Which stakeholders are active in the field of hydrogen in south-east Lower Saxony? How do they work together? And where do the region’s cities and districts stand when it comes to dealing with this key technology and the associated challenges? Answers to these and other questions were provided this week at the final event of the HyExperts “Hydrogen Region South-East Lower Saxony” funding project.

Around 70 representatives of regional companies and institutions came together at Helmstedt’s start-up and business centre to learn more about the results achieved by the Alliance for the Region and its partners during a project period of around one year. The participants gave a comprehensive insight into their appraisal and analysis of potential, demonstrating how hydrogen can be produced and utilised in the region. According to the analysis, the region is already well positioned and the stakeholders are planning initial solutions or have already launched them. However, according to those responsible, better networking of regional activities would be beneficial in the future. The partners of the HyExperts project comprise the district of Helmstedt as the lead regional authority, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Allianz für die Region GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST as well as IAV GmbH.

Following the welcoming address by Gerhard Radeck, District Administrator of the district of Helmstedt, and Thomas Klein, Managing Director of Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, the Minister of the Environment of Lower Saxony, Christian Meyer, emphasised in his speech that the use of hydrogen is regarded as a strategic key to transforming the region in a sustainable manner and further strengthening its position as a hub for industry. Thomas Ahlswede-Brech, Head of Business and Mobility at the Allianz für die Region, Christoph Imdahl, Group Leader Sustainable Factory Systems and Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer IST and Gunnar Prietzsch from IAV GmbH then presented the holistic concept for the production and utilisation of green hydrogen in the areas of mobility and industry. All participants then discussed this on the podium with Environment Minister Christian Meyer, Fabian Degen, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Prof. Dr. Sabrina Zellmer, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and Martin Möhrmann, Gübau Logistics GmbH. The future prospects for the region are therefore 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 key pillar for the energy transition and the climate neutrality of industry, especially 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 has huge potential for the production of green hydrogen. We are supporting the development of the green infrastructure for the hydrogen core network, the construction of electrolysers and storage facilities as well as the use 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 be a production centre, import hub and a centre of the German and European hydrogen economy. It is therefore highly commendable that we are wasting no time getting on with it here in the south-east Lower Saxony region and driving the transformation of our economy towards climate neutrality forward.”

Thomas Ahlswede-Brech, Head of Business and Mobility at Allianz für die Region: “The concept we have developed is the basis for implementing the measures outlined today. Our analysis shows that there are a large number of stakeholders, institutions, projects and plans relating to hydrogen in the region. We are confident that this will contribute to the positive development of the hydrogen economy.”

Gerhard Radeck, District Administrator of the district of Helmstedt: “I am extremely pleased that we have now reached the successful conclusion of our HyExpert project. At the same time, I see 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 to actively support the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy with its production potential.”

Fabian Degen, Project Manager Technology Transfer at Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH: “The district of Helmstedt has always been an important and reliable centre for the area of energy in our region in the past. We are actively working to fulfil this role in the future through HyExpert and the topic of hydrogen, with a strong focus on sustainability and sector coupling.”

Prof. Dr. Sabrina Zellmer, Deputy Director of the Institute and Head of the Process and Production Engineering for Sustainable Energy Storage, Fraunhofer IST: “The region of south-east Lower Saxony is pushing ahead with a sustainable transformation to achieve the 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 stakeholders. Planned hydrogen pipelines for industry, electrolysers and new hydrogen refuelling stations for heavy goods vehicles are an important step towards achieving the energy transition.”

More information on “HyLand – Hydrogen Regions in Germany” and the region’s concluding report can be found at www.hy.land.


Image source and original announcement: Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH