The latter is supporting 12 projects in the mobility sector. These concern the development and production of fuel cell systems and vehicles – ranging from private cars and trucks to municipal vehicles. In addition, it is intended to promote establishment of a nationwide and cross-border networked hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, for example. Aviation and the maritime sector, for example, are addressed in an integrated approach with a joint project in Hamburg.
Hydrogen vehicles have been few and far between up to now in this country. The major automobile manufacturers tend to rely on electric battery-powered drive systems. Which technology will ultimately win out is current not clearly discernible. The basic service station network for 700 bar refuelling will grow to 100 stations over the next few months, according to H2 Mobility. Currently, 91 are already operational. There are also already a larger number of hydrogen service stations in the Benelux countries, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and parts of Scandinavia. In Eastern and Southern Europe, infrastructure development is still in its infancy.
For the development of a hydrogen economy, the question of transport arises. One option is the natural gas network. Furthermore the German heating industry is driving the development of appliances that are “hydrogen-ready”.
However, since it is not only in Germany that renewable energy – especially wind power – is to be used to produce green hydrogen, the task is to transport the energy carrier economically and safely over long distances and also store it over a prolonged period. There are various ways of achieving this, such as for example
- conversion of hydrogen into ammonia
- or liquefaction in the form of LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier).
The LOHC variant in particular offers many possibilities for the use of tankers and therefore highly decentralised use of hydrogen. LOHC denotes organic compounds that are capable of absorbing and releasing hydrogen through chemical reaction. These storage media “charged” with hydrogen can be transported using perfectly ordinary tankers.
In order to be permanently informed of the stock in hydrogen tanks, the Swedish company MCD, for example, offers level monitoring systems that not only enable constant control, but also provide information about the expected consumption via a history.