A study commissioned by the H2Berlin initiative gives an outlook on the potential and possible uses of low-emission hydrogen in Berlin.
Hydrogen is recognized as an important component of the energy transition. This is shown by both the European and the German hydrogen strategy. Hydrogen produced from renewable sources is to play a central role on Berlin’s path towards climate neutrality. However, the potential to reduce emissions with hydrogen is still largely untapped in Berlin and nationwide.
Therefore, regionally adapted usage strategies for the energy carrier of the future are required. A study by the H2Berlin initiative identified hydrogen potential in Berlin, especially in the heating supply and transport sector. According to the model calculation by Forschungszentrum Jülich, 9,000 tons of hydrogen should be used in the city in 2025 in order to implement the energy transition towards climate neutrality in a cost-efficient manner.
However, based on a company survey, the study authors come to an estimated consumption of hydrogen in 2025 of only 37 tons. They give the following recommendations for action to fill the gap:
- In terms of a German and international role model function, Berlin should help shape the ramp-up of hydrogen use for suitable fields of application.
- A hydrogen roadmap should structure the approaches identified in the potential study and point out the role hydrogen can play in the urban energy transition.
- Due to the large number of old buildings in Berlin, some of which have poor thermal insulation and a comparatively high heat requirement, hydrogen should be integrated into the heat supply.
- Hydrogen vehicles powered by fuel cells should complement battery-electric vehicles where particular performance is required.
- Small initiatives should be merged into a large cross-company and cross-sector lighthouse project for the coordinated market ramp-up of suitable hydrogen applications in the capital.
- Suitable concepts for the retrofitting of vehicle fleets and combined heat and power plants have to be developed, as there is a high level of interest from companies.
With the H2Berlin initiative, the companies GASAG, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Vattenfall, Berliner Stadtwerke, Berliner Stadtreinigung, Stromnetz Berlin, Sustainable Hydrogen and Toyota want to promote the development of a hydrogen economy to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and comply with climate targets in the capital. The initiative is supported by InfraLab Berlin, NOW GmbH, HyCologne, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and Berlin Partner. The preparation of the study was supported by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Companies.
As a next step, the initiators decided to found an association to promote the hydrogen economy in Berlin. In addition, the first lighthouse project is to be designed, which supports the development of a hydrogen economy in the capital in accordance with the European and national hydrogen strategy.
About the study
The 52-page was created on behalf of H2Berlin by the consulting companies umlaut energy GmbH and ETC Energy Transition Consulting GmbH.