Although the Nordic countries are characterized by widely different sectoral setups and geographies, they do share many traits such as being welfare democracies with flexible labor markets and long traditions for environmentally friendly policies and highly adaptable energy sectors.
H2 projects in Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and France
In June 2020, the German government adopted a national hydrogen strategy, spelling out clear ambitions, concrete targets and a solid plan of action for the next 20 years, including an increase in production capacity to 5 gigawatts by 2030 and 10 gigawatts by 2040. Overall, the country will invest EUR 9 billion in new business and R&D ventures. By 2050, hydrogen produced in Germany could cost less than EUR 1 per kilogram.
On 10 June 2019, a hydrogen filling station in Norway caught fire. While several media talked about an explosion, the electrolyzer manufacturer involved, Nel, stated that leaked hydrogen gas caught fire in the open air, causing a shock wave. According to police reports, two people were slightly injured in this incident in Sandvika, west of Oslo, when the airbags of their cars deployed. After initial tests, it was said a few days later that hydrogen had escaped through a leak in the high-pressure storage system and had ignited. However, no tank had burst.
H2 Energy, a Swiss corporation based in the Glattpark industrial area in Opfikon, near Zurich, is gradually expanding its reach. CEO Philipp Dietrich said that the company would now concentrate its efforts on the German market. In mid-January, it formed a joint venture with Global Automotive Partners. Reportedly, the new business, called H2 Energy Deutschland, will sell renewable hydrogen produced in Pliening
Natural gas and hydrogen have much in common, but can a gas power station be adapted for hydrogen use? One organization that has been trying to answer this question since the summer is the Vattenfall energy corporation. In partnership with Gasunie, a Dutch gas infrastructure services business, and Statoil, a Norwegian oil company, it aims to examine whether a retrofit is technically feasible.
Hydrogenics (Nasdaq: HYGS) has a full schedule with USD 151.2 million in backlog for several types of fuel cell applications, from truck conversion kits (Scania in Norway) to bus stacks in China to H2 refueling stations and power-to-gas systems. A loss of USD 5.7 million (minus USD 0.45 per share) in the second quarter can be considered a temporary slump, as the company said that some shipments had been moved to the third. Hydrogenics intends to stick to the forecast it had published for the entire year.
During the HYACINTH project supported by the EU, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI based in Karlsruhe, Germany, and its partners have studied how well-accepted hydrogen technologies are by the general public as well as industry and governmental stakeholders. The result was that overall, there was a more positive attitude toward those technologies in Germany
Hyundai is one of the few carmakers in the transportation sector to have already made use of the fuel cell as a mass production feature in road transport. Its European subsidiary organized a several-day trip from Bergen in Norway to Bolzano in Italy to offer drivers from across the continent plenty of opportunities to test out the car even over longer distances.
Critics of the economic incentive for electric cars have had their I-told-you-so moment for now: The “eco-bonus” has been attracting little interest so far. Within two months (from September 5th, 2016), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Export Control received a mere 3,027 applications. Registration figures, however, paint a slightly more optimistic picture of the market