Clean mobility and the supply of energy with hydrogen and fuel cells – the National Innovation Programme with a successful résumé (Phase 1, 2008-16)
14/15 December 2016, Berlin – Hydrogen and fuel cells are key technologies for the energy transition. As part of a high-level conference in Berlin on 14 & 15 December 2016 with participation by Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dorbrindt, a positive summary is drawn. The main goals of the first phase (2008-2016) of the National Innovation Programme (NIP) were the acceleration of market preparation through the testing of systems in everyday use, the development of a value-added chain and a value-added share in Germany along with technology leadership and implementation of the technology in Germany.
Throughout the duration of the programme, government and industry invested 1.4 billion euros in the development of the technology and market testing. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) allocated 500 million euros to the NIP. A further 200 million euros came from the energy research framework programme of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Industry participated with its own funds totalling 700 million euros. Politically and strategically, the NIP is supported by the Federal Ministries of the Environment (BMUB) and Education & Research (BMBF).
Hydrogen and fuel cell technology was significantly developed further within the NIP through more than 650 individual projects and diverse industry networking initiatives. The individual projects were conducted across the programme areas Transport & Infrastructure (50%), Stationary Applications (30%) and Special Markets (20%). The projects were largely implemented within so-called lighthouse projects: Clean Energy Partnership (mobility), Callux (stationary fuel cells for household energy), e4ships (fuel cells in maritime deployment), Clean Power Net (uninterruptible, off-grid power supply with fuel cells) and HyTrustPlus (acceptance of hydrogen). In addition to lighthouse projects, numerous other companies and scientific institutions were involved in NIP Phase 1. Today, a sector comprising more than 500 companies and research institutions exists in Germany, which is not least attributable to the stable framework provided by the NIP.
National Innovation Programme continues
The NIP will be continued within the framework of the government’s “Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology 2016-26” programme, which was adopted by the federal cabinet on 28.9.2016. For the preliminary period to 2019, the BMVI will allocate funds totalling 250 million euros . The National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) will continue with its task of providing programme coordination. From 2017, NOW will have an expanded business area, which besides the previous subjects of NIP and battery-electric mobility will also include the programme implementation of infrastructure for electric mobility and the continued development of the mobility and fuel strategy.