27th REGWA Symposium 2020
from the 4th to the 6th of November 2020
+++ Online Conference +++
The IRES and Stralsund University invite you to the 27th REGWA Energy Symposium from November 4th to 6th, 2020. On Wednesday (November 4th), the technical exchange on maritime e-mobility will be the focus. On Thursday (November 5th) and Friday (November 6th) there will be lectures on the energy transition, hydrogen technology and the use of renewable energies.
Due to the current situation, the conference will be held as an online event.
The event is free of charge.
The state of affairs:
By far the largest number of fuel cell powered cars and buses are built and operated in China. Government funding for battery-electric vehicles was discontinued there in 2019 because it is considered unlikely to create a charging infrastructure for this type of mobility across the country. A new factory is being built in Japan for the fuel cell electric Toyota “Mirai” in order to reduce the waiting time when buying such a car to six months in the foreseeable future. The purchase of fuel cell house heating systems has not been subsidized for two years, because the prices of such heating systems have adjusted to conventional heating systems due to sales figures. The South Korean Hyundai Group has been the world's first manufacturer of fuel cell SUVs in series production since 2013 and has started delivering 1,600 fuel cell trucks to Switzerland by 2025.
In Germany, the federal ministries and the Bundesrat are pondering the draft of a national hydrogen strategy, with the northern German states including Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania already drafting a forerunner document concerning their territory last year. We see that progress is being made in the direction of green hydrogen, even if, in principle, only intentions have been declared so far. Regulations that should enable the production and use of green hydrogen as a business case are to a certain extent in the air (e.g. "CO2 tax"). Green hydrogen is now generally considered to be indispensable for the use of regenerative energy. It is needed as a storage medium for green electricity that is not produced according to consumption. It will make it possible to equalize it and thus make the provision of conventionally fired (control power) power plants unnecessary and end the unspeakable shutdown practice for wind and photovoltaic systems. At the same time, materialized electricity would be available as fuel as well as to replace fossil-based hydrogen for the production of carbon-hydrogen materials of all kinds. Used directly or mixed with natural gas, green hydrogen is also beginning to decarbonise the heating market. Finally, the focus on the use of clean energy sources is those productions that are fundamental to the economy, such as steel production.
All of this means that new perspectives have opened up for the relationship between people and nature, new dimensions for finally sustainability in technology and production. It has long been clear that we few Germans will only have a marginal impact on climate change. We can, however, set an example and we must strive for the chance to make a living from exporting the necessary machinery (electrolysers, fuel cells, storage technology). With all this it has also become clear that much more green energy will be needed in Germany than can be produced in the country.
Contributions from the REGWA symposium
These problems and connections have been and are being presented and discussed at the Stralsund Energy Symposium for almost thirty years now. The magazine “HZwei” recognized the headline in its January issue “Hydrogen history was written in Stralsund” and does not only mean the scientific conference. But it was precisely at this event that the Austrian / Argentine pioneer of the wind energy industry, Erico Spinadel, announced as early as 1995 that Patagonia, rich in wind and water, would become the Kuwait of the twenty-first century. This prediction, which includes green hydrogen, differs from the idea of Ludwig Bölkow, who spoke of photovoltaic power generation for Europe in North Africa more than forty years ago and thought of a pipeline system. According to reports, there are already negotiations between Argentina and Japan regarding Patagonia.
Also at the Stralsund Energy Symposium in 2004, Sandlaß / Wenske / Machens described the idea of using wind power to generate electricity off Germany's coasts and operating electrolysis directly at the wind farms, because hydrogen transport would in any case be cheaper than submarine cables. This idea has now been taken up for a project off Warnemünde. (A reprint of the relevant publication is planned for this year's conference proceedings of the symposium.)
Another idea is closely linked to the Stralsund conference: in 2007, Crotogino and Hamelmann impressively demonstrated that a network operated with volatile electricity can only be stabilized using hydrogen as an energy source, if conservative power plants are not to be used for control power. All other clean storage options are insufficient in terms of their storage capacity. With this work, the discussion was opened that green hydrogen is suitable for sector coupling for the entire energy industry and can thus enable a successful energy transition.
