Theses on the hydrogen economy – Findings of the funded project HyTrustPlus

To achieve the setting up of a hydrogen economy in Germany and Europe over the long-term, sustainable business models must become identifiable and feasible for companies. Different technical, organisational and socio-economic challenges still remain. To identify the main obstacles, a survey of industry and research players was done under the leadership of VKPartner as part of the HyTrustPlus project at the beginning of 2015.

Companies and research institutions were surveyed who were or are active in funding projects on the topic of hydrogen and fuel cells. Based on qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation, theses were derived, which addressed aspects connected with the establishment of business models, such as expectations, funding and inhibiting factors.

The complete discussion paper is now available for download on the NOW website and the HyTrustPlus project website.

An important result of the survey is that actors in the technological field of hydrogen and fuel cells do not yet have congruent expectations with regard to global development in their technological field. So that companies along the value chain can be both nationally and internationally successful, the establishment precisely in the initial phase of a new, innovative technology around a common vision as well as comparable expectations on market development is required. These expectations, as recommended by VKPartner, must be strengthened. A recommendation for action, which can be deduced from the survey, underlines the importance of coordinating institutions like NOW GmbH, in order to be able to accompany the design of the political framework conditions.

The technical development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology has entered a new phase. In initial technology fields the step is being made from demonstration to market introduction. So that this can also take place in the mobility area, larger support is expected from those surveyed for the setting up of a refuelling station infrastructure. In order for business models to be established in the transport sector, funding should increasingly focus on the setting up of a generation and distribution structure for hydrogen.

With the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) agreed upon in 2006, the Federal Government is pursuing the goal of the establishment of this technology in Germany. Therefore the Federal Government along with numerous technically-oriented projects, also funded the social scientific accompanying research project HyTrustPlus. The project consortium consists of five Berlin research and consultancy organisations and is coordinated through the Innovation Centre for Mobility and Societal Change (InnoZ). Apart from InnoZ, these are IFOK GmbH, re:member – Wandel mitgestalten, Spilett New Technologies GmbH and VPK Engineering GmbH. The project is carried out on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), represented through the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).

Further information on the project can be found at www.hytrustplus.de