German companies want to focus on hydrogen

There are more and more announcements in the field of hydrogen. On October 28, the French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium formalized the creation of a joint venture with the German ElringKlinger. The new company, named EKPO Fuel Cell Technology, wants to develop, produce and market fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles (buses, trucks and utility vehicles) and, secondly, for individual vehicles.

EKPO will build on the already existing production capacities of the German partner and will be able to produce 10,000 fuel cells as of next year. It wants to become a world leader by 2030.

The interest in hydrogen is the same on the side of the German heavy truck manufacturer, Daimler Truck. On November 2, he also announced the creation of a joint venture with the Swedish group Volvo, in order to produce its first fuel cells within 3 years.

Heavy industry interested

Beyond the transport sector, it is especially heavy industry, a huge producer of CO2, which scrutinizes the development of hydrogen. In addition to the Rhine, Germany’s number 2 in steel, Salzgitter, is a pioneer, with a decarbonisation program launched in 2016 and the installation, in August, of a high-temperature electrolyser at its site in Lower Saxony. It should be able to produce 100 tonnes of green hydrogen (from renewable energies) by the end of 2022.

“Our goal is to reduce our CO production by 95%2, thanks to gas and hydrogen, recalled Heinz-Jörg Fuhrmann, CEO of the group, at the end of August. Decarbonizing our production comes at a cost, but we have found that hydrogen is the cheapest solution. “

Germany aims for leadership

Aware of the difficulty in reducing the production of CO2 in heavy industry and the transport sector, the German federal authorities presented in June a national strategy of 7 billion euros. The goal is to develop research, local production of green hydrogen, fuel cells as well as storage and delivery infrastructure.

“With this strategy, Germany can hope to establish itself as a leader in low-carbon heavy industry” comments Claudia Kemfert of the DIW Economic Institute in Berlin. The projects are not only national. Berlin and Paris announced in September a partnership in this area which must be refined by the end of the year.

The role of public authorities

On the ground, actors like Salzgitter recall that they did not wait for state incentives to act but welcome the “Awareness” national and European authorities. The same goes for Plastic Omnium and ElringKlinger. “We are doing our part of the work by developing new solutions and technologies in the field of mobility, Laurent Favre, CEO of Plastic Omnium recalled last week at a press conference. However, we need the support of the authorities to develop infrastructure and distribution. “

→ INVESTIGATION. Projects around hydrogen as an energy source are multiplying

In any case, the potential of hydrogen seems real. In a report published this week, the consulting firm, Aurora Research, estimates the revenues generated by this energy in Europe to be more than 120 billion euros per year by 2050. Germany leads the most attractive to investors.


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senators want to end “historic” concessions

In eleven years, seven concessions “ historical », Among which those granted to the three flagship motorway concession companies Vinci (ASF and Cofiroute), Eiffage (APRR) and Abertis (Sanef), will end.

To anticipate this deadline, a Senate commission of inquiry was created in January 2020 at the initiative of the centrist Union group. Its findings were made public on Friday, September 18.

Introduce revision clauses

Since the privatization of the 9,100 kilometers of motorway (90% of the French motorway network) in 2006 under the government of Dominique de Villepin – justified at the time by a need to reduce the State’s debt – the subject has continued to be controversial. In question: the profitability of the concessions, ” perceived as too favorable ».

The contracts of the historical concessionary companies have been signed “ without definition of the economic and financial balance of concessions “And without obligation to set up” review clauses ” regular, list the senators. They have also been extended several times since 2006 ” without competition ».

“Too opaque”

Still, ” this file remains very opaque “, Notes Vincent Delahaye, Senator Union centrist of Essonne and rapporteur, deploring that the reason for” business secrecys ”is used too often.

→ EXPLANATION. A 30% discount for regular motorway journeys

The Senate also wishes to rule out any attempt to reassess toll prices due to the coronavirus crisis. If the recorded recipes are less, ” la sThe financial improvement of historic concessions cannot justify compensation, even partial, for the consequences of the health crisis because the pursuit of their activity is not threatened.e », Insists the report.

