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Interview with Jens Schmidt, TES (Tree Energy Solutions)

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You are once again reading an edition of ener|gate Gasmarkt that is not characterised by crisis reporting. That is not entirely true: There is a sense of crisis among the transmission system operators. The issue is the future hydrogen network and its organisation. The seemingly total commitment of the leading figures in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) to pushing through a state-owned hydrogen grid company is leading to a split among the TSOs, who are reacting with different strategies. The FNBs reject the claim that the issue is dividing them as false. But read all about it yourself.

The future of hydrogen network organisation would basically have been the topic of the month. But I decided to place an interview with Jens Schmidt, Chief Technology Officer of TES at the front. On the one hand, this is always a good spot for my long interviews. But I also found the conversation and especially the plans very inspiring. At TES, people think big; the company and its financiers are not afraid of ten-digit euro or US dollar dimensions.

There are two topics that have been on my mind that do not appear in this issue due to lack of space: Burckhard Bergmann, the last chairman of Ruhrgas and representative of the traditional gas industry, gave an interview to the daily newspaper FAZ in early November and to the daily business newspaper Handelsblatt in February. The statements are identical: we did everything right back then, the central mistake was made by BASF when it allowed Gazprom to open up a second distribution channel via Wintershall/Wingas at the beginning of the 1990s and later sold the business, including the Rehden storage facility, completely to Gazprom. Read the interview and judge for yourself. I find Bergmann's statements too self-righteous and not very thoughtful.

LobbyControl a non-governmental organisation has published a 100-page report entitled ‘Power of the Gas Lobby in Germany’. The completely negative view of the industry, including the characterisation of the German Energy Agency (Dena) as a "lobbying channel for the gas industry" is remarkable. And the idea of describing Kerstin Andrae, the chairwoman of the executive board of BDEW (the German Association of Energy and Water Industries), as a "green liaison woman for the gas lobby" seems a little odd. The industry's interest in security of supply and a transformation is simply being neglected. But even so, I recommend reading it. But only after you’ve read my Gasmarkt. 

TOPIC OF THE MONTH Interview with Jens Schmidt, TES (Tree Energy Solutions)

Three years ago, Marcel and Paul van Poecke founded Tree Energy Solutions (TES). Its main objective is to create a circular economy for green hydrogen. Wherever hydrogen can be produced cheaply from renewable energies on this earth, it should be done. The hydrogen is to be converted with CO2 in a Sabatier process into ‘green’ CH4 (eNG - electric natural gas) and transported in liquefied form (LNG) to the consumption centres. There, the CH4 is split into hydrogen and CO2 again. The CO2 is transported to the generation plants by the same ships that transported the LNG. In Wilhelmshaven, TES is building a "Green Energy Hub" where the green eNG can be unloaded. The van Poecke family has many years of experience in the energy industry, money with the AtlasInvest family fund and the necessary persuasive power to convince top managers, not just from the energy industry, to participate. Marco Alverà, the CEO of TES was previously CEO of the Italian infrastructure operator Snam. Now he is not only chairman of the board, but also has a stake in TES. The rest of the management team also has many years of professional experience in leadership positions in large companies. The same goes for Jens Schmidt, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He worked for the chemical company Dow in various management positions for almost 20 years before joining TES in January 2022. Mr Schmidt has explained TES's business model to ener|gate Gasmarkt...