Model Region with Distributed Hydrogen Technologies

Project title:
H2-Well - Hydrogen Source and Value Added Region Main-Elbe-LINK (Wasserstoffquell- und Wertschöpfungsregion Main-Elbe-LINK)

Funding body:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project duration:
01.01.2020 - 30.06.2023

Principal investigator of the project:
Prof. Dr. Mark Jentsch

Project partners:
The initial partners within the first project stage were Kumatec Hydrogen GmbH & Co. KG and SolarInput e.V. Besides these two partners there are a number of partners from industry, academia, society and public authorities that form part of the H2-Well alliance.

Team members involved in the project:
Dipl.-Ing. Angela Clinkscales M. Sc., Dipl. UWT Sebastian Büttner

Project website:
→ www.h2well.de

Project outline

The goal of the research alliance H2-Well that is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the programme WIR! - Transformation through Regional Innovation (WIR! - Wandel durch Innovation in der Region) is to instigate an innovation-based structural change towards a distributed green hydrogen economy in the region between the rivers Main and Elbe. Within the concept phase that took place in 2018 a detailed strategy for a regional hydrogen economy was devised, linking all energy-relevant sectors, i.e. the areas electricity generation, transportation and thermal energy provision together, looking at creating local value-added chains as shown in Figure 1. The implementation of the strategy will take place within the framework of research and development projects in the implementation phase from 2021 to 2024.

Abb. 1 - Basic value-added-chain of a regional green hydrogen economy and its impacts on society on a social, economic and scientific level.

Concept & implementation phase within the WIR!-alliance H2-Well

In the first phase of the project, the concept phase, an overarching innovation strategy was developed, identifying nine research areas for further consideration in the years up to 2024. For the development of this strategy, stakeholders from industry, academia, municipalities and the wider public were brought together in meetings and workshops in order to get them involved in the development process. In addition to acquiring partners for the network, this phase dealt with assessing the technical and scientific potentials and the market and business environment as well as identifying relevant stakeholders, all of which highlighted that the region has a great potential for wider implementation of distributed hydrogen systems. Therefore, the upcoming research and development projects will be complemented by measures for maintaining skilled workers in the region as well as public relations activities regarding hydrogen technologies.

Following the development of the aforementioned innovation strategy, which delivers the roadmap for the future, the second project phase, the implementation phase, will now concentrate on implementing novel distributed hydrogen solutions in the region. This work will be starting in 2021 with three implmentation projects. In order to maximise visibility and to feed back the results to the public, implementation shall be undertaken at two dedicated focal points in the region, i.e. in the cities of Sonneberg and Apolda as highlighted in Figure 2. To date over 40 partners based at the locations shown in Figure 2 are involved in the H2-Well alliance.

Fig. 2 - Map of the region Main‐Elbe highlighting the concept of bringing together stakeholders at two focal points in the region.