What will the 27th Symposium bring?
The North Western Pomerania-Rügen region has been selected by NOW as one of nine regions to be supported and promoted within the HyStart program to develop project proposals for the introduction of green hydrogen for the territory. Perhaps in this context we could orientate ourselves on the "Wind in the Tank" project for the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein, which was presented by GPJoule at last year's REGWA conference. Because at least one thing is interesting about this project: As long as innovation is inhibited because of lagging regulation, you can steer groundbreaking projects past outdated rules. Perhaps in this context earlier generously funded projects could also be linked: After all, there has been an H2 filling station with electrolyser in the Barth sewage treatment plant since 2003 against the background of using regenerative energy, but now only oxygen is used to operate the sewage treatment plant. After all, the "Pommernbus" with fuel cell, a product of a Stralsund company, which was handed over in 2006, is still in a condition that should allow it to be "popped up" and put into operation again.
At least at these points there is a need for discussion and the need for project partners to come together.
Lectures are planned on the following key topics:
Will the connection with green hydrogen help the wind industry in our country again after it got into difficulties due to wrong political decisions? Will the German automotive industry turn to the fuel cell without reservation and thereby gain momentum? Is the energy transition using green hydrogen expanding towards a general transition to sustainability in products and production?
The complete catalog of topics for the desired contributions to the 27th Stralsund Energy Symposium can be found under Call information.
The organizers, Stralsund University and the Hydrogen Technology Initiative MV e.V., are looking forward to lively participation, interesting lectures and exciting discussions. We meet in a friendly atmosphere and will exchange experiences. As always. Or not like in previous years. While this appeal was written at the beginning of March of this year, one topic has now come to the fore: Corona. In line with developments, we will adapt the design and course of the conference to the conditions that existed in November. It will probably be a symposium to be planned from face-to-face events and contributions that can be followed online. After all, the organizers were able to practice this method in the course of the spring semester 2020 in the teaching of Stralsund University. We will inform about this on the conference website in good time.
Nonetheless, the pandemic represents a remarkable example of the content and concerns of the REGWA conference: Even the USA admitted that the WHO officially warned of the possibility of a corona outbreak at the beginning of 2020 using the usual information channels. However, almost none of the responsible politicians perceived or wanted to admit it or could not understand it. The world has slipped into it and will face the consequences for many years to come. We've had that before! In the mid-1970s, a group of responsible scientists, the Club of Rome, held up a mirror to mankind in a highly remarkable memorandum entitled “Limits to Growth”. It was warned of the already then clearly noticeable consequences of a continually expanded and by no means sustainable production of industry and agriculture, of a more than linear increase in world population and the increasingly excessive demands on the level of prosperity in developed countries. The successful discussion about the sustainability of human activities has resulted from these findings, and measures have been taken and changes achieved in Europe in particular. But who could say that this would be enough? The problems of acceptance and implementation of the resolution of the Paris Climate Conference alone represent a dilemma. And the ice cap at the North Pole is melting away ... The measurable increase in the mean temperature of the atmosphere, the rising sea level and the rising water temperature in the oceans are already pointing in the direction of Droughts and floods, drinking water problems and changes in flora and fauna and thus also made food creation more difficult. How will we deal with the migrations caused by this? Are we also sliding into something here and only asking afterwards how it happened?
It is precisely at this point that the organizers see a responsibility for conferences such as REGWA. Just as the university releases graduates year after year who are involved in green projects, the scientific event is responsible for ensuring that ways are repeatedly mapped out how sustainability can ultimately be achieved in production. We'll all have to move up a gear.
Johannes Gulden, Thomas Luschtinetz and Jochen Lehmann
Ostsee Zeitung 2017:
The OSTSEE-ZEITUNG was at the 24th REGWA Energy Symposium and reported in an article about the three conference days at the Stralsund University of Applied Sciences.
- OZ_Artikel_24._Energie-Symposium_10.11.2017.pdf (only in german)
REGWA Programs / Conference Proceedings