Norway and Denmark are regarded as European pioneers in the development and use of renewable energy. Within the context of energy transition and industrial decarbonisation, especially hydrogen production and exports, both countries play a strategically important role for Northern Germany and Hamburg.
To continue and consolidate this close partnership, a large delegation from Hamburg’s energy industry, led by Hamburg’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Dr Melanie Leonard, travelled to Oslo and Copenhagen in early June. Attendees included 40 high-profile representatives of Northern German and Hamburg companies and institutions, mainly from the offshore wind and hydrogen sector. EEHH Managing Director Jan Rispens also took part. The itinerary and B2B talks focussed on developing the hydrogen supply chain and the future prospects for Hamburg-based companies when expanding offshore wind energy in the North Sea.
Norwegian-Northern German Green Energy Summit
Norway has many years’ experience of producing hydrogen from natural gas, along with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. To meet the demand for upcoming hydrogen applications in Hamburg, Norway can already deliver large quantities of blue hydrogen to Germany by ship, or in the long term via hydrogen pipelines. Norwegian wind energy firms rely on Hamburg-based companies as competent partners to drive the expansion of offshore wind in Norwegian waters in the North Sea.
During the visit to Oslo, Hamburg’s Department of Economics, Transport and Innovation (Behörde für Wirtschaft und Innovation), assisted by Innovation Norway, organised the Norwegian-Northern German Green Summit. The agenda included issues such as offshore wind capacity expansion, floating wind and offshore hydrogen production. Participants also discussed the development of pipeline infrastructure in the North Sea, as well as the transformation pathway from blue to green hydrogen. Norwegian hydrogen producers met potential German customers for the first time.
Hamburg’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Dr Melanie Leonard, also met with Jan Christian Vestre, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry. In Oslo, the Hamburg delegation shared ideas and experience with Aker Group/Mainstream, DNV, Equinor, Northern Lights and Statkraft.
HyPerLink III for hydrogen delivery from Denmark to Germany
Denmark is a global leader in wind energy. Wind power is the country’s principal source of electricity, at 50%. Germany’s Scandinavian neighbour intends to generate green hydrogen from renewable excess electricity in future. Around 20% of Germany’s hydrogen demand will be covered by Danish production and delivered by ship or pipeline - making a considerable contribution to Germany’s energy transition. The significance of this is also reflected in Hamburg’s hydrogen import strategy.
To facilitate hydrogen imports, Denmark and Hamburg will be connected via HyPerLink III. An integrated hydrogen pipeline network with a total length of 662 km will run from Denmark via Northern Germany to The Netherlands. The majority of this project will be implemented by converting existing gas pipelines. The total hydrogen delivery capacity will be up to 7.2 GW; HyPerLink III will be built in three phases. The pipelines connecting Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg are scheduled for construction phase III from 2030. Specific plans have been presented to connect Hamburg’s distribution network to HyPerLink III. In future, the 60km ‘Hamburg hydrogen industry network’ will supply local industrial firms and other consumers with locally produced and imported green hydrogen. The development of the hydrogen pipeline network poses a number of challenges for the industry: protracted funding processes, unclear regulatory conditions and technical feasibility, e.g. converting existing gas pipelines.
“The development of the hydrogen pipelines from the German-Danish border to Hamburg needs to be implemented rapidly. HyPerLink III must connect Hamburg as Northern Germany’s central industrial location and be part of the core hydrogen network agreed by the German government,” says Hamburg’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Dr Melanie Leonard.
The itinerary included visits to Maersk, Energy Cluster Denmark and Energinet. The delegation shared its experience of H2/P-t-X with the Danish companies Ørsted, Rambøll and Energy Transition Fund/Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. German attendees included the EEHH Cluster Agency, Gasnetz Hamburg and Mabanaft.
Norway wants to expand its role in the European offshore wind industry with the aim of using renewable electricity to produce blue and, in the medium to long term, green hydrogen and then export this. The prerequisites for this are the development of a pipeline infrastructure and clarity regarding supply and demand.
The Danish government and Danish companies are preparing to export green hydrogen to Germany. Several offshore wind projects, including energy islands in the North and Baltic Seas, are currently being planned to ensure the availability of renewable electricity for hydrogen production. Pipeline-based hydrogen transport such as HyPerLink III is a key element connecting the production of wind power and hydrogen in Denmark with energy-hungry industrial consumers in Northern Germany and Hamburg.
“The delegation visit went a long way towards consolidating and enhancing the close partnership between Hamburg and both countries. Norway and Denmark are reliable energy partners for Hamburg companies - their energy exports ensure Germany’s energy security and independence. While at the same time, Hamburg companies can use their expertise and technology to drive the development of renewable energy in both countries,” says Jan Rispens, EEHH Managing Director.