65 expressions of interest were submitted for the HyStarter category as part of the “HyLand – Hydrogen Regions in Germany” competition organised by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). Until 14 May, regions and municipalities were given the opportunity to apply as HyStarters and thus secure the support of experts in preparing a regional hydrogen concept and for developing a network of local stakeholders.
Berlin, 21 May 2021 – 65 regions and municipalities apply to become HyStarters. Each was able to outline their projects for the integration of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies on the basis of renewable energies, as part of the now concluded expression of interest procedure. Among the main areas of focus are the transport sector, but also the supply of energy to buildings, district heating networks and concepts for on-site hydrogen production and storage. Almost all of the 65 regions and municipalities that have applied for the HyStarter category were not involved in the previous application phase of the first round in 2019. This is a clear reflection of the continued strong interest in the regions for the development of a hydrogen economy.
The selected HyStarters will be supported by an advisory team of experts to develop a regional concept and a suitable network for the establishment of a green hydrogen economy. Up to ten HyStarters will be ultimately chosen. The selection process commences in May 2021. Funding for the regional support will be provided within the scope of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).
In a subsequent step, an evaluation of the applications received will be undertaken by a carefully selected consortium. The announcement of the winners is currently expected to be made at the end of July 2021. The ten chosen HyStarters will receive organisational and technical advice and professional support in the development of initial concept ideas. An important finding from the first round of the HyLand competition is the strong need for networking among the regions. Therefore, one important objective will be to network the municipalities and regions from the first and second HyLand rounds with each other in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences, which will then be made available to all participants.
Hydrogen regions in Germany
The HyStarters are part of the HyLand concept, which offers all regions in Germany the opportunity to move forward in developing hydrogen and fuel cell technology at the local level – regardless of their previous experience. In addition to the group of HyStarters, HyLand therefore also addresses regions that have already gained initial experience with the integration of hydrogen technology or even those already seeking to put entire concepts into practice. A corresponding competition phase will also be undertaken for these so-called HyExperts (applications from 28 April – 18 June 2021) or HyPerformers, in 2021.