Germany’s role in a future run by alternative energy is becoming more tangible. The national government has announced two new initiatives that are focused on energy storage technology. One of the initiatives calls upon the aid of Canadian-based hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Ballard. The other seeks to combine wind-and-hydrogen-generated electricity into a powerful hybrid energy system. While other developed nations have been slow to adopt alternative energy, Germany has shown aggression in making sustainability a priority that may be only rivaled by the tenacity of China.
Ballard will be supplying fuel cells and storage tanks to a new government office which will be housed in Huth, Germany. The office will derive its energy almost exclusively from hydrogen and research will be done to improve storage methods when it comes to gaseous hydrogen. Germany’s focus on hydrogen is spurred forth by the weather-dependence of solar and wind power. These two alternative fuels, while providing approximately 17% of Germany’s electricity, are fickle to environmental influences, making hydrogen the ideal alternative.
The German government will also be working on a project to convert wind energy into hydrogen through the process of electrolysis. This will be accomplished by using the electricity harvested by wind farms to power hydrogen fuel cells. The electricity will trigger chemical reactions that produce hydrogen gas and clean water and oxygen.
The government hopes to complete both projects by 2014.