Daniel Oberhaus is a staff writer at Wired covering space exploration and energy. His first book, Extraterrestrial Languages (MIT Press, 2019), is about the art and science of interstellar communication. He writes about AI and mental health at Strangemind.io He was previously the news editor at Motherboard.
Falling Walls Circle Table: Powering Climate Neutrality – The Future of Hydrogen
LIVE: Setting the Post-Corona-Agenda
Many countries around the world have entered strong commitments for an energy transition allowing to mitigate the consequences of global climate change. To achieve these climate protection goals, all sectors (electricity, industry, mobility, buildings, agriculture) must be de-fossilised and technologies that can master this huge challenge at an acceptable cost for the society are of utmost importance.
Hydrogen produced from renewable electricity offers an attractive opportunity to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in sectors where direct electrification is not possible or useful. In contrast to an electric grid, hydrogen technologies offer attractive options to store very large energy quantities for long periods of time. Examples of applications where hydrogen will play a major role in a future de-fossilised energy system include, therefore, the seasonal storage of renewable energy, the global trading of renewable energy equivalents and the mobility of large units with high and steady energy demand. In these areas, hydrogen will play an important role as a green energy carrier, in either elemental form (compressed or liquified) or chemically bound (synthetic fuels, Power-to-X and LOHC technologies). Chemically bound hydrogen offers the advantage that the existing infrastructure for fuels can be further used. The urgency and the global dimension of climate change call for system and infrastructure compatible energy solutions.
The transition from a crude oil-based energy system to a future hydrogen economy requires the successful establishment of new value chains. These will have to link large-scale production of green hydrogen at preferred locations worldwide, efficient hydrogen logistics, high-performance hydrogen utilization technologies and cost-effective mass production of key-components (e.g. electrolysers, fuel cells, storage units). Market success is only possible if all elements of these value chains are successful and available at the same time. Progress in research and development, visionary entrepreneurs and the right political boundary conditions are needed to leverage the full potential of hydrogen technologies in a future, fully de-fossilised energy system.
Falling Walls Circle Tables will give the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.
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Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
Peter Wasserscheid is head of the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and director of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy, a part of Forschungszentrum Jülich. Peter studied chemistry at the RWTH Aachen and finished his PhD in 1998. After a six-month industrial postdoc with BP Chemicals in Sunbury (UK) he returned to the RWTH Aachen where he completed his habilitation in 2002. In 2003, Wasserscheid took up his current position at the FAU, the director position for the Helmholtz Institute added in 2014 to his duties.
The key research interests of the Wasserscheid research group centre on catalyst material development and reaction engineering aspects of multiphase catalytic processes. Worldwide, the team belongs to the top research teams in developing chemical hydrogen storage using Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) systems. The group develops this technology for stationary and mobile applications. These efforts include catalyst and reactor developments, systems design and engineering as well as the development of larger scale demonstrators.
His research efforts have earned him a number of awards including the Leibniz Award of the German Science Foundation and two Advanced Investigator Grants of the European Research Council in 2010 and 2018.
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Phil de Luna
National Research Council Canada
Program Director, Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program
De Luna was named to the 2019 Forbes Top 30 Under 30 – Energy list and was a finalist (1 of 10 worldwide) in the $20M Carbon XPRIZE. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in Materials Science & Engineering where he was a Governor General Gold Medalist. He is a member of the board of directors of CMC Research Institutes, a carbontech non-profit, and member of the OECD Advanced Materials steering committee. He is also a Mission Innovation Champion for Canada, an Action Canada Fellow, and a Creative Destruction Lab Mentor.
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Glenn Llewellyn is VP, Zero Emission Aircraft at Airbus. He is responsible for all company-wide hydrogen, hybrid and electric-propulsion research focused on bringing zero-emission flight to reality.
Electrification and electric-propulsion technologies are disrupting the aeronautics industry, enabling aircraft manufacturers like Airbus to rethink overall air vehicle design. Glenn leads Airbus teams working on electric-propulsion-powered flight demonstrators and eVTOL demonstrators, including Vahana, CityAirbus, and E-Fan X.
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