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20 May 2021, 12:31
Edgar Meza

A hydrogen master plan for eastern Germany

Clean Energy Wire

A new masterplan developed by three Fraunhofer research institutes outlines how a successful hydrogen industry can be developed in eastern Germany. The transition from fossil fuels to sustainably produced green hydrogen could serve as a boost to the economy by triggering new domestic value creation, according to the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG. In their "Hydrogen Master Plan for Eastern Germany," the research institutes examines how such a development could succeed across federal states and forecasts for the first time the specific hydrogen demand in the region’s individual sectors from 2030 to 2050. “The switch to the energy carrier hydrogen offers the great opportunity to bundle the complementary eastern German strengths through coordinated cross-border action from business, science and politics,” said Mario Ragwitz, executive director of Fraunhofer IEG and speaker of the Fraunhofer Hydrogen Network. “The energy sector, raw materials industry and automotive and plant construction make a very important contribution to the development of a sustainable hydrogen economy in eastern Germany,” Ragwitz added.

The Fraunhofer team make more than 50 specific proposals for a successful hydrogen market ramp-up in the study, including the establishment of an Eastern German Hydrogen Agency that would bundle all of the region’s hydrogen interests, assists companies with investment projects and provides promotional services for the sector. The study notes that hydrogen demand in transport and industry will be around 17.3 terawatt-hours by 2030 and approximately 49 terawatt-hours by 2050.

The German government has made the development of hydrogen technologies a major focus of the energy transition. Eastern Germany, where large lignite mining operations used to provide many jobs, is one of the key areas for establishing new businesses and research facilities for renewable fuels.

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