Green hydrogen with offshore wind energy

The aim of this project, which is being funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment for two years, is to promote a broad-based exchange of knowledge and experience between all stakeholders along the value chain of offshore wind energy and green hydrogen, particularly in the state of Lower Saxony. The stakeholders involved stem from politics, industry as well as research. In addition, the project aims to formulate corresponding utilization concepts for green hydrogen. 

Background of the project 

With the passing of the WindSeeG amendment at the end of 2020, the expansion targets for offshore wind power in Germany were raised from 15 GW to 20 GW by 2030. By 2040, the aim is to reach a capacity of 40 GW. These increased expansion targets underscore the potential of offshore wind power for the production of green hydrogen. The 2020 Area Development Plan has acknowledged this potential by identifying two small areas for other energy productionsuch as pilot projects for green hydrogen. 

The importance of building a hydrogen economy – particularly based on renewable energy – was already highlighted by the German coastal states in their North German Hydrogen Strategy in November 2019. In June 2020, the German government followed suit with a national hydrogen strategy, which focuses on the production, transport and utilization of green hydrogenWithin the strategy, the German government further committed to an expansion target of 5 GW of hydrogen capacity by 2030. Simultaneously, the European Commission also published a European Hydrogen Strategy in June 2020. The publication of these three strategy papers in close succession signals a strong will of political actors at all levels to further the energy transition within Germany and Europe, with a focus on the development of a green hydrogen economy.  

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the German government as well as the EU Commission have identified investments in the development of renewable energies, and the development of a hydrogen economy in particular, as an essential component of any recovery plans. 

Considering these developments, the German Foundation OFFSHORE WIND ENERGwill henceforth support the state of Lower Saxony in the implementation of increased offshore wind expansion targets as well as the utilization of all available offshore wind energy potential for the production of green hydrogen.  

Project goals and focal points 

The primary goal of this project is to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience between different stakeholder groups on varying levels, including offshore wind farm operators, plant manufacturers and supplieras well as relevant authoritiespolicy makers, gas and electricity grid operators, industry players, and research institutions. To this end, the project will feature several events, with each one being dedicated to another aspect of the implementation process of a green hydrogen strategy. In addition, the project aims to provide expert support in the development of the necessary legal and economic framework conditionsLast but not leastthe German Foundation OFFSHORE WIND ENERGwill further support the state of Lower Saxony through the formulation of market and technological analyses. 

At the end of the project in 2022, an overarching roadmap will be derived from previous position papers and analyses. This final deliverable will outline a step-by-step implementation of the expansion strategy for green hydrogen from offshore wind energy. As part of this road map, the merits of different business models for green hydrogen will also be evaluated.

Project duration and funding

Sponsor: Environmental Ministry of the State of Lower Saxony

Duration: 25 months

Start date: 12/2020

End date: 12/2022

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