Hydrogen can play an important role in the energy and mobility transition and thereby contribute to becoming less dependent on fossil fuels and achieving the ambitious climate protection goals. This is something the stakeholder network of the HyStarter project in the district of Göppingen is unanimously agreed on. After more than 18 months, the district of Göppingen yesterday became the first of the 15 HyStarter regions nationwide to complete the project and present the results to the public.

Over the past months, the stakeholders from industry, energy supply, science, education, local politics and district administration have not only been discussing the advantages of hydrogen, regional production potentials, possible fields of application and necessary infrastructure developments, but also the limits of the technology. In addition to the aspects of climate and environmental protection, the importance of securing the region as a location for business and innovation also played an important role. Hydrogen can make a significant contribution to the future energy supply, as it can be produced from surplus renewable energies and can be easily stored and transported. The development of a hydrogen economy in the district of Göppingen should be ecologically, economically and socially sustainable. This formed the basis for the development of a roadmap with different fields of action for the district of Göppingen, which Timm Engelhardt, Managing Director of Energieagentur Landkreis Göppingen (Energy Agency for the District of Göppingen), presented to the public for the first time in the evening.

Besides determining the potential for hydrogen production and storage, the project also identified needs and requirements, such as in the logistics sector owing to the requirements of a climate-neutral supply chain and in public transport due to the requirements of the Clean Vehicles Directive. According to the results, at least ten buses with alternative drivetrains, possibly fuel cell-powered, are to be converted in the district of Göppingen by 2026. The use of hydrogen in the supply of energy to buildings was discussed controversially by the group of stakeholders. Further investigations are to follow.

Even if some framework conditions and prerequisites must still be established, the stakeholders of the HyStarter project clearly advocate the further development and future use of the identified potentials in their concluding report. Timm Engelhardt is convinced: “Green hydrogen will also become increasingly important through the further expansion of renewable energy. To secure Göppingen as a business location and to achieve the ambitious climate targets, it is important that the district of Göppingen does not lose out here.” In order to further advance the project ideas that have been developed, the HyStarter stakeholders intend to continue their exchange and expand the network. They also seek to create further conditions for the development of a regional hydrogen economy in the district.

For the necessary support, and in order to provide a central point of contact and consultation, the network of stakeholders recommends expanding staff capacities. District Administrator Edgar Wolff pledges the continued support of the district administration and also advocates the continuation of the hydrogen project: “Opportunities that could arise for the economy, energy supply, mobility and others in the district of Göppingen should not be squandered.” As early as February, he had already called for an initial hydrogen summit with various stakeholders including energy supply companies, the city administration, business development as well as representatives of the parliamentary groups, in order to discuss the continuation of the subject of hydrogen after the conclusion of the HyStarter project. An application for the succeeding “HyExperts” funding programme is not yet possible, but is being pursued.


HyStarter hydrogen regions:

“HyLand – Hydrogen Regions in Germany” is a competition launched in 2019 by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV – Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr). HyLand motivates stakeholders in all regions of Germany to initiate, plan and implement hydrogen-related concepts. The aim of the competition is to identify and support the most innovative and promising regional concepts. The HyStarter project in the district of Göppingen is supported by the Energieagentur des Landkreises Göppingen (Energy Agency of the District of Göppingen) and Nuts One GmbH in cooperation with other specialist partners.

About the Energieagentur Landkreis Göppingen gGmbH (Energy Agency for the District of Göppingen):

The Energieagentur Landkreis Göppingen is the neutral and independent point of contact for all energy issues in the district of Göppingen. It works on a non-profit basis and has been supporting, advising and accompanying citizens, companies, municipalities, schools and day-care centres in the implementation of energy and climate protection measures since 2010. Its services range from providing residents with free energy advice to municipal climate protection projects, such as the creation of neighbourhood concepts.


Image: District Administrator Edgar Wolff and the stakeholders of the HyStarter project with the results report.

Source of original article: Energieagentur Landkreis Göppingen gGmbH