Economy and climate protection combined

A well-thought-out energy transition can slow down climate change and strengthen the economy. This is exactly what doing hydrogen has in mind when it comes to the hydrogen hub. The hub is where some of the central building blocks of a hydrogen economy converge, representing an intelligent nexus of the entire value chain. It’s a starting point that will continue to develop dynamically and form an efficient foundation for a strong European hydrogen market.

doing hydrogen attracts investment to eastern Germany, prepares places for the future and reduces CO2 pollution. This makes the implementation of the German Hydrogen Strategy a real plan for the future of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Berlin.

That’s doing hydrogen.

All building blocks at a glance

Hydrogen is versatile. There are several ways to make it and many ways to use it. The right balance between supply, demand and transport and storage capacities are important for a successful hydrogen hub. The more building blocks are used along the value chain, the more efficient the overall project.

Group 2Production &importTransport &storageConsumption &furtherprocessing

Windpower

Offshore wind power from the Baltic Sea and onshore wind turbines supply the electricity to generate green hydrogen. The production capacities are already there: with 7,500 MW of wind power, Brandenburg ranks number two among the federal states, while Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania generates more green electricity than is consumed locally, with over 3,500 MW. There are also the capacities for further expansion on a large scale. (As of July 2021)

Photovoltaics

Solar power, like wind power, provides important energy for the production of green hydrogen. There are photovoltaic systems producing around 9,000 MW installed in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. (As of July 2021)

Natural gas

Gas, the reliable energy source – predominantly natural gas with an increasing proportion of biomethane – can help launch the hydrogen economy. It’s readily available and cost-effective. Methane pyrolysis can be used to produce climate-neutral hydrogen from natural gas when renewable electricity is used. This produces solid carbon, which can also be put to good use.

Import of H2

We can’t meet the high demand for climate-neutral hydrogen, especially in the chemical and steel industries, with domestic production alone. Exporting countries for hydrogen and transport routes with landing points in Germany will be established. doing hydrogen is available to serve as a hub for imports: via the Baltic Sea (port of Rostock) into (central) Germany as well as to other countries via the European Hydrogen Backbone.

Methane pyrolysis

In methane pyrolysis (also called methane cracking), natural gas and biomethane are split into hydrogen and solid carbon at high temperatures. Both can be used as valuable raw materials. No CO2 is released during this process. And it even consumes 85% less energy than electrolysis.

Elektrolysis

In electrolysis, water is chemically broken down into its component parts – hydrogen and oxygen – using renewable electricity. The hydrogen goes to the negatively charged pole and the oxygen to the positively charged pole. The electricity used is thus converted into chemical energy and stored in the hydrogen.

Pipeline network

Pipelines are the most efficient way to transport hydrogen safely and cost-effectively. Parts of the existing gas pipeline network can be converted to transport 100% hydrogen, only missing connections having to be newly built. This means today’s pipeline network forms the backbone for the development of the hydrogen economy.

Storage facilities

Underground cavern storage facilities for natural gas can be converted to accommodate hydrogen. They are an important way for the hydrogen economy to ensure they can meet the demand without relying solely on production. And they serve as a backup system for the electricity sector when the renewable energy sources wind and sun are not available.

Electricity

Hydrogen is the ideal backup for electricity generation: it can be stored in large quantities and for any length of time. It is also available when there is neither wind nor sun. And it supplements renewable electricity generation during peak loads and in the energy-intensive winter months. In combined heat and power (CHP) plants, hydrogen is turned back into electricity.

Heat

Where heating with electricity isn’t an option, hydrogen is the renewable alternative for generating heat. For high-rise buildings, old buildings and areas with insufficient ground heat, hydrogen can provide the necessary warmth. This can be done, for example, via fuel cell heating plants or on-site CHP plants. Hydrogen can be used like natural gas after exchanging the burner.

Industry

With climate-neutral hydrogen, many branches of industry can significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. The steel industry has registered a high demand for process energy used in steel production. Hydrogen is also already being used for production in the chemical industry and in refineries. Switching to climate-neutral hydrogen immediately and significantly improves your carbon footprint. Rapidly ramping up the hydrogen economy is therefore particularly important for industry.

