Johannes Schiel, formerly managing director of VDMA’s Fuel Cells working group, left the German association of machinery and equipment suppliers at the end of April. His successor, Gerd Krieger, used to be his mentor and had been deputy director of VDMA’s Power Systems department. Krieger has worked for the association for 25 years.
Despite the fuel cell industry’s recent growth spurt, the market still looks like a pyramid. At the top, you will find the stack and system manufacturers which offer commercial products and have a clear understanding of the costs involved and the wishes customers may have. These businesses are either driven by policy, as in Japan, or the forces of a free market, like FuelCell Energy. But of the worldwide more than 200 stack and system providers, fewer than 30 have made it this far.
Most of his working life, Thorsten Herdan held jobs in the industry developing combustion technology. After having been elected secretary-general of the International Council on Combustion Engines, the mechanical engineer also served as chair of the Research Association for Combustion Engines for fourteen years. Since 1999, he has headed Power Systems, a sector group of the German Engineering Federation – from 2000 on, he has been responsible for Energy Policy there as well.
The Fuel Cells Working Group in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) has presented its new Fuel Cell Business Survey. To gather the latest data, the working group completed a survey of approximately 60 members and calculated representative figures on the basis of 40 substantial answers. According to the comments made by the director of the working group Johannes Schiel, “2014 didn’t go so well”. The turnover in the fuel cells industry in Germany with commercially available FC heating devices and power supply systems in 2014 was only a moderate EUR 70 million, after EUR 50 million in 2013. As, according to Schiel, these figures correspond