Eiffage and Vinci profitable by 2022

According to one ” independent study “Mandated by the Senate, two of the three key concessionaires (Eiffage and Vinci Autoroutes)” could reach the expected profitability during privatization 10 years before the end of the concessions “, is ” around 2022 ». « If this hypothesis is confirmed, adds Vincent Delahaye, dividends paid to shareholders would reach around 40 billion euros, including 32 billion for Vinci and Eiffage ”, Between 2022 and 2036.

A criticism defended by Pierre Coppey, president of Vinci Autoroutes, during his hearing by the Senate: ” At the end of the concession, the concessionaire owns nothing. If the dividends paid by the concessionaire companies are so high, it is because the capital has to be repaid over the term of the contract. »

A “highways summit”

Supporters of recreating “ dialogue “Between the parties, the senators believe” imperative to no longer extend the duration of concessions “, Campaigning for a” top of highways ».

This ” Grenelle environment round table “, Explains Vincent Delahaye, around which the State would gather, the Transport Regulatory Authority (ART), created in 2015, and the concessionaires, would aim for example to” modules »The toll rate in favor of daily journeys, carpooling or clean vehicles, while reinforcing the controls of fare regulations.


immigrant rescue: The “captain” who confronted Salvini and lives where his backpack is posed | Ideas

When Carola Rackete is asked if she is interested in giving an interview, she responds dryly: “The world doesn’t need another white hero.” She does not use the word “heroine”, just as she prefers to be called “captain” instead of “captain” when commanding a ship. She argues that her womanhood is obvious enough that she needs to twist the feminine words. On board the Arctic Sunrise, of the Greenpeace organization, Rackete travels through Antarctica as part of the crew. She knows that the thunder of glaciers breaking, several times a day, is the soundtrack of a planet in climatic collapse. Antarctica is melting. To deal with overheating, call on the global community to conjugate the verb disobey. And live what she preaches: Rackete is a disobedient.

For disobeying, in 2019 she became known all over the planet. On June 12, she captained the humanitarian ship. Sea-Watch 3 when they found a boat adrift in the Mediterranean full of people fleeing the violence in Libya. Rackete disobeyed. Rather than return them to the country from which they had fled, as the coast guard demanded, he took them on board. He stated that Libya was not a safe place for survivors. With his ship loaded with refugees, many of them embroidery Due to torture, he tried to dock on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The then Minister of the Interior, the far right Matteo Salvini, prevented him. While she waited for an ever-postponed solution, the health of the passengers deteriorated. On June 29, Rackete disobeyed again: she docked without authorization in the port of Lampedusa with her ship of desperation. And they arrested her.

She is vegan. Always carry a Kindle and do not watch movies or series, read

Rackete does not speak Italian, but he does speak German, Spanish, English, Russian and French. Rather than German, she prefers to identify herself as “European,” a statement that becomes more significant after Brexit. She grew up in a town around Celle, in Lower Saxony, and as a teenager her main activity, apart from studying and sleeping, was playing games. World of Warcraft in the computer. Her father is an electrical engineer who came to work in the arms industry and her mother is an accountant. There was no magical awakening to the planet’s overheating. It was, as she defines it, “a journey.” Working on ships that go on scientific expeditions, I listened to researchers, witnessed the effects of climate change, and saw their desire to learn grow. After graduating in Nautical Sciences, she did a master’s degree in Environmental Conservation.

He hasn’t had a home for eight years. It goes from project to project, lots of volunteers. If you are forced to live with money during the intervals, you never spend more than 500 euros a month. She wears dreadlocks because the oceans are very windy and she prefers not to waste time fixing her hair. There are no children or marriage on her horizon. Your loved ones are a community made up of friends scattered all over the planet. She is vegan, although she accepts the vegetarian menu if there is no other option. Rackete’s house is where she puts her backpack, in which she carries a tent, a sleeping bag, half a dozen clothes, two pairs of shoes, 10 panties, the computer and a Kindle with about 100 books. Rackete does not watch movies and series. Read.

