Hydrogen is an oft-discussed topic in and around Hamburg these days: In summer last year, the city became the birthplace of the Hydrogen Industry Network in Northern Germany. In November 2018, it was where the economy and transportation ministers of the German states on the coastline met for a conference on a joint hydrogen strategy for the region. H2-international talked to Heinrich Klingenberg, the network’s spokesman and chief executive of hySolutions, about the organization’s plans and the future role of the city.
The RD&D activities of the industry and the public sector have successfully established a global market for hydrogen and fuel cells. There is growing consensus about the importance of these clean energy carriers in transportation and several manufacturing segments. Countries such as Germany, Japan and the United States – and organizations such as the European Commission – have been spearheading efforts in research, development and demonstration technologically and politically to show how sustainable and reliable these resources really are.
What furthered my interest in hydrogen was a presentation in 1989 by Joachim Gretz, the head of the EU’s Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, about the then running Quebec project. I had already been interested in the technology many years prior to that event: I can still remember clearly how the board chair of German Shell, Johannes Welbergen, told me during a conversation that H2 was the future for which we still had to wait
Hamburg-Reitbrook is home to what many consider an extremely compact and efficient Power-to-Gas plant: the WindGas system. It was inaugurated on Oct. 15, 2015, after being set up by a company consortium during a three-year preparation period under the auspices of an NIP subsidy project. Both Hamburg’s First Mayor, Olaf Scholz, and the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Norbert Barthle, were missing during the ceremony despite an announcement to the contrary
Dr. Heinz Günter Klug passed away last fall. On Oct. 12, 2015, the long-time pioneer of hydrogen technology died at the age of 78. The mechanical engineer, who was born in Mainz, provided important contributions to hydrogen engine testing for aircraft during his time as project head at Airbus. Twenty years ago, he was one of the founding members of the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. Klug, who last lived in Hamburg, was the coordinator of the Europe-wide Cryoplane research project before he retired in 2002.
There is the next step after introducing the electric vehicle bill (in force since June 12, 2015): Since the end of September last year, i.e., as long as the relevant amendment has been in effect, owners of electric cars have been able to apply for special license plates. The black E after the number on the plate could mean they enjoy certain privileges, for example, if a community has approved bus lanes for electric cars to drive on