On 30 November 2023 in Berlin, those implementing projects funded under the Export Initiative for Environmental Protection (EXI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environmental, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV – Bundesministerium für Umweltschutz, Naturschutz, nukleare Sicherheit und Verbraucherschutz), met for the first time.

The inaugural NOW GmbH event aimed at exploring synergies between international projects and sharing knowledge. The networking meeting focused on green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in decentralized energy supply as a sustainable alternative to fossil-fuelled generators. To kick off, pilot projects in Ghana, India, Namibia and South Africa were presented. An additional focus was on EXI projects from the following Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK – Auslandshandelskammer): AHK Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), AHK Chile, AHK Ghana, AHK New Zealand, AHK Philippines and AHK Thailand.

Nilgün Parker, Head of Division for Sustainable Finance Policy, the Environment and Foreign Trade Promotion, BMUV: “GreenTech solutions from Germany offer major opportunities for more environmental protection globally and can at the same time, lay the foundations for sustainable development. In order to further advance their international application, suitable framework conditions and infrastructures must be provided however. This is precisely where our EXI funding programme comes in with various fields of activity, including in the green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies sector. Today’s exchange has illustrated that the projects funded under the programme are achieving considerable success and amassing valuable experience in their implementation, together with local partners.”

Sabine Ziem-Milojevic, Team leader of International Energy Concepts, NOW GmbH: “With our focus on green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in decentralized energy supply, we at NOW GmbH are actively contributing to meeting the global demand for reliable and environmentally-friendly energy supply. In addition to supporting small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Germany, we are also making a contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

The networking meeting was part of a 3-day exchange on green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in decentralized energy supply. In addition to the meeting, a joint workshop with the Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) implementing EXI projects in this field also took place on the previous day. These projects are supported by Chambers for GreenTech, which is part of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) Service GmbH. The workshop itself focused on the joint development of follow-up potential from the projects. The following day, there was a trip to Höxter, North Rhine-Westphalia, with a visit to an agri-photovoltaic plant with hydrogen storage and reconversion of electricity from the BEN-Tec company. The aim of the visit is to get a deeper insight into potential technological solutions and discuss their fields of application, also in terms of the markets represented.

About EXI:

Since 2016, the BMUV has supported German GreenTech SMEs with its EXI funding programme to disseminate innovative environmental technologies that are ‘Made in Germany’. Optimal environmental conditions are to be created in the target countries for sustainable development and better environmental and life conditions in those countries. By supporting suitable infrastructures, the EXI projects help to implement green public services and environmental services worldwide. NOW GmbH has been responsible for EXI’s focus on green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in decentralized energy supply since 2021. As an EXI project management agency,  Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH (Future – Environment – Society) has been supporting the Federal Environment Ministry in fulfilling its tasks since 2022. More information on EXI can be found here.

About NOW GmbH:

NOW GmbH has been supporting the federal government since 2008 in its climate and industrial policy goals. One of the most important tasks of the federally-owned company is to develop, support and evaluate funding programmes for climate-neutral mobility and energy supply.

The NOW GmbH experts supervise projects in hydrogen fuel cells, batteries and renewable fuels; they reimagine mobility and fuels for cars, buses, trains, commercial vehicles, ships and airplanes – and support the establishment and further development of charging infrastructure as well as hydrogen refuelling stations for cars and trucks. More information on NOW can be found here.


Image source: ©Franz Josef