Self-sufficiency solutions get ready for market

Off-grid living in Germany and Australia

The Australian LAVO ™ module
The Australian LAVO™ module, © Lavo

Energy self-sufficiency, a dream for a number of homeowners, is now gradually becoming a reality. As isolated projects have already demonstrated, it is perfectly feasible to forgo a conventional grid connection and have a property’s entire energy needs met by renewables alone. The technology that makes this possible is on the tipping point of serial production following years of development, a move that could also bring the price down to a more acceptable level in the not too distant future.

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The industrial sector hits on hydrogen

Digital Handelsblatt Energy Summit 2021

Hildegard Müller - VDA
© VDA

Global energy trends are clearly moving in the direction of hydrogen – and away from fossil fuels. That’s the conclusion that can be drawn from the three-day digital energy summit staged by German business paper Handelsblatt which ran from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2021. The energy sector as a whole faces enormous challenges as it continues along the path of decarbonization. Coal will be exhausted and demand for oil, too, will gradually decline in favor of hydrogen – with green hydrogen a credible prospect in the longer term given its renewable credentials. Natural gas must also become cleaner, though carbon capture and storage, CCS, remains a divisive issue. “Turquoise” hydrogen, meanwhile, can be viewed as a sensible option for applications associated with the production of green steel. No mention was made of yellow hydrogen produced from biogas, and was addressed instead in terms of hydrogen created using nuclear power.

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Put it on the agenda

Christoph von Knobelsdorff

Interview with NOW chief executive Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff

As of May 15, 2020, the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) has a new chief executive. Formerly Klaus Bonhoff, who has moved to the German transportation ministry, his successor is Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff. Now is the time to take stock and ask what the future holds.

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German government invests in green hydrogen

National Hydrogen Strategy
National Hydrogen Strategy, © BMWi / Andreas Mertens

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.

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Perhaps the most interesting energy source

Thomas Bareiß
Thomas Bareiß

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.

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130 hydrogen filling stations by 2021

Nikolas Iwan
Nikolas Iwan.

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.

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FC heaters are a good start

Installation work in the cellar
Installation work in the cellar, © Lehmeyer

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.

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Shell Study: Fuel Cells for Car Use

Stijn
Stijn van Els

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.”

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eCarTec Is History

emove-1-webThe 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).

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