Many studies recognize electrolysis and hydrogen as important building blocks of the future energy system. Despite the great potential for reducing emissions and successful demonstration and testing projects, green hydrogen is still not present in the energy system in Germany except for niche cases.
In the “Hydrogen Technologies on the Southern Upper Rhine” project, 21 project partners, coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, are examining the potential in the region and developing solutions to get these technologies out of the niche area.
The aim of the project is to link a large number of relevant actors from all sectors – industry, heating, transport, power generation – in the southern Upper Rhine region with regard to hydrogen and fuel cell technology. “We want to support the introduction of hydrogen into the energy system, which is currently failing due to various obstacles,” explains project manager Christopher Voglstätter, team leader power-to-gas at Fraunhofer ISE.
In an intensive discussion with the actors, a current transdisciplinary approach, and the example of several case studies and technology demonstrations identify major current obstacles to the implementation of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Together, solutions are developed for the activation of the large and varied use and emission reduction potential of hydrogen in industry and mobility, for off-grid power supply, in the gas network, and in the communal environment. In addition, the transport and trading of hydrogen in gas networks and by means of trailers as well as the future supply of the region with hydrogen are addressed. The scope of the project extends to the administrative districts of Ortenaukreis, Emmendingen, Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Lörrach, Waldshut, and the city district of Freiburg. An intensive exchange with the neighboring regions in France and Switzerland or corresponding initiatives are planned and some have already been implemented.
For the project, representatives from all relevant stakeholder groups (municipalities, regional authorities, energy suppliers, research institutions, gas suppliers, consulting companies, mobility service providers, associations and industrial companies) have come together to form an interdisciplinary consortium headed by Fraunhofer ISE; additional partners can be integrated if necessary.
In the first step, the consortium, led by the climate partners Upper Rhine, is currently conducting a survey to determine the potential for the use of hydrogen in the region. Interested companies can participate via the link below.
The project partners then determine in interdisciplinary circles of experts which steps and measures by which actors are necessary to introduce hydrogen and large-scale electrolysis into the energy system for the production of synthetic fuels. In order to achieve the highest possible practical relevance, case studies are selected from the potential survey for this consideration and analyzed in-depth for potential implementation.
In addition to communicating with politics, science, and the public, the results should then also be incorporated into regional development. Preparations for climate protection planning and measures in the region, the drawing up of a hydrogen roadmap for the region, recommendations for action for regional and national actors and networking beyond the project are planned here. Among other things, this should encourage accompanying or subsequent projects to introduce hydrogen into the regional energy system.
“The diversified economic structure of the region with diverse application possibilities, the strong university, and university locations Freiburg, Offenburg, and Lörrach, as well as the possibility of cross-border solutions in the border triangle with Switzerland and France, form an ideal basis for the region of the Southern Upper Rhine as a hydrogen model region for To develop Germany, “says Dr. Fabian Burggraf, managing director of the climate partner Upper Rhine.
The cooperation partners are the climate partners Upper Rhine, bnNETZE, the municipality of Teningen, the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, basi, energy services, Fischer eco-solutions, LADOG, the green electricity group Freiburg, the cities of Freiburg, Offenburg and Lahr, Trapico, the Freiburg Chamber of Crafts, initiatives durables on the French side and the regional association Southern Upper Rhine on board. The German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Stadtmobil CarSharing Südbaden, and Sterr-Kölln & Partner are involved in the project through sub-contracts. The Öko-Institut is involved as an external expert on the question of the generation and use strategies of hydrogen.
The project is funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Climate, and Energy Management of the State of Baden-Württemberg.
Source: Fraunhofer ISE