The Emscher-Lippe region offers good conditions for the broad use of hydrogen in mobility and for synergies with other sectors. That is the conclusion drawn in the implementation concept for a hydrogen mobility region, developed over the course of the HyExperts programme, that was presented today at the e:Motion trade fair in Herten by Bodo Klimpel, District Administrator of the Recklinghausen district, Karin Welge, Mayor of Gelsenkirchen and Bernd Tischler, Mayor of Bottrop.

To ensure that the region benefits from the resulting added value and new jobs, Bottrop, Gelsenkirchen and the district of Recklinghausen want to be active in shaping the hydrogen economy in the future as well. The implementation concept provides specific recommendations and approaches for action. Examples include an already launched H2 user community and an intelligent H2 market platform.

“Clean mobility is an important building block in our joint hydrogen roadmap, which is underpinned by a total investment volume of around one billion euros for the coming ten years. The new implementation concept shows us where we stand concretely with hydrogen mobility, which interfaces we have to other sectors and what steps we have to take next. On this basis, we also want to support the stakeholders in our region in getting a HyPerformer application up and running”, said Bodo Klimpel, District Administrator for the Recklinghausen district.

“The analysis shows that Emscher-Lippe can participate in the market for green hydrogen with its own added value when we position ourselves early and carefully develop our domestic markets. To do this we want to build on existing structures in our region and strengthen hydrogen coordination. Above all we want to continue to go forward in Emscher-Lippe and deepen our exchange with our neighbouring regions”, emphasized Bernd Tischler, Mayor of Bottrop.

“In HyExperts, we have achieved a structured exchange between all stakeholders in our region who are planning a project in hydrogen mobility. Now we want to develop a H2 user community through which they can continue to work on their projects together. For companies that are only now getting started in this field, a hydrogen start-up centre is to be created. Here, companies receive basic support to further develop ideas into concrete projects”, said Karin Welge, Mayor of Gelsenkirchen.

“We are delighted that the Emscher-Lippe region is now one of the first regions in the BMVI’s HyLand programme to have completed the development of the HyExpert implementation concept. With concrete analysis and recommendations for action, it offers a good basis to further expand regional structures for hydrogen mobility. The suggestions and tools it contains are developed for the region, but they can also serve as a blueprint for others, says Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director (Spokeperson) of NOW GmbH, which coordinates the funding programme.

A lot of potential in Emscher-Lippe

The implementation concept on hydrogen mobility in the Emscher-Lippe region, which was developed with the HyExperts framework, demonstrates existing potential, provides a detailed presentation of ongoing projects and derives practical recommendations for action. The 65 projects identified in HyExperts are found on all stages of the value chain: Hydrogen production, distribution and refuelling, use but also components and knowledge. A positive feature is the large number of projects in the field of knowledge, which confirms a high level of hydrogen know-how in the region.

Hydrogen can be produced in the region in very different ways: the projects include technologies ranging from biogas reforming, electrolysis and thermolysis, to production as an industry by-product. The region has an enormous potential to produce ‘green hydrogen’ from renewable energy. The evaluation shows a medium-term production surplus of 500 to 3,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year compared to the estimated consumption in the mobility area. From 2030 however, demand could outpace regional production unless new production capacities are created. For example, numerous wind energy and photovoltaic systems could be considered. They could continue to be operated for the purposes of producing hydrogen after the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) subsidies expire.

In addition to the already operational H2 MOBILITY refuelling station in Herten, another six hydrogen refuelling stations are being planned in the region, including four public and two depot filling stations for public buses. AGR’s high-performance refuelling station, currently under construction and scheduled to begin operation by the end of 2022, is of particular note. It will be able to provide up to 1,800 kg hydrogen per day. The project idea of an intermodal refuelling station in the city port of Gelsenkirchen is especially innovative: this will facilitate the simultaneous refuelling of road vehicles, trains and ships.

Over 30 projects and project approaches have been identified for the use of hydrogen in mobility. The fleets of several local companies will gradually be able to offer hydrogen vehicles in the foreseeable future. Transport company Vestische Straßenbahn has already taken concrete steps with the tender for five fuel cell buses. Five waste disposal companies in the region are planning to procure fuel cell waste collection vehicles and will deploy at least ten of them on the road over the next two to three years.

Recommendations for the regional hydrogen economy

The implementation concept introduces a series of specific recommendations and ideas that will help to further develop hydrogen mobility in the Emscher-Lippe region and generate regional added value in the process. These recommendations will be discussed and developed in the coming months by the lead municipalities and the numerous stakeholders involved.

The ‘H2 user community’ is already firmly planned. It will organize direct and personal exchange in the region in the future. Projects are to be efficiently implemented and experience shared within the user community. The first meeting is scheduled for 1 October 2021.

In addition, the proposed ‘Hydrogen start-up centre’ could help to develop projects from their idea stage. Practice-oriented know-how about technologies and funding opportunities will be provided. Regional activities will also be communicated and connections established between the stakeholders in order to leverage economic or technical synergies.

To provide planning security for regional hydrogen producers in this still early market, the implementation concept recommends establishing a regional H2 platform. The platform will guarantee on the one hand, producers the purchase of hydrogen and on the other, users the supply of hydrogen at stable prices. In addition, a joint marketing campaign: ‘Hydrogen made in Emscher-Lippe’ is being intensively examined.


About the project

Building regional structures for climate-neutral transport based on hydrogen is the goal of HyExperts region, Emscher-Lippe. An implementation study lead by the Recklinghausen district and the towns of Gelsenkirchen and Bottrop will develop concrete solutions that are applicable to other regions and draw up an overall concept. Results are expected in late summer 2021. The project is being funded under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP2) with a total of 300,000 euros by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).