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28 Nov 2019, 13:40
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany's emergency services start fuel cell programme as backup system

Hundreds of radio masts in several German states will be equipped with fuel cell technology to serve as a backup system for emergency services in case of a power blackout, the industry association Clean Power Net (CPN) has said in a press release. Germany's transport and infrastructure ministry (BMVI) will assist the roll-out financially with five million euros, CPN said, adding that the "market-relevant phase" for fuel cells has now begun. The lobby group said fuel cells had proven to be much more suitable for emergency services than the currently used diesel generators, both from a climate perspective and regarding maintenance intensity, as fuel cells can remain in standby mode for long periods of time.

Hydrogen is increasingly seen as an important element of Germany's future energy system. Some major carmakers in Germany, among them Daimler, still bet on fuel cells as a viable low-carbon alternative to batteries for vehicle propulsion and other applications. However, Germany’s carmakers have largely decided on strategies favouring battery-driven cars.

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