With more than 90 attendees, including representatives from industry and business, politics and local government as well as energy suppliers, the first step towards the development of a “Hydrogen Region Wartburg – Hainich” was celebrated at a concluding conference.

“The interest in the production of green hydrogen is immense in the region: The venue in the automobile museum is filled to capacity,” said a delighted District Administrator Reinhard Krebs at the opening of the conference. From June 2022 to June 2023, the Wartburg district had examined its potential for developing a regional green hydrogen economy. Together with the Unstrut-Hainich district, it is one of 30 winning regions from among 116 applications that were awarded prizes in 2022 in the “HyLand” federal funding programme of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport. The “HyLand” funding scheme provides municipalities and regions with technical and financial support over a period of one year in the development of regionally customized hydrogen concepts and the formation of networks with local hydrogen stakeholders. The aim of the funding project was to develop an overall concept for the establishment of a regional, green hydrogen economy with a focus on mobility in the Wartburg and Unstrut-Hainich districts.

The following aspects of the topic of hydrogen were examined: suitable locations for the production of green hydrogen, logistics concept for the distribution, storage and provision of hydrogen, needs and areas of application of hydrogen in the mobility sector (public transport, logistics, intralogistics, aviation) as well as in the industrial sector. Four focus regions for the development of a decentralised green hydrogen economy with more than 40 stakeholders were defined:

  • Bad Langensalza / Mühlhausen region
  • Eisenach / Hörselberg-Hainich region
  • Werra-Suhl Valley / Gerstungen area
  • Bad Salzungen / Vacha area

In the overall concept, the hydrogen production potentials, the hydrogen consumption quantities and a possible logistics concept are presented for these focus regions in different scenarios from 2025 to 2035.

In the focus region Bad Salzungen/Vacha, there are already concrete plans to develop an implementable detailed concept for the near-term development of a regional hydrogen infrastructure. This is why funding is currently being applied for from the federal state, coordinated by the Wartburgkreis district office. “There are currently nine stakeholders from the region involved in this project: Business enterprises, energy suppliers and transport companies. Other interested parties from the Werratal and the Rhön are welcome to join,” remarked Maika Baldauf, from the Wartburg district planning department, who is overseeing the project. “While the project might be coming to an end, our involvement with the topic is not, because we are now moving on to implementation with the construction of the hydrogen infrastructure, starting at suitable locations.” Baldauf went on to thank the companies that have actively participated by providing data and speaking openly with each other, on the one hand, and opening the doors for stakeholder meetings and company tours, on the other. Companies that have not yet been involved are welcome to join, he added.

During the project period, it was not only possible to develop a concept for the “Wartburg Hainich Hydrogen Region”, but also its own logo and website: www.wasserstoffregion-wartburg-hainich.de. The website contains the latest information from the hydrogen region. Here you can find all the newest developments from the hydrogen region and the publication of the interim report on the overall concept (available for download). A regular newsletter provides information, as does a dedicated LinkedIn page. The overall concept will be published in the second half of the year.


Source of original information: District Office of the Wartburg district

Image source: District Office of the Wartburg district