Germany reached a level of 50% renewable electricity in 2020, to a certain extent due to the pandemic causing a lower energy consumption. But, anyway, it is a very clear trend that levels of renewables are reaching levels unthinkable a couple of years ago. At many times with 125 Gigawatt of installed wind and solar power and a peak load of 80 GW we observe increasing times with excess energy and negative market prices. And this will only increase, if levels of wind and solar energy in Germany will triple to approx.. 350 Gigawatt as many expert reports agree on.
Therefore, there will be an increasing need to store and to convert electric energy in other energy carrier forms. This is where hydrogen storage plays an important role. Of course, many different energy conversion and storage technologies exist, some definitely more mature, efficient and economic than hydrogen. But the production of hydrogen from renewable electricity also provides important benefits in comparison to other technologies. First of all, hydrogen can be integrated efficiently in industrial processes like metallurgy and can be used for transportation in trucks. For both not many alternatives are available – if any! Second, hydrogen can be stored in large quantities and over longer times of weeks or months and at the same time use existing gas infrastructure. Increasingly this will be needed in a largely decarbonized economy based on fluctuating renewables.
As Renewable Energy Hamburg cluster we are very happy and satisfied that Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has mandated our cluster in March to develop activities especially focusing on the creation of a hydrogen economy. On the hydrogen production side our priorities will be to produce green hydrogen from green electricity available in our Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Furthermore, we will use existing port capabilities to build up a hydrogen import system at the same time. On the hydrogen demand side, our focus areas will be on industrial use, on logistics as well as on long distance transportation and on its potential for aviation.
We are looking forward to the beginning of this exciting journey – and we are open to all of your hydrogen cooperation opportunities! Of course, our renewable energy focus will remain and be at the core of our renewables and hydrogen cluster activities.