Hydrogen sector holds huge potential for Hamburg, EEHH survey finds

More action needed to develop hydrogen sector in Hamburg
10 May 2021
Building site in HafenCity

Several companies in Hamburg see "enormous potential" for developing a hydrogen sector in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, a survey by the Renewable Energy Hamburg (EEHH) cluster has found. Around 190 members of the cluster were interviewed for the survey in April, a press release said Friday (April 30, 2021). The respondents rated a hydrogen sector as "very important" for Hamburg as a centre of innovation, an "essential" for economic development in the wake of the pandemic.

Good prerequisites for hydrogen sector

"As a port and centre of industry and innovation, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region has a unique opportunity to establish new structures and to network even more closely with regional and international partners," said Jan Rispens, Managing Director of EEHH. Developing a cross-sector hydrogen branch is a joint task. Everyone involved can benefit from those synergies. However, policymakers must provide clear framework conditions and intelligent incentives, Rispens added. 

Firms relying on north German collaoboration

The companies surveyed had identified a concrete need for action, especially in completing the value chain in Hamburg, answering questions about distribution networks and building permits. Improved regulation and the ability to plan as well as a stable customer structure are particularly important for the ramp-up phase of a hydrogen sector. More than 80 per cent of respondents said north German collaboration on hydrogen is "important" or "essential".

Environment-friendly hydrogen sector

Respondents came out in favour of environment-friendly hydrogen produced from renewable energy, according to EEHH. However, many companies still consider a juxtaposition of green and blue hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen produced from natural gas, legitimate until the demand for green hydrogen can be met. In reference to importing hydrogen, most respondents came out in favour of importing green hydrogen preferably from EU countries and Norway and Britain as well. Hydrogen imports by ship are likely to play a key role in future. If most of companies surveyed had their way, Hamburg would prepare to ship imported hydrogen by 2025. However, an alternative could lie in raising Germany's own hydrogen production or importing by pipeline instead of ship.

Renewable Energy Hamburg (EEHH)

Founded in December 2010 by the City of Hamburg and the Registered Association for the Promotion of the Renewable Energy Hamburg cluster, EEHH bundles the expertise of more than 190 companies, research facilities and institutions across the Hamburg Metropolitan Region in the renewable energies sector.