Experts from the participating industries gathered at a joint event held by the Hamburg industry clusters Hamburg Aviation, Hamburg Cruise Net, Logistics Initiative Hamburg, Maritime Cluster Northern Germany and Renewable Energy Hamburg to share their views on current hydrogen-related innovation projects and topics in the Hamburg metropolitan region. The cross-sectoral transfer of knowledge clearly demonstrates that the Hanseatic city is in an ideal position to establish a hydrogen economy thanks to the auspicious interaction between a variety of key economic fields.
Michael Westhagemann, Senator for the Economy and Innovation in Hamburg: “As a location, Hamburg brings together optimal infrastructural and technical conditions for building a truly outstanding hydrogen economy. Due to its surrounding region, Hamburg can draw on a considerable amount of renewable electricity or green hydrogen. Besides a variety of outstanding projects in Hamburg, twelve stakeholders from the area of hydrogen production, distribution and use have also joined forces within the Hamburg Hydrogen Network. Their application projects will lead to an annual decrease of 170,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in Hamburg by 2026. In addition, they also guarantee grid interactivity, which means that additional grid costs will not be incurred for further expansion.”
The five regional clusters from the fields of aviation, maritime business, logistics, cruise shipping and renewable energies jointly organised the digital event. EEHH Managing Director Jan Rispens draws a positive conclusion: “Today we have experienced an emerging hydrogen segment in Hamburg that could significantly ease the strain on the frequently overburdened electricity grid towards the south of Germany. Due to the high density of industry and logistics, a lot of potential customers for hydrogen are located in a small area, which would enable the exploitation of important economies of scale.”
Key location advantages in Hamburg
A variety of German regions are currently attempting to become hubs of innovation for the gradual expansion of a national hydrogen economy. Hamburg can point to a number of key advantages for establishing an exemplary hydrogen economy as a model region. These advantages include distinct and concentrated structures of producers and consumers as well as the ability to ensure implementation in the interests of the system. With the geographic proximity to the windiest federal states and the
offshore wind farms in the North Sea, the surplus electricity from renewable sources can be converted into hydrogen in local electrolysers without significant losses or a notable expansion of the existing grid. What’s more, the current port infrastructure will also serve for future import capacities. Projects such as the Clean Hydrogen Coastline also provide additional options for connection to European hydrogen networks.
Seeking to maximise the benefits of these advantages for a hydrogen economy, Hamburg’s politicians have already strengthened their institutional expertise, such as by setting up a hydrogen economy unit in the Ministry for Economics and Innovation and by establishing a hydrogen cluster structure as part of the existing Renewable Energy Hamburg industry network. Among other things, a variety of consortia have been established to drive projects within the local business community. A hydrogen network was also founded just recently.