HYDROGEN DIALOGUE 2023 – Summit & Expo With Record Attendance The global hydrogen economy was a guest in Nuremberg
Three times as much space as last year and a new record number of participants: The HYDROGEN DIALOGUE 2023 – Summit & Expo powered by Handelsblatt Hydrogen Summit Update was a success: Over 1,500 participants in the Summit and Expo, representatives from over 30 nations and 48 exhibitors show the great success of the event in figures. “We aspired to be one of the key events in the global hydrogen industry, and we delivered,” says Jasmin Rutka, Event Director HYDROGEN DIALOGUE at NürnbergMesse. “We have brought together different perspectives in Nuremberg and provided a platform for concrete projects to emerge from this meeting.”
Attractive conference programme
A top-class lecture and discussion programme took place on a total of three stages in the Summit and Expo. How can SMEs benefit from the import structures, from the core network? Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, provided answers to this question. He explained how SMEs can benefit from the core network and the hydrogen ramp-up in Germany: “We have to ensure that hydrogen reaches all regions. That’s what we’re doing with the core network. That’s really important for German SMEs.” Kellner also sees opportunities for companies in rural areas. “The most important idea is that we need affordable renewable energy in large quantities. Since this year, we have ensured that companies that use self-generated electricity themselves do not pay any levies or fees. That is highly attractive. And in northern and eastern Germany – where we have an oversupply – we will see that we have smart regulation to utilise surplus electricity for the production of green hydrogen and then transport it via pipelines.”
A project in Tauberfranken in the north of Baden-Württemberg is also focussing on regional generation and use. Paul Gehring, CEO of Stadtwerk Tauberfranken GmbH, reported on the networking of large-scale PV systems, wind power and utilisation for local industry at the Innovation Stage. By utilising waste heat in the production of hydrogen, the energy efficiency could be increased to 80 percent – the oxygen produced could be put to good use in the local sewage treatment plant.
Prof. Dr Peter Wasserscheid from the Chair of Chemical Reaction Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and Chairman of Zentrum Wasserstoff.Bayern (H2.B) pointed out the global impact of global warming and the need to develop solutions through international cooperation: “You can clearly see that hydrogen logistics, the transport from one country to another, from one continent to another, will always be an intrinsic part of the new energy world that is free of fossil CO2 emissions. And you all know that we have to be fast to make this happen.” Wasserscheid emphasises: “This shows the importance of the HYDROGEN DIALOGUE, the international dimension and the need to discuss business models, technologies and regulations. And that’s why it’s so important that we have an event here that brings together decision-makers from business, politics, science and technology. And I think with that, it’s pretty unique.“
Scotland’s Energy Minister Gillian Martin also emphasised international networking: “International cooperation is essential to achieve energy transition, a comprehensive and efficient scale, and every nation possesses its unique strengths, resources, and capabilities in the energy sector. We’re not in competition with one another. I truly believe that there’s so much that needs to be done in this sphere that we really have to complement one another and not think of it as a competitive process.”
Scotland could produce up to 106 terawatt hours of hydrogen by 2045 and provide up to 94 terawatt hours of green hydrogen for export. “So this gives us significant potential to help Germany fulfil their long term hydrogen import requirements,” says Martin.
The VDE Financial Dialogue Hydrogen 2023 focused on funding policy, accelerating decision-making processes and recruiting skilled workers. With this format, the VDE is building on an initiative that has already accompanied the market ramp-up of photovoltaics. The same is now to be achieved for the hydrogen economy: In four lead workshops, the participants analysed the situation of the hydrogen economy and developed concepts. At the event, the VDE announced that the results of the work will be published as a white paper in 2024.
48 exhibitors show prototypes and market-ready solutions
The event was worthwhile for exhibitors ranging from small components to lorries and buses: “HYDROGEN DIALOGUE Nuremberg is an important forum that brings together regional and international decision-makers. We had the pleasure of welcoming guests from Scotland, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and the immediate neighbourhood of Nuremberg. For SFC Energy AG, as a leading manufacturer of fuel cells and hydrogen energy solutions with headquarters in Bavaria and six other international locations, this networking with users and decision makers from politics and industry is of outstanding importance”, summarises Björn Ledergerber, Senior Vice President SFC Energy AG, the trade fair appearance. Jürgen Schmitt from MAN Truck & Bus SE also reports concrete interest: “Many people are interested in the hydrogen combustion engine,” he says. For him, this is “the insider tip for getting CO2-neutral mobility on the road quickly”. In addition to a tractor unit with a fuel cell, MAN is also exhibiting one with a hydrogen combustion engine. This should be available in a small series from 2025 and the demand is there: “We could have sold a few vehicles here already – or at least held initial concrete talks. That’s what the haulage companies want,” says Schmitt confidently.
After the first contact as a visitor last year, Wolfgang List, Managing Director of Pfaffinger Anlagenbau & Energietechnik GmbH, was pleased with the good discussions as an exhibitor this year: “The interest was good. I expect it to be even bigger next year – hydrogen is a growth market after all.”
Jasmin Rutka is also already looking ahead to the next event: “The event was a milestone for us. We achieved our goal of bringing together all the key players in the hydrogen sector to exchange ideas and creating a highlight for the industry with this event. Now it’s time to build on this: Next year, the HYDROGEN DIALOGUE – Summit & Expo will be held in Nuremberg on 4 and 5 December 2024.”
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