10-05/06 :: May/June 2010
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells – The Future Energy Supplier: Interview With Peter Sauber, WHEC Organizer and f-cell Host
The World Hydrogen Energy Conference WHEC in Essen, Germany, is just over; in September 2010, the fuel cell expert forum f-cell will take place in Stutt- gart, Germany. Peter Sauber, CEO of Peter Sauber Agency Trade Fairs and Congresses (Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse GmbH), organizes the WHEC and f-cell in cooperation with the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (Wirt- schaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH or ‘WRS’). In an interview he says: “There is worldwide agreement on increasingly using hydrogen as an energy source in the future.” First hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles are already expected by 2015. Now, consumer infor- mation should become high priority.
? Peter Sauber, you just came back from the World Hydrogen Energy Conference WHEC in Essen that you organized on behalf of the energy agency of North Rhine-Westphalia (En- ergieAgentur.NRW). What are you taking with you?
! Peter Sauber: I found it especially important that high-ranking politicians and industry representative attended the WHEC. The German Federal Minister of Transportation Peter Ramsauer, North Rhine- Westphalia Premier Jürgen Rüttgers, Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler Chrysler, and Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG, supported the future hydrogen
economy. That sends a strong signal the public un- derstands. It was also interesting to see strong en- gagement for hydrogen and fuel cells of the federal state North Rhine Westphalia. The conditions are es- pecially convenient there: Jürgen Rüttgers underlined in his speech that the hydrogen produced in local in- dustries could run 260,000 cars. Furthermore, hardly anyone knows that there is a 240km long hydrogen pipeline in North Rhine Westphalia already, leading from Leverkusen to the Eastern Ruhr area. Within the framework of the project NRW Hydrogen HyWay – funded by the state, government and EU with a total of EUR 200 million – infrastructure, vehicle fleet and stationary facilities are to be further developed.
? Don’t you think that the energy supply with hydrogen is a project mainly driven by a few big companies and states?
! Peter Sauber: No, not at all. At the WHEC in Essen it became clear once more that there is worldwide agreement on strengthening the enormous potential of hydrogen as an energy source. The Chinese Mini- ster of Science Gang Wan, for example, talked about local activities. The WHEC also impressively illustra- ted that incredibly many small countries and com- panies are actively trying to seize their opportunities in this market. Wherever power is generated from wind, solar radiation or other renewable sources with