Attack the dogma of economic growth. Faced with the collapse of the planet, he says, it would be worse to obey

Last summer, the Italian judge who released her claimed that Rackete had fulfilled her duty to save the people on board. But Rackete still has two pending charges in Italy and her future is uncertain. How to move in a world where people are arrested for saving lives? Where do the authorities of so-called democratic countries criminalize humanitarian rescue calling it human trafficking or encouragement of illegal immigration? Rackete’s answer is to live by your own rules, which means “confronting the system directly”: fighting for the collective well-being instead of the individual, cooperating instead of competing, caring for the other instead of protecting yourself from it.
At 31, she represents a new type of human emerged on the fringes of the climate war. Unlike rebels in other historical moments, she is not driven by hope, but by what she calls a “humanitarian imperative.” Their logic is not to win, but to fight. Not alone, but with all those who are willing to create a society capable of living without leaving the planet exhausted. “The Earth has not been depleted because there are too many people, but because a minority has consumed most of the resources,” he says. In her first book,. It is time to act (Paidós), stands alongside the thinkers who attack the dogma of economic growth: you cannot grow more, you have to distribute the wealth that exists equitably.

While touring Antarctica, the geography where he spends most months of the year, Rackete dedicates himself to thinking about how to face the economic system. The future may be very difficult from a climate point of view, but there is an opportunity to create a more just society. Quickly, because there is no time. This captain already has a course: “The problem is not civil disobedience, but obedience.” It is time to act. And to act, he says, is to disobey.


In Germany, tests for slow travelers to set up

It’s already time to start school, including for children of school age, in several Länder in Germany, starting with that of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, north of Berlin, until a few days later Hamburg or Berlin .

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, people returning to Germany from the 130 countries said to be at risk from a health standpoint – in particular Turkey, the United States or Russia – must observe two weeks of confinement or prove that they are not not infected.

In practice, however, control remains uncertain, as confirmed by several returnees from Turkey.

Free tests soon mandatory for returns from risk areas

“When we arrived at the airport in Hamburg, no one informed us of a quarantine, and no one asked us for our address”, says Gulsen Karaca, who returned last week from Izmir. “To avoid quarantine, I was tested in Turkey, before returning to Germany. My test was negative, but no one asked me to provide proof, even when I contacted the health authorities, on a voluntary basis ”, she comments, a little annoyed.

To ensure better health control, the regional health ministers approved, on July 24, the establishment of free tests, optional at first but mandatory from next week, for passengers returning from risk areas.

After Munich a week ago, the “city-state” of Berlin this week opened a screening center at its two airports, and plans to open them in train and bus stations as well. In Frankfurt, the hub of German air traffic, no free test has yet been offered. However, a paying screening center has carried out 38,000 tests there since it opened at the end of June.

More than 900 new infections daily, a first since May

The German political class is now wondering about other points: should these tests be extended to travelers returning from so-called safe countries. Above all, should these tests be free? No, believes the liberal FDP party. People who have taken the risk of traveling must get their hands on the wallet, he explains.

Not convinced, the Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, assures that public funds can be found to finance this measure and ensure the health security of the country, hailed so far for its exemplary nature in the fight against the pandemic. Germany currently deplores 9,221 deaths from Covid-19, and has just over 210,000 cases of contamination.

→ ANALYSIS. Coronavirus: how Germany managed to manage the crisis

Among health authorities, concern is growing. For the first time since May, the number of new daily infections in the country exceeded the 900 mark on Thursday, July 30, without there being a link with isolated outbreaks such as slaughterhouses.

The director of the Institute for Public Health Surveillance Robert Koch said “Very concerned” this week, without however confirming the start of a new wave. Beyond the risks associated with travelers, Lothar H. Wieler especially deplores “A relaxation” of the population regarding the respect of barrier gestures and the wearing of masks.


how to get started (again)?

Will the little queen become the star of the city? In recent weeks, the bicycle has gradually established itself as the ideal alternative to public transport in times of coronavirus. « The bicycle is a tool which makes it possible to respond in terms of mobility to this serious and unforeseen crisis. In a few weeks the communities realize the limits of public transport and that the massive use of the car will congest the city. So the only solution is cycling », Analyzes Olivier Schneider, president of the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB).

→ READ. Deconfinement, an accelerator of urban development

But before you can take the approximately 2,000 kilometers of temporary cycling facilities that have been created across France in recent weeks, it is essential to check the condition of your bike.

