With regret we inform you of the death of our former member Dr. Joachim Gretz  who died on October 12 aged 83. With him we lose a pioneer of hydrogen energy in Germany, particularly Hamburg, and Europe. He was a champion of hydrogen technology in a time when it was still widely seen as a subversive underground activity.

Being a member of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra (Italy) his insider knowledge made it possible for him to launch projects about the topic at a time what it did not yet appear at all in the official research framework programs. His greatest success was without doubt the EQHHP (Euro-Québec Hydro-Hydrogen Pilot Project) which was done jointly by the Commission and the Canadian province of Québec. The results set a standard, and the community profits from them until this day.

In Hamburg he was in 1989 one of the founders of the “Association for the Introduction of Hydrogen in the Energy Economy”, a somewhat lengthy name which was later simplified into “Hamburg Hydrogen Association”. He was a member of the board until 2011.

Apart from this he served in an advisory function for numerous activities in Italy, Germany, or on the European level. He gave important impulses for the foundation of the Europan Hydrogen Association in 2000.


After his retirement he stayed in Ispra and supported the development of a hydrogen bus by an Italian manufacturer and a hydrogen boat on the Lago Maggiore. He was also active in organising numerous events and recently supported the visit of Italian students to Hamburg’s hydrogen activities .

May he rest in peace.