Companies based in the eastern German state of Saxony want to play a leading role in the development of a European hydrogen economy and have submitted funding applications for two projects to the German government. Seven companies and other partners are involved, Karl Lötsch, managing director of the "HZwo" innovation cluster, told dpa in Chemnitz. In doing so, they hope to receive funding from the federal and state governments in the three-digit million range. The aim of the program is to build a market for "green hydrogen."
So-called green hydrogen is produced exclusively with renewable energy. It can be used as a basis for fuels to replace the use of coal, oil, and natural gas in industry and transportation. The German government therefore wants to drive forward the expansion of renewable energies from wind and sun in Germany. Germany and Europe want to secure a pioneering position in this key issue for the future.
According to Lötsch, four companies employing more than 2,000 people belong to the "H2-SARA" network: Sunfire from Dresden, Voith from Zschopau, WätaS from Olbernhau, and Vitesco Technologies from Limbach-Oberfrohna. The aim is to create production capacities for so-called electrolyzer plants, in which hydrogen is produced from water and electricity, of 6.5 gigawatts per year, as well as production plants for fuel cells with a volume of 7 gigawatts per year.
In this way, the foundations are to be laid for so-called giga-factories to be built for the production of hydrogen. "Without such production capacities, a market ramp-up cannot work," Lötsch emphasized. The market for electrolyzers is estimated to reach a total of 270 gigawatts worldwide by 2030, he said.
In the second project, "LHyVe," an entire value chain from production through storage and transport to end consumption of "green hydrogen" is to be implemented in the Leipzig region and networked with other European projects. The project involves the construction and operation of a plant to produce 42,000 metric tons of synthetic aviation fuel per year as well as 1,500 metric tons of "green hydrogen."
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