has become a hot topic in the runup to the German election, with politicians imbued with a new sense of urgency. In April 2021, Germany’s constitutional court published its ruling on the country’s Climate Change Act, triggering the need for swift action to toughen up emission targets: In just a few days the federal cabinet agreed to a new climate law which then quickly received its blessing from the powers that be. Preparations to implement European RED II legislation have also been progressing at speed. So what does this mean for the hydrogen and fuel cell sector?

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Stellantis launches H2 van on the market

Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen, © Citroën
© Citroën

After years of silence regarding Opel’s fuel cell activities, the German automobile manufacturer came back in mid-May 2021 with an H2 van Vivaro-e Hydrogen – and with it the French sister companies Peugeot and Citroën, both of which also belong to the parent company Stellantis. The major corporation designed its own “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric system” for the three brands, consisting of a 100-kW drive combined with a 45-kW fuel cell from the French manufacturer Symbio and a high-voltage power storage unit.

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Hydrogen to ensure clean future at Lake Constance

Hydrogen Regions, Part IV: HyExpert project – HyAllgäu

HYExpert

Before the start of the HyExperts study, the plethora of ideas surrounding hydrogen development in the Allgäu region near Lake Constance resembled a thread with many loose ends. But now thanks to the HyExperts funding program, backed by the German transport ministry and overseen by NOW, it’s been possible to quickly put forward concrete plans for a local field trial with the aim of producing and utilizing 1,000 metric tons of hydrogen a year in Allgäu. NOW’s HyLand initiative for the development of hydrogen regions in Germany has therefore given crucial impetus to the transformation of this area into a hydrogen economy.

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New hydrogen technology course

Bavarian university gets hydrogen experts on board

Skills compass for the mechanical engineering bachelor’s program at FHWS © FHWS
Skills compass for the mechanical engineering bachelor’s program at FHWS © FHWS

The mechanical engineering faculty at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, FHWS, is taking action to address the energy transition by developing a new hydrogen technology course. The move comes amid Bavaria’s drive to accelerate regional development through its Hightech Agenda program which is channeling investment into clean technologies. From October 2021, FHWS students should have the option to delve deeper into the subject of hydrogen, giving them the chance to pursue a career in this environmentally crucial area. The new course focuses particularly on the development and operation of hydrogen plants as well as plant and workplace safety. FHWS intends to shape the content of the course through continuous dialog with businesses and their specialist staff, with the expectation that this will lead to project collaborations at a later date.

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Element Eins and Hybridge stopped

Two prominent power-to-gas proposals – Hybridge and Element Eins – have received a rejection from Germany’s Federal Network Agency. The network operators Amprion and TenneT had hoped for an easing of regulations as part of the national hydrogen strategy (see H2-international, August 2020). However, the companies have now suffered a setback in a tussle that has since begun over future market share and profitable business areas.

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