08 Nov 2022, 14:08
Carolina Kyllmann

Bavaria to invest 500 million euros in hydrogen and green energy projects

Clean Energy Wire

The southern German state of Bavaria is set to invest 500 million euros in renewable energy and hydrogen production projects, the state’s economy minister, Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), announced. As decided by the council of ministers, the money has been earmarked to promote the expansion of hydrogen, wind power, photovoltaics (PV), geothermal energy and biomass projects. Aiwanger said this is an “important investment in Bavaria’s future,” adding that the “massive investments” would accelerate the expansion of renewables in the state, thus sending a clear signal in tackling climate change and curbing the rise in energy prices. Of the 500 million euros, 270 million is earmarked for hydrogen projects with the aim of developing an efficient infrastructure and constructing hydrogen electrolysers "in every district" of the economic powerhouse state. 125 million euros will be spent on the installation of PV plants on state roofs and 20 million is planned for biomass initiatives and geothermal research. Additionally, new positions will be created to accelerate the approval process of wind projects, Aiwanger said.
Furthermore, Bavaria announced its own “hardship fund” to help households and businesses cope with rising energy prices.  The fund aims to address “financial gaps” not covered by the federal government’s three relief packages and defence shield, according to the state's government. Bavaria hopes to introduce a 1.5 billion euro fund to support its economy – especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) whose existence is threatened by high prices, not only in gas and electricity but also oil and wood pellets. The budget is to be finally approved by the cabinet on 22 November.

The state’s industry, which is heavily exposed to the risk of higher prices due to the energy crisis caused by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, has already lamented the state government’s sluggish renewable power expansion efforts. Bavaria, the largest German state by area, leads solar power expansion in the country but trails behind the national average when it comes to onshore wind power and grid expansion.

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