Mobility

Hydrogen is an alternative to battery-powered or overhead-fed electric vehicles. When used in a fuel cell, only water vapour is produced as a by-product. This is particularly useful for buses and long-distance heavy goods traffic. Trains, ships and aircraft can also be powered by hydrogen. Another area of application is e-fuels produced from hydrogen. These are synthetic fuels for aircraft and ships that are produced in refineries.

Interview with Christian Pegel

„Hydrogen enables us to make use of renewable electricity in the areas of heating, transport and, above all, industry. Climate neutrality, alongside digitalisation, are the two greatest challenges across all areas of the economy facing us over the next two decades. We can make it work with hydrogen and its derivatives. This is why hydrogen will be the substance on which the economy, transport and living will run in the future. The economic growth, the opportunities economically associated with hydrogen and, above all, the technologies for generating and implementing it, will be enormous.“

„The northern and eastern regions of Germany will be pioneers in using hydrogen in nearly all areas of life and the economy. That’s why hydrogen and its derivatives can bring incredible opportunities for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as a production location that can therefore derive more value from its renewable energy. But more than anything, in the long term as a location for new businesses if, in the coming years, new investments are examined to see how and where safe and truly climate-neutral sources of energy and hydrogen can be obtained. Technologies will also be newly developed and enhanced where hydrogen is produced, making hydrogen a huge opportunity for completely new industrial and commercial locations to spring up in the north and east of Germany.“

„We need to get it out of the labs and into real life, as the the IPCEI projects have shown. But above all, we need a framework that politics needs to provide. We will need this to help hydrogen achieve a breakthrough which, in its infancy, hasn’t yet become competitive, as was the case with wind power over 20 years ago. Demand will then quickly drive prices down, followed by research conducted by companies – made possible by new technologies whose development will have been supercharged with regards to producing and using hydrogen in almost all areas of transport, heating and, most importantly, industry.“

Christian Pegel

Minister for Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalisation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Important foundations

Scientific studies, economic evaluations, political intentions – a well-functioning hydrogen hub needs stable foundations. Here is a selection of documents on which doing hydrogen and the subprojects are based.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:

“A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe“, Brüssel, 8.7.2020 …”

“National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS)”, Berlin, 10.06.2020.

The NWS defines the steps to achieve the climate goals. It is to be implemented via 38 measures.

“North German Hydrogen Strategy” (Federal States of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein), 07.11.2019.
A green hydrogen economy is to be created by 2035.

“Hydrogen Strategy for Saxony-Anhalt”, Magdeburg, 11.05.2021

An 8-point plan defines measures for the next two years. Targets for the hydrogen economy are formulated until 2030 and 2040.

“Potential Study for Hydrogen in Brandenburg”, Potsdam, 07.08.2019.

The federal state is an attractive location for an electrolysis industry. Up to 7,000 high-quality jobs can be created for electrolysis plants alone.

Presentation on the development of an H2 strategy for Saxony by Dr Nils Geißler, AL 6 SMEKUL, 05.02.2021

„Extending the European Hydrogen Backbone – A European hydrogen infrastructure vision covering 21 countries”, April 2021

A vision for a european hydrogen network with a pipeline length of 40.000 km.

„Analysing future demand, supply, and transport of hydrogen“ (in cooperation with gas for climate: „A path to 2050“), June 2021

Until 2050 the EU and Great Britain could have a hydrogen demand of  2.300 TWh (2.150-2.750 TWh) – that’s 20-25% of their final energy consumption.

„Gas for Climate – Priorities for the EU hydrogen legislation“, June 2021

Proposal for a Europe-wide legal framework for hydrogen to enable the development of infrastructure and create a liquid H2 market. 

First vision of a supra-regional German “visionary” H2 network of around 5,900 km pipeline length with 90% existing pipelines.

“The value of hydrogen in the heat market”, Frontier Economics study for FNB Gas, August 2021.

An efficiency analysis shows that hydrogen is similarly suitable for the heat market as alternative heat technologies.

doing hydrogen – the hydrogen hub for eastern Germany

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Uta Kull

Corporate Communications doing hydrogen

Ralf Borschinsky

Corporate Communications doing hydrogen