REVIEW

A willingness to embrace all technologies is an immediate priority!

Carbon-neutral powertrains are essential for achieving climate goals. A willingness to embrace all technologies to achieve these goals is crucial and using hydrogen – as an infinitely available, renewably generated energy carrier that is easy to store and transport – to drive powertrains is a vital part of this. Hydrogen-fuelled, carbon-neutral internal combustion engines offer an outstanding solution in many areas. Hydrogen engines also have a long service life, after which they can be easily recycled using established processes.

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Hydrogen is more than powerful enough

Today’s infrastructure will need to be maintained and constructed long into the future. To make these activities more environmentally friendly, powerful and durable carbon-neutral powertrains are needed for the excavators, cranes, rollers, HGVs, dump trucks and other machinery required to move heavy loads. These powertrains must be able to withstand dust, dirt, heat, freezing conditions, water, snow and ice.

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100% ready for action

Climate change is increasing the risk of extreme weather events. This means that rescue teams – usually consisting of volunteers from the general public – need to be ready to spring into action around the clock to save lives and property in extreme conditions. Only reliable and robust carbon-neutral machinery has the power and endurance to provide the swift help needed in these high-pressure situations. Hydrogen engines were born for this task.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers with the fire service, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and other civil defence organisations for their tireless work.

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SOCIETY

The future is hydrogen. As an inexhaustible source of energy, the element with atomic number 1 in the periodic table is predestined to be widely used by future generations.

Hydrogen is safe, clean and easy to produce. Unlike other energy sources, it can also be easily stored. Hydrogen technology is well positioned to benefit energy consumers all around the world, thus enabling them to considerably reduce their impact on the environment. Global carbon dioxide emissions have reached a staggering 36 billion tonnes a year and need to be drastically reduced as a matter of urgency. To keep our planet liveable for future generations, we have no choice but to transition to sustainable energy.

Finding an alternative to fossil fuels is the only option. On top of this, the non-renewable energy sources we have been relying on are being rapidly depleted. In fact, experts estimate that we only have enough coal to last another 100 years and oil another 50 years.

Hydrogen, on the other hand, can be produced from renewable energy sources and is soon also expected to become affordable. It therefore has a crucial part to play in all of our futures. Many thousands of jobs in the fossil fuel industry could soon be provided by a thriving new hydrogen industry instead. Thanks to hydrogen, a huge number of the jobs directly associated with the production of internal combustion engines can also be preserved – at OEMs and at numerous suppliers and machinery and plant manufacturers. This would bolster Germany’s position as an economic powerhouse and safeguard our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

We believe that the new facilities and innovations needed to generate energy and transform our energy sector can and should be largely developed, built and operated in Germany.

Performing a significant proportion of these value-added activities in Germany would also hugely benefit our economy and reduce our reliance on other countries. Germany’s future generations could then build on what we’ve started. Acting sustainably in a way that does not harm nature and the environment is the only way forward and will bring with it crucial innovations that could also help solve pressing social problems in poorer countries. As a global crisis, climate change needs a global response. Hydrogen technology is a piece in the puzzle on our road to solving the humanitarian challenge of climate change.

In the current discussions surrounding powertrains of the future, we see ourselves as an information platform for pre-competitive research and development. In recent years, the uncertainty among many of society's decision-makers as to whether using a wide range of technologies is the best way forward, coupled with the misleading statements made by some of the institutions and individuals involved in the energy transition, has raised awareness of the need for an umbrella organisation to communicate the potential and opportunities offered by hydrogen engine technology. The Hydrogen Engine Alliance will fill this gap by serving as a trustworthy point of contact for representatives from politics, society, environmental associations and the transport industry.

It is time for humanity to seize the opportunities presented by new technologies to put ourselves and society on track for a better future. Hydrogen engines have a vital role to play in our search for ways to overcome the global climate change crisis.