Membership of the German hydrogen and fuel cell association DWV is going up and up. Not only that, the difficult energy policy situation at the moment means the association is gaining in importance too. For several years the DWV has been evolving into a central industry association alongside the German gas and water industries association DVGW. In order to further improve cooperation between the two organizations, in spring 2021 the DWV executive committee selected Thorsten Kasten, at the DVGW’s suggestion, to become its second chairman (see H2-international, August 2021). H2-international spoke to Kasten during the Hannover Messe about his first year at the DWV and to Tilman Wilhelm, who from April this year has headed up the regulatory policy, press and public relations work of the DVGW, about the challenges in the energy space.
Rotterdam is not only the largest port in Europe, it is playing a key role in the German hydrogen strategy. Stijn van Els has been working since January 2020 as director of commercial delivery at the port, which belongs 70 percent to the municipality of Rotterdam and 30 percent to the Netherlands. After studying at a German Hochschule, van Els studied physics in Delft and then started as an engineer at Shell. He’s been working around the world for 30 -years and in Hamburg as head of Shell Germany. H2-international spoke with him about the role of the port for the European hydrogen economy.
The enormous interest in hydrogen and fuel cell technology has brought a lot of attention to the publicly listed companies in this field. Fuel cell producers like Bloom Energy, however, are finding it difficult to benefit to a comparable extent from the upswing in the H2 sector because their plants are still dependent on fossil gases for the time being. H2-international talked to the head of business development at Bloom Energy Germany, Dr. Stephan Reimelt, about some challenges involved in supplying decentralized energy through fuel cell plants.
A sustainable hydrogen world requires not only a comprehensive expansion of infrastructures, but also a functioning market. With H2Cloud, the Managementberatung think utilities AG & Co. KG wants to position a platform for OTC trading (over-the-counter trading, also direct trading or telephone trading) of hydrogen products. Dr Peter Rügge, founder of H2Cloud and managing director of think utilities, explains the background and analyses the market environment.
Interview with Rainer Baake, director of the Climate Neutrality Foundation
For years, Rainer Baake was seen as one of the staunchest skeptics of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. During his tenure as state secretary at the German economy and energy ministry (2014 to 2018) and the environment ministry (1998 to 2005) he acquired a reputation for blocking hydrogen schemes – with some projects getting as far as his desk but not much further. However, for the past few months he’s been sending out rather different signals, especially since his appointment as director of the Climate Neutrality Foundation in July 2020. H2-international has taken this opportunity to talk to him about the foundation’s recently published hydrogen study and about his new approach – which, he argues, isn’t really that new.
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 Christiane Averbeck of Climate Alliance Germany
Discussions around Germany’s approach to hydrogen are in full progress. Although several members of the German government regularly emphasize that green hydrogen will benefit the most from public funding, there are also those who want to see blue and turquoise hydrogen playing a key role – with some of those voices coming from Germany’s National Hydrogen Council. Two environmental associations, BUND and Climate Alliance, have now distanced themselves from this view by declaring their opposition to the use of fossil-based hydrogen and natural gas. In this interview, Christiane Averbeck, executive director of Climate Alliance Germany, outlines her objections to the strategy discussed by the hydrogen council this spring. Climate Alliance Germany is made up of around 140 organizations from all sectors of civil society. Averbeck has been a member of the National Hydrogen Council since June 2020.
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.
Interview with NOW chief executive Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff
As of May 15, 2020, the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) has a new chief executive. Formerly Klaus Bonhoff, who has moved to the German transportation ministry, his successor is Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff. Now is the time to take stock and ask what the future holds.
Ballard Power Systems is a pioneer in the fuel cell industry. Since 1983, fuel cells have been developed in the company founded by Geoffrey Ballard in Burnaby near Vancouver. Randy MacEwen has been President & CEO of the Canadian fuel cell manufacturer since 2014. On October 23, 2019, the International Hydrogen Symposium brought him to Hamburg where H2-international seized the opportunity for an interview.