25 Apr 2019, 13:06
Kerstine Appunn

Rhine-Main region wants to build up hydrogen infrastructure

Clean Energy Wire

A group of utilities, researchers and the state energy agency of Hesse want to establish a green hydrogen project in the industrial and business hub of the Rhine-Main area near Frankfurt, designed to power transport with renewable energy and save some 5,000 tonnes CO2, they say in a press release. The "reality lab"  is to use 15 megawatts of electrolysers to turn renewable electricity into hydrogen, which would then be distributed via pipelines, as well as road transport to access smaller consumers. A share of the hydrogen will be converted to synthetic methane which can be added to the existing gas network and by 2030 the region aims to run 1,000 fuel-cell buses in the region with hydrogen from the project.

Using renewable electricity to produce hydrogen and CO₂-neutral methane could solve some of the Energiewende’s toughest challenges. Making gas with wind and solar power could provide carbon-neutral fuel for heating and transport, and pave the way for large-scale seasonal energy storage. But so far, power-to-gas is only used in some 30 research and pilot facilities around Germany. Many experts believe the government must now scale up the technology to make it available – and affordable.

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