The share of renewable energy in gross electricity consumption reached 37.8% at the end of 2018 in Germany. Meanwhile, emissions of greenhouse gases declined by around 31% from 1990 to 2018 . Germany, however aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 and at least 55% by 2030. Massive and rapid efforts are required to achieve the set targets. Hydrogen, fuel cell and electrolysis technologies provide the base for sector coupling, which is essential to achieve the climate targets. National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology in its second phase provides the framework for R&D and market activation projects in Germany. NOW GmbH is responsible for coordinating and managing the government programme.
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy recently announced that they would provide 100 Mio Euro funding per year for “Real laboratories of the energy transition”. In 20 real laboratories nationwide, companies will be testing above all new hydrogen technologies on an industrial scale and in a real environment. In addition, the federal government will adopt a hydrogen strategy by the end of the year, in which the real laboratories are an important block .The number of public hydrogen refueling stations reached 76 as of October 2019; whereas further 11 stations were in planning, 4 in approval, 5 in execution and 7 in trial operation phase . With these numbers, 100 public hydrogen refueling stations are expected at the beginning of 2020. Two fuel cell trains being already in regular passenger operation in Lower Saxony and a previous order of 14 trains to start operation from 2021, Alstom will deliver 27 additional fuel cell trains until the timetable change in 2022/2023. These trains will replace diesel trains in four regional railway lines in the Taunus mountain range (north of Frankfurt) .
Further highlights from the presentation included:
- Self-assembling and self-healing catalyst films for alkaline water electrolysis from Ruhr-University Bochum, Analytical Chemistry – Center for Electrochemical Sciences,
- 400 kW PEM electrolysis stack, PEFCs for operation temperatures up to 120 °C, efficient operation strategies for DMFC, quick start for fuel processing for diesel-based APU and reversible SOC system from Forschungszentrum Jülich,
- X-EMU project for the development and validation of a high-performance fuel cell propulsion system for hybrid EMU railcars by IEM, ISEA, vka (RWTH Aachen University) and Siemens,
- Fuel cell system simulation focusing on membrane water management by Institute for Combustion Engines (vka) of RWTH Aachen University,
- Large fuel cell system for the use with diesel or methane (SchIBZTM project) by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, OWI, ZBT, Sunfire, Hülsenbusch Apparatebau, Rosswag Engineering, Tec4Fuels, DNVGL, Leibniz Universität Hannover,
- Fuel cell system testing at FEV Europe GmbH, and
- Production technology for metal microstructures for fuel cells and electrolysis from Graebener.
 German Environment Agency
 H2 Mobility