The HyExpert project entitled ‘H2Ostwürttemberg’ came to a successful conclusion on 16 January 2024 at an event at the Hammerschmiede cultural centre in Königsbronn. The Ostalb district, Heidenheim district and the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd had commissioned Eura AG from Ellwangen to create an implementable hydrogen concept for the East Württemberg region.

The concept provides recommendations for action to create synergies between local players. For example, by means of various hydrogen applications and hydrogen pipelines, hydrogen islands in Ellwangen, Heidenheim and Schwäbisch Gmünd are to grow together to form a hydrogen ecosystem. This will economically strengthen East Württemberg as a hydrogen region in a sustainable way and also demonstrates the need for connecting the region to the nationwide hydrogen core network.

Discussing the hydrogen core network, District Administrator Polta maintained: “The southern natural gas pipeline is coming – although it would be more accurate to refer to it as the southern hydrogen pipeline – and it runs through the Heidenheim district and the East Württemberg region. The demands of the economy, and in particular the research and development project of Schwenk Zement GmbH & Co. KG in Mergelstetten have shown that hydrogen is urgently needed. Now is the time to work together with regional actors, municipal authorities and our strong industry to set up hydrogen projects and make a regional pipeline network a reality.”

First Mayor Christian Baron from Schwäbisch Gmünd added: “Connection to the nationwide hydrogen core network is an important step for the future of the economic region. The H2Ostwürttemberg project has brought together hydrogen interests in an ideal way. These results are to be expanded and utilized as part of a HyPerformer application and for further activities.”

The event also provided a platform for company presentations by Maschinenfabrik ALFING Kessler GmbH from Aalen and SCHWENK Zementfabrik GmbH & Co. KG from Heidenheim, specialist presentations by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and e-mobil BW GmbH. The event was rounded off by a panel discussion with the District Administrator of the Ostalb district, Dr. Joachim Bläse, and the Heidenheim District Administrator, Peter Polta, the First Mayor of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Christian Baron, Managing Director of IHK Ostwürttemberg, Thilo Rentschler, and Dipl. Wirt.-Ing. from ZSW, Maike Schmidt.

In his contribution to the panel discussion, District Administrator Dr. Bläse emphasised the importance of collaborations and the contribution of all project participants to the success of the initiative. He thanked the project partners and supporters involved for their investments in hydrogen projects in the East Württemberg region. East Württemberg stands for innovation and progress. The concept that was developed and the results achieved shouldn’t disappear into a drawer, but must continue to be pursued with courage and drive. To this end, funding will be vigorously pursued with the relevant authorities in Stuttgart and Berlin.

The closing event marks not only the end of a successful project, but also the beginning of new perspectives and opportunities in the area of sustainable energy. Representatives from the Ostalb district, the Heidenheim district and Schwäbisch Gmünd are optimistic that the results achieved will have a positive impact on the energy transition and serve as inspiration for future projects.

The development of the hydrogen region was funded under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP2) by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

Image: Speakers with participants of the panel discussion. Image source: Ostalbkreis District Office

Original text source: Ostalbkreis District Office