The network of the 12 Northern German Chambers of Industry and Commerce submitted a policy paper Wednesday (September 18, 2019) on expanding the hydrogen industry to Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Transport.
Hydrogen for energy transition
Hydrogen is seen as a useful way of storing energy to drive ahead Germany’s energy transition. Northern Germany aims to play a pioneering role as wind can be used in addition to solar power. “The energy transition’s success will be decided in northern Germany without a doubt, and it will not be possible without hydrogen,” said Friederike Kühn, Chair of IHK Nord on handing over the policy paper at Hamburg Airport.
Accompanied by Westhagemann and Diana Rickwardt, Deputy Head of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Kühn viewed a mobile filling station and new baggage tractor powered by a hydrogen fuel cell at Hamburg Airport. The airport plans to operate climate neutrally by 2021. “We are very pleased that our engagement at local, northern German and countrywide level is helping hydrogen make a breakthrough politically,” said Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport and chair of the Hamburg Hydrogen Association. “The wind-swept north of the country is taking a key role in the energy transition and in safeguarding the climate,” he added.
Ecological and economic importance
The policy paper promotes the use of hydrogen as an alternative to electrically-powered vehicles. Hydrogen electrolysis is presently too expensive, as the price of electricity includes the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) levy for expanding renewable sources of energy. The levies will be abolished in future. “Creating an innovative and green hydrogen economy will have a major economic dimension for northern Germany, quite apart from the ecological significance,” said Westhagemann. “Establishing new value creation chains will lead to new lines of business in existing companies, relocation of companies and setting up of new companies in the region.”
Players in Hamburg’s international hydrogen sector
The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce is hosting an international hydrogen event, the International Hydrogen Symposium, on October 23 and 24, 2019. An exhibition on this technology of the future will open simultaneously in the chamber.