The tasks of grid operators include, on the one hand, the safety-oriented design of the gas infrastructure and, on the other hand, guaranteeing the proper functioning and operational reliability of the gas networks over their lifetime of use. Network operators ensure this by adhering to the requirements in the technical regulations of the DVGW, the German association for gas and water standards (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V.), for all gases in accordance with reference sheet (Arbeitsblatt) G 260. Which now also includes hydrogen. With the publishing of the new Energiewirtschaftsgesetz (German energy industry law, EnWG) in August 2021, the DVGW also became responsible for establishing the technical rules and requirements for the supply of hydrogen by pipeline to the general public. On the one hand, this is a leap of trust in the expertise of the gas industry and, on the other, an impetus to further develop the regulatory framework especially for hydrogen.
The heating sector is still seen as the “sleeping giant” that needs to be awakened in order for the energy transition to be reached. A major problem is the lack of alternatives to heat generation with fossil fuels. A major beneficiary of the phase-out of coal and nuclear energy is likely to be the gas industry, which is already advertising the replacement of natural gas by green hydrogen, although so far hardly any carbon-free-generated H2 gas is available. Nevertheless, suppliers of fuel cell-coupled heating systems are currently having a hard time profiting from the upswing in the H2 industry, because their units are still dependent on fossil gases for the time being.
Bioenergy is not talked about as much as solar and wind energy in the context of H2 production, but biogas, for example, is perfectly suitable for the production of green hydrogen. To bring some more light into the bioenergy darkness, the waste management association of Nordrhein-Westfalen (Bergische Abfallwirtschaftsverband, BAV) and the Austrian energy startup Rouge H2 Engineering (RGH2) put a research reactor at the Leppe dump site in operation in February 2022. There, in a test operation lasting several months, a decentralized production of high-purity hydrogen from landfill gas is to be tried and further developed.
The German-American talks regarding a possible activation of Nord Stream 2 also specifically addressed Germany’s involvement in Ukraine. Ukraine, which fears economic disadvantages as a result of Nord Stream 2, is to receive support from the Federal Republic of Germany in the further development of its energy supply system. Or that was the plan, before Putin’s attack of the country. Due to the current war, it is completely open what the future will look like in Eastern Europe, including what the energy supply situation will be. In order to show what opportunities could arise after the, hopefully near, end of this invasion, we describe here the initial situation, as it still looked at the end of 2021.
Interview with stock market pundit Dirk Müller
For months now, hydrogen has been dominating the conversation. But far from it being a topic of discussion confined to the energy sector, it’s also a subject on the lips of many stockholders. Internet platforms have been brimming over with posts: a cacophony of news, views, speculation and rumor. And an increasing number of providers are luring potential clients with – sometimes dubious – market studies supposedly offering fresh insider intelligence with the promise of maximum stock returns. One of the best-known stock market experts in Germany is Dirk Müller – otherwise known as Mr. Dax. Many years back he predicted that hydrogen would have a major role to play not just in the energy industry but also on the stock markets. H2-international talked to Müller about his experiences, expectations and share trading strategy.
Interview with Gerald Linke, DVGW chairman
The German gas and water industries association DVGW has for some time been increasing its efforts in relation to hydrogen. In early 2018, it entered into initial negotiations with the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, DWV, with the aim of intensifying the cooperation between the two organizations. At the end of 2020, DWV members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the partnership proposed by the board. What unites these two associations and what could the gas industry look like in the future? Gerald Linke, DVGW chairman, shared his views with H2-international.
In February 2021, JA-Gastechnology, also known as JAG, shipped a permeation climatic chamber to a U.S. commercial vehicle manufacturer. Based in Burgwedel, Germany, JAG reported that it is the “world’s biggest climatic chamber for hydrogen trucks,” capable of carrying out pressure cycling tests and permeation measurements. With an internal diameter of 10 feet (3 meters), … Read more
A promising source of clean and renewable energy
Natural hydrogen gas is known on Earth since the 1920’s. However, its potential interest as an exploitable source of energy has been growing in the past ten years. Early discoveries were either forgotten and neglected (Australia, Kansas, USA, Brazil, Mali) or located in remote areas where little if no economic interests can be devised (Mid-oceanic ridges, mountain chains).
Future accounting calculates sustainability
Money makes the world go round. Companies seek to maximize profits, countries their GDPs. In both cases, we are dealing with figures in dollars, euros or some other currency. But what about values or services without a price tag? Such as employee health. The advice and expertise of colleagues freshly retired. What is the long-term cost of cutting down a forest? How expensive is sustainable (or industrial) farming? So far, most accounting revolves solely around financial issues.
The German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) presented a new study during the gas industry discussion forum, gat 2015, on Oct. 27, 2015. The new document says that “the existing natural gas infrastructure is generally suited for adding one to nine per cent hydrogen.” In Essen, the association presented results from its research conducted under the auspices of the DVGW research project Hydrogen Tolerance of Natural Gas Infrastructure and Associated Facilities.