Hydrogen-exporting countries vie for top spot

Karliczek
Anja Karliczek, © Hans-Joachim Rickel, BMBF

A key objective in Germany’s hydrogen strategy is to create international partnerships with green hydrogen exporters. To this end, Gerd Müller, the German minister for international development, recently signed a cooperation agreement with one of the Maghreb countries, announcing: “Together with Morocco, we are developing the first industrial system to generate green hydrogen in Africa.

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Green hydrogen from biogas

electricity costs
Levelized Cost of Electricity (Cent/kWh)

Hydrogen is considered the ideal raw material for a sustainable energy market transformation. However, some questions still await answers. Where will we get our hydrogen? Will we use the gray, blue, turquoise or green variant in the distant and not-so-distant future? Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources and often generated via water electrolysis.

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Future energy storage

Bad Lauchstädt
Gas pressure and control line, © VNG Gasspeicher

The energy source of the future is hydrogen. It can be produced from renewables and used as a raw material or an energy source in multiple industries. The biggest challenge industrial companies face with hydrogen is also key to implementing energy systems integration in general.

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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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Hydrogen CHP plant for Dubai

A hydrogen-powered agenitor 406 SG - a comparable model with twelve cylinders now available in Dubai
A hydrogen-powered agenitor 406 SG – a comparable model with twelve cylinders now available in Dubai, © 2G

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.

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Cost-effective and flexible

Schematic of the 100-bar PEMEL system as a container solution from the project partner iGas Energy.
Schematic of the 100-bar PEMEL system as a container solution from the project partner iGas Energy [1]

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.

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New DWV Position Paper

Chatzimarkakis
Diwald, together with representatives from industry (right: Chatzimarkakis), presenting Šefčovič (left) with the position paper

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

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Ballard: Japan’s 2020 Hydrogen Society

Foshan-Feichi-China-web
Fuel cell bus production at Foshan Feichi, China, © Ballard

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.

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Hydrogenics, Alstom and H2 Trains

wallstreet
Historical prices from June 15, 2016 © wallstreet-online.de

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.

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