• 30. Januar 2020
  • 09:09
  • Environment

Workshop with hydrogen consumers from the areas of industry and transport

To reach the climate targets, all segments of the economy must be decarbonised by 2050. This applies to transport, as well as industrial applications and buildings. Hydrogen is an essential component for ensuring that those climate targets are reached. Green hydrogen can be used as a sustainable energy carrier, for example in aviation or for buses, but also as a raw material in the industry, for example in steel, aluminium and copper production. It can be used in heavy duty trucks, in the shipping industry and for public transport, as well as for supplying urban areas with heat. At the invitation of Senator Michael Westhagemann, 24 Hamburg-based companies came together for a user workshop held on 29 January 2020. “We are going to do this properly,” says Westhagemann. “For building electrolysis plants, for investors and operator models, we have to identify the level of demand. We determined today that 100 megawatts are not going to be enough in the medium term. Demand in the port alone is much higher.”

There are suitable sites in Hamburg for expanding existing electrolysis facilities or building new ones. Senator Westhagemann has been talking to the Federal Environment Ministry, as well as consulting on the EU level. There are potential operators and investors, too. The next step is to cooperate with the business world to develop business models for such facilities. “And then we are ready to go. We want to start realising these projects as soon as possible,” says Westhagemann. The city thinks of itself mostly as an enabler in this context, providing suitable conditions for the business community's endeavours. Developing a self-sufficient hydrogen economy is not a solo effort. The initiative in the port is a step towards the development and implementation of specific cooperative projects that are interesting for the entire North of Germany.

In addition to this, Hamburg is also conversing with the region of Groningen in the Netherlands, as well as with Scotland and the Oslo region. On 6 February, Senator Westhagemann is going to Norway to talk to Norwegian ministries and companies, aiming to form a wide alliance for formulating common framework conditions for Europe.

North Germany has what it takes to become the region that practically organises the energy revolution and specifically tackles those climate protection targets – with the help of hydrogen. The North German States believe that hydrogen produced with renewable energies is the strategic energy carrier for the future, and together with other areas bordering the North Sea, they aim to become Europe’s leading green hydrogen region. In their common strategy, the states have set themselves the target to realise full supply of all interested consumers with sufficient amounts of green hydrogen by 2035.

Michael Westhagemann: “We must establish the hydrogen economy here in Germany now and with high priority. The federal government cannot evade its responsibility for reforming the state-regulated share of electricity prices, or for promoting a swift further increase of renewable energies in Germany. Considering the very expensive processing and logistics chains, the port infrastructure and suitable ships, as well as the necessary stable investment conditions, we cannot rely on hydrogen imports from other regions. We must establish value creation, jobs and technical know-how locally in the first step.

It will only be possible to quickly establish and advance hydrogen technology, if viable business models are made available for local companies. Once the capacities afforded by renewable energies in the region have been fully exploited, import can also be an option, of course. However, the federal government must not sacrifice value creation in Germany prematurely.

Our industry is ready to go, and we have enormous potential here in Hamburg and North Germany to be at the forefront of this development. The federal government has to finally set the course for growth, both for hydrogen and for a further increase of renewable energies. We have been demanding this for a long time, and the necessity to take action has meanwhile escalated dramatically. Major decisions will have to be made over the next few months, and I appeal to the federal government to not gamble away the future of various sectors and industries of our economy, by zeroing in on import too soon and passing on the responsibility to others. Germany needs a strong hydrogen economy that covers the entire value creation chain from renewable energies, via electrolysis facilities, through to industrial consumers. Here in Hamburg we are working hard to establish a hydrogen economy for the future. We are drawing up value creation and business models for decarbonised industrial and mobility applications, as well as future-oriented infrastructure and logistics with the Port of Hamburg at the centre.”

Press contact

Behörde für Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Innovation (Office for Economics, Transport and Innovation)
Susanne Meinecke
Phone: (040) 428 41-2239
Email: pressestelle@bwvi.hamburg.de