Groningen, Hanover, Oldenburg— On the sidelines of the meeting of the Lower Saxony hydrogen network organized today at the invitation of the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment in Hanover, EWE and Gasunie announced the conclusion of a comprehensive declaration of intent to further develop the north-western European hydrogen market.
Lower Saxony’s Environment and Energy Minister Olaf Lies commented on the announcement: “This is a very important signal for the energy state of Lower Saxony and the cooperation with our neighboring country, the Netherlands. The expansion of wind energy on land and at sea is progressing. However, we must not view the energy transition solely as an electricity transition. Sector coupling is particularly important. I very much welcome the fact that important players in the energy transition who are active in Lower Saxony are joining forces here. That is the right signal. ”
With the cooperation agreement between EWE and Gasunie, the companies want to pool their strengths in order to advance the topics of achieving the climate targets and sector coupling in Germany. They see the development of the hydrogen economy as an absolutely necessary step towards a sustainable and climate-friendly energy system. The companies involved contribute their know-how and their competence in different business areas, along the entire energy value chain: generation, storage, transport and supply to end customers. What they have in common is the conviction that hydrogen will be a key technology to achieve the goal of climate neutrality and that cooperation between the energy market players is an important contribution to realizing the potential.
For EWE, CEO Stefan Dohler emphasized: “EWE and Gasunie want to combine know-how and market access in order to boost the potential of hydrogen across borders. The cooperation with Gasunie gives EWE access to infrastructure far beyond our current business area. I am convinced that, through their cooperation, Gasunie and EWE will make an important contribution to achieving the climate targets in Europe. The infrastructural linking of the transport and distribution networks of both partners – and the associated more integrated network planning – will enable a hydrogen start network between the Netherlands and Hamburg. ”
Peter Schmidt, Head of Large Storage and Hydrogen at EWE, adds: “EWE has built up knowledge of gas storage in underground caverns for more than 40 years and already operates caverns with a volume of around two billion cubic meters. EWE is therefore predestined to also store hydrogen on a large scale in the future. This will be essential in order to be able to make hydrogen available as an energy carrier as required. ”
For Gasunie, Han Fennema, CEO of NV Nederlandse Gasunie, emphasized: “As the operator of an energy infrastructure in the Netherlands and Germany, we have been working with partners on important projects to promote the energy transition for many years. The transition from fossil fuels to sustainable forms of energy such as hydrogen is an essential element in realizing the CO2-neutral industrial system of the future. The energy transition must not stop at national borders – step by step we are building an international hydrogen infrastructure that brings the production of this climate-friendly energy source in line with consumption. ”
For Gasunie Deutschland Managing Director Jens Schumann one thing is certain: “With this cooperation we are continuing the many decades of cooperation between Gasunie and EWE, which began with the delivery of the first L-gas quantities from the Netherlands to Germany, into the age of renewables.”