ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, notes the following with respect to developments in Germany.
At the National Innovation Programme (NIP) AGM held in Berlin last week, the organisation charged with managing the federal Government’s €700m contribution to its total budget of €1.4bn, the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies (NOW), noted, that so far, it has issued subsidies of approximately €393m to support the development of the technology. Some €216m, or 55% of the total, has been spent on transport, which includes hydrogen production and infrastructure. Indeed, in its latest review, released last week, the NOW has increased the profile of ‘Hydrogen Production and Delivery’ to an independent category. This follows the launch in May of this year of a separate and additional Federal funding initiative of €200m exclusively for energy storage, which in turn followed the Government’s decision to abandon nuclear power. This decision has promoted green hydrogen to the top of the agenda, as a necessary adjunct to the expanding renewable share of electricity generation.
In its German press release issued on 7 November, the NIP commented “Climate policy goals can only be achieved if efficient drive systems and emission-free fuel is deployed in the transport sector, and highly energy efficient equipment is used in the stationary sector. In order to generate major cost and efficiency savings, current mobility and energysupply solutions will in future be supplemented with products based on hydrogen and fuel cell technology.”
Dr. Klaus Bonhoff, NOW’s MD noted that: “Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are gaining momentum. This is due not least to the central role attributed to storing energy generated from renewable sources in the form of hydrogen. In the future, hydrogen will be one of a number of emission-free transport fuels, given the fact that the step by step reconstruction of the transport sector has already begun. Fuel cells will not only be used in combination with hydrogen in the transport sector, but in the coming years, together with natural gas, fuel cells will also provide a highly efficient solution for the stationary sector. Even, in niche markets such as the protection of critical infrastructure, for example, in telecommunications, fuel cells as off-grid systems are becoming ever more attractive.”
It is worth noting that the Federal subsidies mentioned above, totaling some €900m, which will be matched by industry, do not include the substantial financial support offered at the state level, not only in halting the deindustrialisation of the former East German states, but also in industrialised states of the former West Germany in an attempt to ensure they have a role to play in the emerging German and European renewable economy.
Phil Doran, Managing Director of ITM Power GmbH commented: “While Germany has more than proved its metal in the field of clean technology developments, which has earned it global recognition, the decision to abandon nuclear power has given added impetus to the renewable cause in general and green hydrogen and fuel cells in particular. It is difficult to convey the seriousness with which Germany is pursuing its goals, in the full knowledge that it is creating a set of industries which will ensure its manufacturing status and export capacity is maintained well into the 21st century”.