On Thursday, 15 June, the various stakeholders of the “Hydrogen in the Region Westpfalz” HyStarter project met at the Haus der Nachhaltigkeit (House of Sustainability) near Johanniskreuz for the last event of the Westpfalz HyStarter project.
The event provided an overview of the results of the strategy workshops that had taken place as well as a review and outlook on the HyStarter project in general. HyStarter was the first of three stages (HyStarter, HyExpert, HyPerformer) of the HyLand competition, for which the Western Palatinate region successfully applied in 2021. The project’s development was very pleasing: the number of stakeholders in the project increased continuously and more interested parties were found from event to event. Now that the HyStarter phase has officially ended, the question arises as to how the hydrogen project will continue into the future.
NOW GmbH representative Frederik Wewetzer could not yet officially confirm that the competition for HyExpert will enter the next phase. The stakeholders for the HyPerformer stage had just been selected, but he could not yet make any concrete statements about HyExpert at this point in time. NOW GmbH is responsible for coordinating the HyLand competition.
Dr. Hans-Günther Clev, Managing Director of ZukunftsRegion Westpfalz, is nevertheless confident: “Even though the HyStarter closing event is taking place today, this does not represent the end of the hydrogen project. The projects are to be continued.” By saying this, he also shares the opinion of the stakeholders present, who are positive that the next stage HyExpert can be tackled. According to Frederik Budschun from EE Energy Engineers, who presented the results of the strategy workshops, there is undoubtedly sufficient know-how, suitable participants and transport possibilities in the West Palatinate region, as West Palatinate being extremely well connected to the European Hydrogen Backbone. In addition, there are many sources of renewable energy in Western Palatinate. All this is summarised in the final report.
Furthermore, the lighthouse projects of the hydrogen project were also presented. The Testing and Research Institute in Pirmasens (PFI – Prüf- und Forschungsinstitut in Pirmasens) presented its method for H2 extraction from AGRI-PV for CNG production for the regional transport sector, which focuses on the construction of further electrolysers and at least two photovoltaic parks. The latter are to be used to convert the excess electricity generated into hydrogen, which in turn is to be used to methanise the biogas produced there.
With its “Bio2H2@KI” project, the Kaiserslautern Waste Management Centre (ZAK – Zentrale Abfallwirtschaft Kaiserslautern) is also planning to build a hydrogen electrolyser that will be used to produce green hydrogen in the future. This will initially be deployed for the company’s own fuel-cell-powered trucks and surplus quantities will be distributed via a public filling station. Last but not least, Pfalzwerke AG is planning the creation of a decentralised hydrogen cluster in Bad Dürkheim, in which the hydrogen produced in the electrolyser will be distributed and used by various cooperation partners throughout the Palatinate region.
The results of the event can be summarised as follows: The HyStarter project in Western Palatinate involves a large number of stakeholders who have good project ideas. However, there are difficulties with the financing and funding of these projects. A positive aspect is the networking of the participants, who were able to exchange ideas through the project and are very positive about a continuation of the projects in the future.
Source of original information: ZukunftsRegion Westpfalz e.V.