The current standard in all things transportation is China. It makes policy with which even automakers in Germany need to comply if they want to keep their foot in the door. Air pollution in many large Chinese cities is so high that politicians have been forced to take drastic measures. It is the reason why the government is providing massive amounts of subsidies to promote electric transportation, which has led to half of all electric vehicles worldwide being manufactured in China – and driven there as well.
The German Energy Agency, or dena for short, is an independent company in which the federal government owns a 50 percent stake. By its own account, it is a “center of excellence for energy efficiency, renewables and smart energy systems,” although it had focused on centrally controlled supply under the management of its first director, Stephan Kohler. In 2011, attempts were made to include more innovative, decentralized technologies through launching the Power to Gas Strategy Platform alongside partners from science and business. Since then, dena has organized an annual conference on the topic (see Reinventing the Energy Grid). H2-international spoke with the current managing director of dena, Kristina Haverkamp, about power-to-gas and the company’s priorities.
While the further development of the H2 and FC technology is diligently perfected in the laboratories and workshops using new catalyst materials or production processes, elsewhere – just as diligently – discussions are taking place about the political framework conditions. In spring 2015, it was decided in Brussels that in the future, during the refining of fuels, hydrogen which is produced from renewable energies will gain a multiple offsetting against the biofuel quota, but “only” by a factor of two and not – as requested by many – by a factor of four.