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24 Feb 2021, 12:37
Julian Wettengel

Uniper, Siemens Energy plan green power, heat and hydrogen project at Hamburg coal plant site

Clean Energy Wire

German energy companies Uniper and Siemens Energy have proposed a project to set up a renewable power-based energy plant at the site of the retired Moorburg hard coal plant in Hamburg. The aim is to use surplus wind power to produce heat for a high-temperature storage facility, as well as hydrogen via electrolysis. Both heat and hydrogen would be made available to industrial customers. It would also be possible to use part of the hydrogen in an “innovative gas turbine” to produce electricity. “The new power plant of the future in Hamburg will be a prime example of decarbonisation: an electrolyser for the production of hydrogen, a hydrogen-capable gas turbine and an innovative high-temperature storage facility - all the ingredients of a successful energy transition are combined here,” said Jochen Eickholt, board member of Siemens Energy. The partners have applied to be accepted as an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI), which would make it eligible for financial support by the European Union.

In January, oil major Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), municipal heat supplier Wärme Hamburg and Swedish utility Vattenfall had already signed a letter of intent for the construction of an electrolyser with a 100-megawatt (MW) capacity at the site of the Moorburg power plant. As part of the coal exit, Moorburg was taken off grid at the turn of the year, after entering full operation as late as 2015.

In the fight against climate change, green hydrogen made with renewable electricity is increasingly seen as a solution for many areas where emissions are particularly hard to reduce, such as heavy industry and aviation. Germany, which has set itself the target of becoming climate-neutral by mid-century, aims to become a global leader in the associated technologies - not only to launch the next stages of its energy transition but also to secure a promising growth market for its internationally reputed industry. Earlier this year, Germany launched three flagship projects to fulfil its green hydrogen ambitions.

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