Joint conference on the status of technology, products and projects from the federal and state governments

  • Mobility with hydrogen – Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer opens the first Germany Hydrogen General Assembly as a joint conference of the general assembly of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) and the Germany Hydrogen Congress of Energieagentur NRW
  • Funding of hydrogen regions in Germany, Hyland 2, enters its second round
  • Future challenges of hydrogen mobility in the development of common concepts and standards
  • NIP since 2017: 315 million euros funding for R&D, 205 million euros for procurement in the mobility area


Berlin, 26 January 2021 – With almost 80 presentations and discussion panels over two days, the first German Hydrogen General Assembly provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview on the state of technology, products and projects in the area of hydrogen mobility. Andreas Scheuer, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, today opens the joint conference of the general assembly of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) and the German Hydrogen Congress, traditionally organised by EnergieAgentur.NRW and the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. 3,500 participants have registered for the online conference on 26 and 27 January 2021.

Coordinated by NOW GmbH, the focus of the conference is the NIP funding programme, which is the strategic and operative pillar of the National Hydrogen Strategy adopted by the federal government in 2020. With the Hydrogen Strategy, the federal government acknowledges the major role the technology plays in the decarbonisation of the energy system. Several ministries are working together across departments on its implementation with 38 concrete measures along the entire value chain. Along with the NIP, the federally-owned NOW GmbH will also take over the coordination of new and comprehensive funding guidelines for the procurement of buses and commercial vehicles with alternative fuels in 2021.


HyLand concept for hydrogen regions in Germany to continue

NOW GmbH has already successfully implemented the funding of hydrogen regions in ‘HyLand’ in the framework of NIP. Since then, the integration of hydrogen as an energy source has been advanced in a total of 25 selected regions in Germany. In his welcoming address at the opening of the conference, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has now launched the second round of funding measures. In the second round of competition there is also a multilevel offer that takes into account the specific needs, resources and potential on the local level. This means the funding ranges from the initial organisation of the landscape of players including the development of an initial concept for the region (‘HyStarter’), the creation of integrated concepts and more in-depth analyses (‘HyExpert’), to the procurement of applications to implement existing concepts (‘HyPerformer’). This will be launched in the first half of 2021.


Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: “Germany is becoming a hydrogen nation. We are entering our second round of H2 funding and are supporting additional regions to establish a local hydrogen economy. Our objective is for hydrogen to be locally produced from renewable energies where possible and then used in the region. It should be evident that we are rethinking mobility in a holistic way – from production of the energy and the drive technology, to refuelling infrastructure. Only when hydrogen is really green can we persuade people and make mobility climate-friendly.”


Upcoming challenges: Commercial vehicles and RCS

An important task for 2021 will be to develop a European approach to using commercial hydrogen vehicles and the corresponding refuelling technology. The aim will be to foster close cooperation of all players from industry, research and politics. For this reason among others, there will be a greater focus on RCS activities (Regulations, codes & standards) in the area of hydrogen.


Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director (Chair) of NOW GmbH: “We are seeing great momentum in the use of hydrogen in commercial vehicles. In order to meet market expectations and to achieve a broad ramp-up, we must agree on common standards, particularly for refuelling technology. In the current market phase we must ensure that we assert our interests for all hydrogen applications, also in terms of international regulatory frameworks in the area of Regulations, Codes and Standards. Our benchmark here must be the wide-scale commitment of other states, primarily from the Asian region and in particular in the standardisation of hydrogen technologies. In order for hydrogen mobility to not stumble at our national borders, we must identify common requirements, particularly here in Europe.”


Report: The National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP2)

A regular part of the general assembly is a status report on the activities in the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The report states that the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) have invested a total of 240 million euros and 75 million euros respectively in supporting research and development in the technology in NIP2 since 2017. The BMVI funds the procurement of zero emissions products based on hydrogen and fuel cell technology in the amount of 205 million euros. The BMVI’s procurement support focussed on KfW funding commitments for around 14,300 stationary fuel cell systems for electricity and heat generation in single-family homes under the Technology Roll-out Programme. The procurement support from BMVI has been used to acquire 876 fuel cell cars and the development of a network of a total of 43 hydrogen refuelling stations in order to make emission-free mobility with hydrogen more attractive. In 2020, four calls for market activation were closed, with the majority of the applications submitted still in the approval phase. Nevertheless to date, 43 waste disposal vehicles or sweepers and over 500 fuel cell systems for the autarchic energy supply of digital or critical infrastructure have already been approved.


The German Hydrogen General Assembly is organised by NOW GmbH, commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, as well as EnergieAgentur.NRW, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the state of NRW. The German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) is the cooperation partner of the event.