Take advantage of a helping hand to hit the road

While some cities, such as Rouen, offer bonuses for the purchase of a new bicycle, it is also possible to receive assistance to restart an old bicycle that has not been used for a long time. Funded by the State and managed by the FUB, the “Coup de Pouce Vélo” platform supports repairs up to € 50. No need to register, just go to one of the repairers listed on the platform. Individual assistance is not limited to a single bike, you can have several bikes repaired, within reason of course.

The enthusiasm seems to be at the rendezvous since the Minister of ecological transition Elisabeth Borne has just announced the tripling of the budget of the fund created at the end of April to encourage the practice of cycling, increasing it from 20 million to 60 million euros .

According to the FUB, as of May 27, this repair package has already been requested for more than 62,400 cycles. “This is an example of a very simple system, set up with federations of associations, and which works” explains the Minister of Ecological Transition.

Another government initiative, the sustainable mobility package entered into force on Monday 11 May. It allows voluntary companies to support up to € 400 per year and per employee of ” travel costs of their employees on their home-work journey made with alternative modes to the private car Can be read on the website of the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition. Alternative modes of transport including the bicycle.

Safety first

Victims of their own success, repairers are often overwhelmed and the queues get longer. To save yourself this waiting period, it is possible to register for participatory and solidarity workshops and thus repair your means of transport yourself. Finally, there are many tutorials on the Internet for performing routine checks.

In any case, before giving the first pedal strokes, it is essential to check the condition of your brakes. “ It is an absolute priority to be able to be safe on your bike »Recalls Olivier Schneider of the FUB. Slightly deflated tires or a slightly seized chain are not a problem in the short term, they will just make the cyclist’s thighs work more, notes the specialist.

Relearn to change gear

Once your bike is in good working order, you must now relearn how to ride. If riding a bicycle is not forgotten, as the popular saying goes, the same cannot be said for traffic, especially in urban areas. To get back in the saddle, “Cycling Help” will offer a one-hour coaching session with an instructor to relearn how to use the little queen. If it is already possible to pre-register, we will have to wait a little longer to be able to take advantage of this service free of charge from partner training establishments.

→ PRACTICAL. Deconfinement: work, school, transport … the answers to your questions

A guide to best practices will also be published on this site with answers to concrete questions such as the correct placement of a lock to secure your bike. ” If it’s just the front wheel that’s attached, the rest of the bicycle can very easily be stolen »Recalls Olivier Schneider

Generally in town, the most important thing is not to have your head in the handlebars and to seek visual contact with other road users. ” For cyclists, it is important to see but above all to be seen to warn others of our presence »Explains Olivier Schneider.

For the route, no need to know a radius

Cycling does not necessarily mean following the same route as that used by car or public transport. In France, more than 50,000 kilometers of cycle paths are already present throughout the territory, and many cities such as Paris or Montpellier are increasing the establishment of new paths at this beginning of deconfinement. It only remains to find them.

→ MAINTENANCE. The “real alternative” bicycle at the time of deconfinement

Child’s play with the Géovélo application which offers several routes for the same trip, indicating each time the percentage of routes fitted out for cycling, specifying the difference in level or the number of calories burned. For its part, the Citymapper application offers cyclists three types of cycling routes: “normal”, “calm” and “fast”. Both take into account the transition cycle paths set up by the municipalities.


Media reported details of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Wuhan :: Society :: RBC

Photo: Anthony Kwan / Getty Images
    The first person who confirmed coronavirus in December last year was a woman selling shrimp at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, Sina reports.

On December 11, a woman named Wei had a fever and she sought medical help. According to her, usually with malaise, she felt better after she was given an injection in the hospital. However, even two injections did not help that time. Five days later, Wei went to the Sehe Hospital at Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

How Wuhan is returning to ordinary life. Photoreport

By December 31, according to the Wuhan Health Committee, there were 27 people in the first group of people infected. 24 of them had contacts with the Hunan market, with four being members of the same family.

Sina reports that they also managed to find the first infected person who had no contact with Juanan. This is a man named Chen. His temperature rose on December 16 and he went to a hospital in a suburb of Wuhan. The patient was not able to understand where he got infected, but suggested that he could catch the infection in the subway or after he went to the hospital. However, his family members did not defend themselves before he was diagnosed, but none of them fell ill. .