On May 12th, 2022, German transport minister Dr. Volker Wissing set off the next round of the HyLand program. Representatives from each of the 15 HyStarter and HyExpert Regions came to Berlin to hear the funding decisions from the ministry for transport and digital infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr, BMDV). In addition, Wissing announced another call for HyPerformer Regions – also for this year.
The discussion about rising energy prices is taking on ever greater dimensions. Now, German economic minister Robert Habeck wants to grant the German competition regulation agency (Bundeskartellamt) new rights. Swift to oppose such alleged unconstitutionality is not only Handelsverband Deutschland (the general association for commerce in Germany).
NOW GmbH (Nationale Organisation Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie), the German organization for hydrogen and fuel cells, is getting a new head of business. On April 25th, 2022, Alina Hain is taking over the position of managing director and chief operating officer (COO). Spokesman of the managing board remains Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff.
Since April 2022, the former head of communications at the German national organization for hydrogen and fuel cells (Nationale Organisation Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie GmbH, NOW) has been working at the German association for gas and water standards (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V., DVGW). Tilman Wilhelm, who had been responsible for the public image of NOW since 2008, henceforth works as head of regulatory policy, press and public relations at the trade association. Dr. Gerald Linke, managing director of the DVGW, said, “With Tilman Wilhelm, a proven hydrogen and mobility expert with excellent political connections in Berlin and on the EU level is taking over responsibility for communications at the DVGW.”
Powered industrial trucks are available with diesel, liquid gas and electric drives. For some years now, in addition to rechargeable batteries for electric forklifts and palette jacks, there has also been the possibility of using a hydrogen tank together with a fuel cell. This has been done a zillion times as well in North America. In Europe, the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles remains in the three-digit range. Now, Plug Power is planning to establish a European center in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Is this the starting signal for the upscaling of fuel cell forklifts in the European Union?
The debate about the future use of hydrogen is in full swing. At the moment, many different opinions are clashing; after all, the energy industry is also about re-sorting the balance of power. Sometimes, however, it is almost frightening to observe the fierce battles that are being fought, especially in the social media.
The Nationale Organisation für Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie (NOW) GmbH has produced a new overview: During the Supplier Marketplace on 18 August 2021, the Berlin agency presented the “Atlas of Hydrogen Networks in Germany”, which is intended to support both regional and nationwide searches for potential partners.
HyStarter remains as popular as ever. Like the competition’s first round, the second attracted the interest of much more organizations than the German transportation ministry was able to fund. By May 14, the ministry’s NOW office had received 65 applications for funding local hydrogen economies as part of the HyLand program. Few of the organizations had already applied the first time around.
Hydrogen Regions, Part IV: HyExpert project – HyAllgäu
Before the start of the HyExperts study, the plethora of ideas surrounding hydrogen development in the Allgäu region near Lake Constance resembled a thread with many loose ends. But now thanks to the HyExperts funding program, backed by the German transport ministry and overseen by NOW, it’s been possible to quickly put forward concrete plans for a local field trial with the aim of producing and utilizing 1,000 metric tons of hydrogen a year in Allgäu. NOW’s HyLand initiative for the development of hydrogen regions in Germany has therefore given crucial impetus to the transformation of this area into a hydrogen economy.
Although Germany’s Coordination Office for Hydrogen officially launched at the end of last year, at that time it was not yet clear who would be working there or where it would be based. Premises are now due to be acquired in April, with central Berlin earmarked as the location. Taking up the leadership role is Philipp Braunsdorf from the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, or NOW. He is supported in his role by two deputies, one from the German energy agency dena and the other from the non-profit company ZUG.