National Hydrogen Council launched

Katherina Reiche
Katherina Reiche, © E.On

The National Hydrogen Council is a vital element of the German hydrogen strategy published in June and comprises 26 representatives for industry, academia and civil society.

Although its members were appointed by the German cabinet, multiple organizations had previously contacted the federal ministries involved in drafting the strategy to submit their suggestions for who they want to see on the council.

Most council members hail from the business world. They work for energy providers, automakers or other industrial companies. Another four are researchers and three are from environmental organizations. In all, 17 hold high-level management positions, i.e., are chief executives or chairs, who certainly have much authority though not always a great deal of subject-matter expertise.

When H2-international asked the economy and energy ministry which criteria it used to decide on appointments to the council, it replied that “many elements factored into our decision. An important criterion was profound hydrogen expertise. In addition, because of the high number of applications, the government needed to restrict the number of those sitting on the council to ensure that all members are still able to work together. Other considerations included giving an equal voice to representatives for different parts of the supply chain and provide equal opportunities for men and women according to the Federal Equality Act on Committees.”

Among those selected to sit on the council is Silke Wagener. A chemist by trade, she led the fuel cell R&D department at the Freudenberg Group more than two decades ago before becoming the chief executive of Freudenberg Fuel Cell Component Technologies. She served in that role up until 2013, when she also left NOW’s advisory board, of which she had been a member for several years. Weinheim-based Freudenberg intentionally sent an experienced scientist who could offer advice by drawing on her extensive industry background.

read more in H2-international October 2020

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