Concluding event: HyExperts project partners present assessment and regional potential
How green hydrogen can be created and used in the region
Who are the hydrogen protagonists in South-East Lower Saxony? How do they work together? And where do the region’s cities and districts stand with regard to dealing with this key technology and the associated challenges? Answers to these and other questions were provided today at the concluding event of the HyExperts funding project “Wasserstoffregion Südostniedersachsen” (Hydrogen region South-East Lower Saxony). Around 70 representatives from regional companies and institutions gathered together at the start-up and business center in Helmstedt in order to obtain information regarding the results of the approximately one-year project work of the Allianz für die Region (Alliance for the region) and its partners. The participants provided a comprehensive insight into their assessment and analysis of potential, thereby illustrating how hydrogen can be created and used in the region. According to the analysis, the region is already well positioned and the protagonists are planning initial solutions or have already initiated them. According to those responsible, it would, however, make sense to improve the networking of regional activities in the future. HyExperts project partners are the district of Helmstedt as the responsible regional authority, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Allianz für die Region GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, and IAV GmbH.
Following the welcoming address by Gerhard Radeck, District Administrator of the Helmstedt district, and Thomas Klein, Managing Director of Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister Christian Meyer subsequently emphasized in his speech that the utilization of hydrogen is viewed as a strategic key to transforming the region in a sustainable manner and further strengthening its position as an industrial center. Thomas Ahlswede-Brech, Head of Mobility and Economy at the Allianz für die Region, Christoph Imdahl, Group Leader of Sustainable Factory Systems and Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer IST, and Gunnar Prietzsch from IAV GmbH then presented the holistic concept for the creation and usage of green hydrogen in the areas of mobility and industry. All the participants subsequently discussed this on the podium with Environment Minister Christian Meyer, Fabian Degen, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, and Martin Möhrmann, Gübau Logistics GmbH. In their view, the future prospects for the region are very promising. In particular, the pioneering role in the transformation of the mobility industry, battery production and research, recycling and hydrogen play a key role.
Christian Meyer, Lower Saxony’s Minister for the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy: “Green hydrogen is a mainstay of the energy transition and the climate neutrality of industry, particularly in South-East Lower Saxony with Salzgitter AG’s SALCOS project as a flagship project, but also for many other small and medium-sized companies. With the accelerated expansion of renewable energies, Lower Saxony possesses huge potential for the creation of green hydrogen. We are supporting the development of the green infrastructure for the hydrogen core network, the construction of electrolyzers and storage facilities, and the utilization of green hydrogen in industry in Lower Saxony alone with 2.4 billion euros from the federal and state governments. 40 percent of the major hydrogen projects in Germany are being developed in Lower Saxony, which is therefore predestined to become a production center, import hub and pivotal location for the German and European hydrogen economy. It is therefore very good that we are not wasting any time here in the South-East Lower Saxony region and are driving forward the transformation of our economy towards climate neutrality.”
Thomas Ahlswede-Brech, Head of Economy and Mobility at the Allianz für die Region: “The developed concept is the basis for the implementation of the measures outlined today. Our analysis shows that in this region, there are a large number of protagonists, institutions, projects and plans relating to hydrogen. It is, however, also clear that adequate networking and cooperation between these protagonists has not yet been sufficiently established. We are confident that this will contribute towards the positive development of the hydrogen economy.”
Gerhard Radeck, District Administrator of the Helmstedt district: “I am extremely pleased that our HyExpert project has now been successfully concluded. At the same time, I view this as the starting signal for the future expansion of renewable energies and the hydrogen infrastructure. The district of Helmstedt will continue to work in partnership with our region in order to actively support the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy with its production potential.”
Fabian Degen, Project Manager Technology Transfer at Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH: “In the past, the district of Helmstedt has always been an important and reliable energy location in our region. Through HyExpert and the topic of hydrogen, we are actively working to continue to fulfill this role in the future, with a strong focus on sustainability and sector coupling.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabrina Zellmer, Deputy Director of the institute and Head of the Department for Process Technology and Production Engineering for Sustainable Energy Storage Systems, Fraunhofer IST: “The region of South-East Lower Saxony is driving forward a sustainable transformation for the achievement of national climate targets. It is being strengthened by the projects at the former coal-fired power-plant sites and the intensive cooperation between regional hydrogen protagonists. Planned hydrogen pipelines for industry, electrolyzers and new hydrogen filling stations for heavy goods vehicles are an important step towards the implementation of the energy transition.”