DJW Symposium

"H2 Technology as a Solution? - The Influence of Japan and Germany on the Future Global Energy Mix"

Our annual symposium 2017 focuses on the economic relevance of hydrogen for future energy mix.

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Fr 12.05.2017, 09:30 - 14:00 ()

Hydrogenic City Herten
(on the site of the old “Ewald” colliery in Herten, today "Revue Palast Herten”)
Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 2 - 4
45699 Herten

“I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable... When the deposits of coal are exhausted we shall heat and warm ourselves with water. Water will be the coal of the future.”  (Jules Vernes, 1874)  


There is common belief, that the “carbon age” is coming to a close. To protect the climate, coal and oil consumption must be reduced. Highly industrialised countries, among them Japan and Germany, have to take a decision: What are the most appropriate alternatives? In particular, the automotive industries face profound challenges. Whatever their answers may be – it will be of vital importance.

For the time being their attention is focused on electromobility. Batteries, however, are extremely heavy, and have low efficiency − the limitations of this technology are obvious, their operating range is insufficient. Experts have raised their voices to ask: are we moving along the wrong track?

Hydrogen may be a better alternative. In the past however, it did not prove successful − the fuel cell technique was rejected as ineffective. Since then, the technology has considerably improved. The heating systems have passed the demanding tests and, at least in Japan, it is commercially accepted on a broad basis. With regard to mobility, would a second approach be advisable? Even necessary? Japan has taken the lead. Is Germany going to correct the direction?


  • Felix Andre, Senior Associate, PwC Strategy&
  • Dr. Karin Arnold, Future Energy and Mobility Structures, Wuppertal Institute
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Birkner, Director, House of Energy 
  • Ferry Franz, Director, Toyota Group Representative Office in Berlin
  • Dr. Günther Horzetzky, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Hiroshi Kakihira, Europe Regional Manager, R&D Group, Asahi Kasei Europe
  • Dr. Thomas Kattenstein, Head of Fuel Cell, Hydrogen and Electro Mobility Network NRW, EnergieAgentur.NRW
  • Volker Lindner, Chairman, Ruhr h2 Network
  • Ryuta Mizuuchi, Consul General, Japanese Consulate General in Düsseldorf
  • Dr. Julia Münch, Managing Board Member, DJW
  • Takehiko Nagai, Director General, NEDO Representative Office in Europe
  • Dr. Martin Schneider, Head of Product Management, Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH
  • Dr. Ruprecht Vondran, Honorary Chairman, DJW
  • Gerhard Wiesheu, Chairman, DJW


The discussion showed that hydrogen and its applications have great economic potential but further developments need to be fostered by politics, industry and science.  

We hope that you could establish many contacts as well as get an update on hydrogen activities in Germany and Japan and their potential for our economies as well as bilateral cooperation. In order to get a detailed insight in the topic especially from the Japanese perspective, we invite you to also participate in our DJW symposium in Tokyo taking place on October 2nd and focusing on the same question “A Hydrogen-Based Economy – Can Vision become Reality?”

Furthermore, kindly see the presentation material used by Dr. Kattenstein of EnergieAgentur.NRW, Mr. Nagai of NEDO and by the speakers during the guided tour at “h2Herten”.

DJW also produced a short clip summarizing the events in Herten and Tokyo - please visit our Youtube channel to see the result!
Furthermore, Dr. Julia Münch, Director of DJW, provided an article about the potential of a hydrogen-based economy in Germany and Japan. 

Impressions DJW Symposium (Herten, 12.05.2017)


Speakers of the DJW Symposium Herten, 12.05.2017. © DJW Speakers of the DJW Symposium Herten, 12.05.2017. © DJW