Hamburg mayor proposes conversion of coal plant into green hydrogen production site
The mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher, has proposed shutting down the city's coal plant Moorburg "many years" earlier than the current end date of 2030 and replacing part of it with a large hydrogen production facility, Andreas Dey writes for the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt. Hydrogen from the site, which is owned by energy company Vattenfall, could be used to cover the city's energy demand and the plant's second block could be converted into a gas power plant, the city-state’s Social Democratic mayor said just days before elections. Tschentscher said ambitious climate action requires "fresh ideas and a realistic vision for implementing them”. Germany's SPD environment minister Svenja Schulze supported Tschentscher's proposal, arguing that the plan for Moorburg stands for "forward-looking industrial policy." According to the city government, about 30 major companies from Hamburg already stated they would be interested in using "green" hydrogen from the prospective facility.
Hamburg elects a new city government on 23 February and the governing SPD looks set to be able to continue its current coalition with the Green Party. Climate and energy already figure high on the voters' list of priorities and a visit by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to attend a climate protest by activist group Fridays for Future ahead of the election is likely to further raise the topic's profile.