Vårgårda, a small town in the south west of Sweden, took a crucial step toward more sustainable public housing when it turned six apartment blocks into energy-independent buildings by using a combination of PV solar panels, batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
Hans-Olof Nilsson from Sweden is an electrical engineer who used to work in the refrigeration and telecoms industries and now co-manages a clean energy consulting firm focusing on off-grid solar power and hydrogen storage solutions. A few years back, he decided to go off-grid, by storing solar energy in summer as hydrogen to keep warm in the cold Swedish winter. One day, he invited me to visit his house, which has more than 5,380 square feet (over 500 square meters) of space and is just 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) away from Gothenburg.
As announced previously, the German federal transport ministry BMVI has launched its subsidy program to start up the market for hydrogen and fuel cell products in transportation. The first stage of the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, or NIP for short, supported research and development activities as well as demonstration projects and came to an end last year.
In May 2015, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) presented the long-awaited funding instrument for the market launch of fuel cell heating devices. As announced by Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, the market launch is to be supported via the so-called Energy Efficiency Incentive Program. The program is part of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), which was passed by the German federal government at the end of 2014. With other projects, it aims to contribute to a big improvement in the level of effectiveness in the construction sector. The package of measures has an annual funding volume