Thorsten Herdan has worked for the German economic ministry for 8 years. Now, he’s moving to HIF Global. The mechanical engineer’s foray into politics lasted until January 2022. Mid-May, the e-fuel development company appointed Herdan the managing director of HIF EMEA.
Regardless of the many good news and developments around hydrogen, there must of course also be a critical consideration of the aspects that may, for example, hinder or delay rapid build-up of production capacity. In addition to adverse influences due in part to misunderstood or counterproductive regulatory measures (EU/Germany) are aspects such as the shortage of skilled workers, supply chain problems and financing.
Now it has come to the final step with the loss-making Siemens Gamesa: Siemens Energy will fully integrate the 67.1% subsidiary, as was to be expected. The parent company is buying the remaining shares via a takeover bid for 18.05 EUR per share. As interim financing, a loan in the amount of 4 billion EUR was taken, which will surely be refinanced through the issuance of treasury shares – there’s talk of up to 2.5 billion EUR. Now, there can be – as similarly put in some commentaries – a crackdown, as not all figures at the subsidiary were so transparent and some calculations are now being reconsidered.
It is unfortunately so: There are many traders and short sellers, but also some analysts, who do not focus on the prospects of a company, but take quarterly results as the basis for classification – a very short-term placement, but of course with a (short-term) impact on the share price performance. We’re also seeing this with Ballard, for which I often hear that the turnover is disproportionate to the stock market valuation and that the company is still making losses.
Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Europe, according to the current status, will take place May 30th to June 2nd in person on the Hannover Messe fairgrounds. There, industry representatives will be able to network in the dependable corporeal format again. That’s the assumption of Tobias Renz anyway, the organizer of this trade fair. The space booked for stands may be similar to the last time, in 2019, before the corona pandemic. Renz hopes to be able to present around 200 exhibitors once again.
The production of hydrogen is now recognized as an emerging market right around the globe. Many diverse electrolyzer manufacturers are experiencing unprecedented demand. A great many new players are jumping on the bandwagon and increasing numbers of conventional energy suppliers are pivoting from traditional power sources to renewable energies and embedding hydrogen in their portfolios. So what is the current situation vis-a-vis electrolyzers and what can we expect in the future? This article seeks to shine a light on these and other questions by providing a general – though not necessarily exhaustive – roundup of recent developments.
The company has now been in the fuel cell business for more than 40 years, with founder Geoffrey Ballard initially relying on lithium batteries before favouring fuel cells and moving the company in that direction. Technologically, the Canadians have always been at the forefront, optimising and positioning themselves and investing massively (over US$ 1 billion) in research and development. This will now pay off step by step.
Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch put it clearly in an interview to members of the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) a few months ago: The technology group wants to be a global player in the hydrogen sector – starting with electrolysis and ending with the use of hydrogen in various markets. The group is now being expanded in this direction, although in the short term the negative influence of the wind turbine subsidiary Gamesa (67 percent share, approx. 11 billion euros stock market value; that of Siemens Energy is only approx. 9 billion euros for 22 billion euros turnover) had a negative impact on their own balance sheet – a loss of minus 307 million euros.
First micromix gas turbines burn pure hydrogen
The Kawasaki M1A gas turbine is a milestone for the energy turnaround. It has been operating on a harbour island off Kobe since July 2020 and is the first gas turbine with complete, dry and low-nitrogen oxide hydrogen combustion, so-called dry-low NOX combustion. This is because H2 is extremely reactive, and it is precisely this that distinguishes the combustion of a hydrogen-natural gas mixture from that of pure natural gas.
Hydrogen-powered combustion engines seemed dead after BMW had stopped development work on H2 reciprocating piston engines years ago. This still applies to passenger cars, but not to commercial vehicles or stationary plants. In the sector of large combined heat and power plants, 2G Energy AG has long been working on making its gas engines compatible with hydrogen.