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25 Mar 2021, 14:02
Kerstine Appunn

Energy and grid companies team up for hydrogen project at German coast

Clean Energy Wire

With the aim to scale hydrogen technology and ensure its integration in the energy market, a new project partnership in northern Germany will invest 1.3 million euros to create a “Clean Hydrogen Coastline”. Companies ArcelorMittal Bremen (steel), EWE, swb (utilities), FAUN (hydrogen fuel cells), Gasunie and transmission grid operator TenneT want to integrate up to 400 megawatts of electrolyser capacity and corresponding hydrogen storage into the energy system by 2026. This will take place in the area between Bremen, Hanover and Hamburg. "In northern Germany - the wind power region - we have the best prerequisites for integrating hydrogen as an integral part of the energy system and for laying the foundation for a European hydrogen economy,” EWE CEO Stefan Dohler said in a press release.

The partners of the project will make up different parts of the hydrogen value chain: Steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal said it will need a reliable source of hydrogen to run a new iron ore direct reduction plant and an electric arc furnace at the Bremen site “in order to produce 1.5 million tonnes of crude steel with significantly lower CO2 emissions” by 2026. The FAUN group is aiming to put up to 12,000 fuel cell commercial freight vehicles on the road and a hydrogen filling station network, together with EWE. Utility and energy provider swb will build a large electrolyser near Bremen where energy supplier EWE is planning to convert a natural gas storage facility into a hydrogen storage site. Transmission grid operator TenneT said that smartly placed electrolysers in a high in wind power region like northern Germany could help to stabilise the grid and avoid additional grid expansion. While the project was currently aiming for 400 megawatt of electrolyser capacity, the region’s industry could easily make use of over 2.2 gigawatts, the companies said.

Green hydrogen made with renewable energy is considered key to solving some of the energy transitions challenges, such as decarbonising industry processes or long-haul freight transport. Germany has set out to become a global leader in the associated hydrogen technologies, and the government has penned a National Hydrogen Strategy to fulfil these ambitions.

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