The expansion of renewable energies, particularly wind energy, is the declared objective of Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. A key project is the implementation of a wind-hydrogen value chain in the Lower Elbe region until 2025. Ways to set up and operated the innovative technology were recently examined by a survey conducted jointly by Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST), the law firm Becker Büttner Held (BBH) and the consultants of Ernst & Young by order of ChemCoast e.V.
The storage of power generated with renewable energies is a key challenge of the energy transition, with power-to-gas offering the most promising technology. It not only allows to store the wind energy as gas, but also transform it back into electricity. Furthermore, the gas obtained by wind could also be used as fuel, e.g. for fuel cell busses, or as a basic chemical product.
According to the survey, 531 million Euro should be invested into the implementation of infrastructure needed for the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen at three locations in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Refinancing would be possible by future revenues.
The survey‘s timeline suggests the construction of a 20 MW industrial electrolysis plant in Hamburg in 2015. In a second step, the construction of a similar electrolysis plant in Brunsbüttel should follower. All hydrogen generated there could already be distributed to companies located along the existing pipeline between Brunsbüttel and Heide, with a dense network of pipelines to be set up until 2025. Also on the agenda for 2025 is a performance increase of the electrolysis plants and the construction of a cavern storage.