Full Steam Ahead - Promoting Research in Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies
Enlarge image This Velotaxi in Berlin has a hydrogen fuel cell engine to help the driver with accelerating and climbing hills. (© dpa - Report) Fossil energy sources are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. At the same time, excessive levels of CO2 emissions are changing the climate. That is why we need alternatives to oil and gas. Together with industry, the Federal Government, as part of the high-tech strategy for Germany, is promoting applied research into drivetrain systems and stationary energy systems using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
NOW - spearheading the innovation program
Germany is the leading European country in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and it is important that Germany continue to assert and develop this international competitiveness. For this reason, the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) was established in February 2008. It is designed to be the driving force in the development and commercialization of internationally competitive hydrogen and fuel cell technology products and to assume control of the overall programme. The Federal Government and the industry will provide a total of 1 billion euros for research, development and demonstration projects over the next 10 years.
From research to commercialization
The objective is to develop viable market products from hydrogen and fuel cell technology research and development projects. The process of development should involve as many industrial companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, users and research institutions as possible. Illustrative demonstration projects are to prove that hydrogen and fuel cell projects that are now ready for deployment are suitable for everyday use. The research funds are thus not only an investment in a clean environment but also help to create sustainable jobs in Germany.
Enlarge image Scientists at the Research Center Jülich have equipped this scooter with a fuel cell that runs on methanol. (© BMU / Rupert Oberhäuser) In addition to the Federal Government and the industry, the federal states are also heavily involved in the National Innovation Program. The involvement of the federal states and the regions will make a major contribution to concrete development projects. There are already numerous concrete regional projects. At the same time, the NIP is closely tied in with European activities in the field of hydrogen and fuel cells.
Source: Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs