Despite the current wave of enthusiasm about the potential of hydrogen, there is much discussion and much uncertainty about the role of synthetic fuels. If you follow the current debate, you sometimes get the impression that E-Fuels are either another saviour or a spawn of evil.
Hydrogen-powered combustion engines seemed dead after BMW had stopped development work on H2 reciprocating piston engines years ago. This still applies to passenger cars, but not to commercial vehicles or stationary plants. In the sector of large combined heat and power plants, 2G Energy AG has long been working on making its gas engines compatible with hydrogen.
Green hydrogen, preferably produced by electrolysis, links the energy, industry and mobility sectors and is an important tool to enable the integration of renewable energies. Proton exchange membrane electrolysis (PEMEL) is considered the most promising technology due to its power density and dynamics.
Maroš Šefčovič, vice president of the European Commission’s Energy Union, spent twenty minutes during Hannover Messe to discuss the role of green hydrogen in the energy transformation with representatives from industry. The conversation at NOW’s booth was followed by the DWV and industry representatives presenting Šefčovič with a position paper by the industry. It called on the European Commission to consider a legislative change
A new megatrend needs time to develop. The last 15 years established the foundation for the coming breakthrough of fuel cells and a steadily growing interest in their use. Here’s why: Historically, technological revolutions often needed 15 years before a breakthrough was achieved. But once you’re past that point, everything goes very quickly, since no market actor wants to remain on the sidelines. This is exactly what’s happening to the fuel cell across all markets and applications.
If one takes into account order bookings, collaborations, product developments and prospective markets, buying shares of fuel cell companies looks ever more promising. But the capitalization of the market leaders in fuel cells described in this article amount to a mere USD 750 million – a stark contrast to Tesla, the electric car pioneer, which has a market cap of USD 34 billion. These companies may very well get closer over the coming years, if Tesla gradually loses in value while fuel cell shares increase considerably in price.
At the beginning of this year, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association had its first-ever H2 economic forum in the German capital. On Feb. 18, 2016, around 50 representatives from politics and business were invited to the Dutch embassy in Berlin to discuss green hydrogen opportunities with Germany’s federal environment minister, Barbara Hendricks.
A ferry over the Rhine has for many years been the link between Rüdesheim and Bingen, a cross-over between the federal German states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. The car ferry is highly frequented: both by local tourism and by commuters who want to get to Ingelheim and Mainz, but also into the other direction to Wiesbaden and the Frankfurt area, including its adjacent communities.
The parliamentary evening organized each year by the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) was held at the British embassy in Berlin in mid-November of 2015. More members of parliament than ever showed up to the event dedicated to Green Hydrogen for an Efficient Energy Transformation.