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Interview with Mr Landinger (LBST) on the future of hydrogen

Veneto Innovazione interviewed Mr Hubert Landinger, engineer at Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH a German consulting company expert at sustainable energy and mobility. Mr Landinger is also coordinator of HyLIFT-DEMO & HyLIFT-EUROPE which are comprised in HyLIFT a platform for demonstration projects on material handling vehicles in Europe.
Mr Landinger, which are in your opinion the future applications of hydrogen in everyday life?
In the future we will see a transition from a fossil based energy system towards an electricity based energy system (see figure). Thereby the intrinsic storage capacity of fossil fuels will be lost and has to be replaced by a new energy carrier. There are different means of electricity storage. Herein hydrogen from water electrolysis is very promising especially for long term storage applications.
Source: LBST 2008
(Source: LBST 2008)

A second application of hydrogen will be in the transport sector. Not only for passenger cars but also in buses, boats, ships, forklifts, may be even in airplanes. In smaller applications fuel cells will be the conversion technology of choice, in larger ones presumably turbines.

In Venice there is one of the greatest hydrogen power plants, do you think this kind of plants will have a development?
I am quite sure that hydrogen power plants will have a great future. Ideally they are constructed as Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) as they are then providing the highest efficiency. On the other hand they need to be flexible with regard to their operating scheme as they have to level out the fluctuating electricity production from wind and sun. In a transition phase it would be wise to have a least some of the hydrogen power plants being designed as dual fuel plants to be either fuelled with hydrogen or with natural gas.

(Source: Hydrogen Link Denmark 2013)

Are the common people ready to accept to get energy from different kind of sources or are they still affectionate to old oil?
This is a very delicate question which is not easy to be answered. As long as people are not directly involved e.g. by wind turbines in their neighbourhood or through higher electricity costs they are mostly highly in favour of electricity from renewable sources. As soon as they are directly affected this might be subject to change. Therefore it is highly important to involve the general public in new projects at an early stage via consultation procedures, information campaigns or financial participation concepts. E.g. the German feed-in tariff (comparable to the Italian Conto Energia) was a great success pushing renewable electricity from 5% in 1998 to 23% in 2012 supported by a wide and broad public acceptance.



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