North Germany Industries Join Hands to ‘Clean Hydrogen Coastline’

North German industry heavyweights are working together to develop hydrogen production, storage and distribution infrastructure along the German coastline in a multi-corporation project worth €1.27 billion

An onshore wind farm operated by EWE in Emden in Lower Saxony, North Germany

An onshore wind farm operated by EWE in Emden in Lower Saxony, North Germany, Credit: EWE website

A consortium of industrial companies based in North Germany has launched a €1.27 billion initiative to develop a hydrogen network chain along the country’s coastline. Called the ‘Clean Hydrogen Coastline’, the companies have decided to create up to 400MW of electrolysis capacity and augment it with hydrogen storage infrastructure.

The consortium comprises a range of engineering and research companies across the hydrogen value chain. This will enable each aspect of the project to be coordinated and managed by specific industry experts. Clean Hydrogen Coastline aims to integrate North Germany’s coastline with hydrogen production services by 2026.

The larger goal of the project is to manufacture green hydrogen that can be exported across Europe, ensuring that Germany advances with the continent’s rapidly growing hydrogen economy. The CEO of EWE (a sustainable energy company and one of the members of the consortium), Stefan Dohler, said: “In northern Germany – the wind power region – we have the best prerequisites for integrating hydrogen as an integral part of the energy system and laying the foundation for a European hydrogen economy. With the National Hydrogen Strategy, the federal government has made the importance of this energy source and raw material clear. In order to be able to use hydrogen on a large scale at marketable prices, major industrial projects must now follow.”

The success of the project is dependent on major industries shifting to integrating green hydrogen in the production processes. These changes are afoot. Early this year, energy thinktank EIT InnoEnergy launched an initiative to build a steel plant powered entirely by green hydrogen: a global first. Dubbed the ‘H2 Green Steel Initiative’, the initiative will seek investments to the tune of €2.5 billion for financing the project, which aims to build a large-scale ‘green steel’ plant from scratch.

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