The HyStarter project team from the Lausitz region confirms their approach is correct and at the closing event on 2 September 2021, outlines future action priorities on the path to becoming a hydrogen region.
What role could and should hydrogen play in the future energy region of Lausitz? This was the issue discussed in the framework of the “HyLand – Hydrogen regions in Germany” funding measure from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) over the period of 2019-2021.
The HyStarter project consortium, under the leadership of Spilett n/t GmbH from Berlin, led and organised the expert discourse. 18 representatives from public administration, municipal utility and waste disposal companies, the (renewable) energy sector, location and neighbourhood development as well as companies and civil society participated in the process in Lausitz.
Hydrogen roadmap as a working basis
The outcome is that the stakeholders clearly backed hydrogen as a building block of the future energy region of Lausitz and set out a hydrogen roadmap. It is the working basis for ‘Wasserstoffnetzwerk Lausitz DurcH2atmen” (Lausitz hydrogen network), in order to kick-start a regional hydrogen economy over the coming 24 months in the region. It outlines the framework conditions, fields of action, actors and project ideas for developing a Lausitz hydrogen region. It sets out concrete recommendations on the measures and projects to be developed as well as missing actors and expertise.
The Lausitz hydrogen strategy is based on 22 fields of action in four thematic clusters: regional H2 production, H2-ready infrastructures, emission-free transport and green industrial and commercial locations. The activities within the strategy will be supported by Lausitz scientific and research institutions as well as companies from the fields of technology development and plant construction in order to validate the implemented concepts, optimize the economic feasibility of the projects and system solutions and to showcase their own products and systems.
Company is to develop Lausitz projects
“It is proposed that the project development and the hydrogen distribution should be done by a not-yet founded company in order to continue the successful inter-municipal and cross-sectoral cooperation – on projects begun in the HyStarter phase, into the future. Lausitz actors expect support from the state government, particularly for accessing EU funding”, says Nadine Hölzinger from the HyStarter project management.
But members of the Lausitz hydrogen network (Wasserstoffnetzwerks Lausitz – DurcH2atmen) are also currently hoping for state government support in coordinating the ramp-up of hydrogen buses and infrastructure for local public transport as part of BMVI funding expected in the near future. This is because at the moment, regional bus operators and districts are facing the challenge of implementing the provisions of the Clean Road Vehicles Procurement Act which entered into force on 2 August 2021. This stipulates a low-emission vehicle share of 45 per cent for new procurements.
“Hydrogen will primarily provide prospects for the secure supply of the region with electricity, heat and fuels made from climate-neutral sources and processes and strengthen existing economic power“, says Jens Krause, spokesperson of the Lausitz hydrogen network (Wasserstoffnetzwerks Lausitz – DurcH2atmen).
The study reveals that Lausitz should seize its chance and position itself cross-regionally and internationally as an innovative location for sustainable energy production, research and development and plant construction in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, to attract companies settling in the region. For this purpose, the energy supply of the locations to be developed (industry, research, tourism) as well as the additional demand for passenger and freight mobility has to be planned afresh and from the beginning, serviced with zero-emissions from mainly regional sources.
Support for municipalities and regions with HyLand
Coordinated by NOW GmbH, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has supported opportunities for municipalities and regions to establish themselves as hydrogen regions since 2018 through the HyLand project – Hydrogen regions in Germany. The development of actor landscapes, preparing regional concepts and implementing them are included among the categories that are supported. More information can be found at www.hy.land.