Brandenburg wants to become a pioneer region for the hydrogen economy nationwide. “The potential is enormous,” said Minister of Energy Jörg Steinbach (SPD) on Wednesday in Potsdam.
A study was presented by the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association on behalf of the Ministry. In terms of manufacturing alone, which makes up about ten percent of the German market, could generate 3,500 to 7,000 jobs in Brandenburg, the study calculates. However, costs for necessary investments are not quantified.
Other countries such as China, Japan and South Korea are significantly further with technology, said Steinbach. At the end of the year, a test will be started in Cottbus with buses from China that run on hydrogen.
“We would make a mistake if we did not get in,” emphasized Steinbach. There are unique conditions in Brandenburg.
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) had announced in mid-July that in future future technologies such as low-carbon hydrogen and energy storage in “real laboratories” on an industrial scale will be tested in Germany. Around 20 of these facilities are planned nationwide, even in brown coal mining areas such as Lusatia. So far, about 100 million euros per year are available. There, certain solutions are to be tried out on an industrial scale.
So far, the use of the “green hydrogen” produced from renewable energies is still considered expensive, but could be the key to the success of the energy transition, said Steinbach. Areas of application are sufficiently available in the country, such as energy-intensive companies in the steel or chemical industry. Also in the heavy transport, public transport or inland navigation would be opportunities.
A good hydrogen strategy could be the basis for keeping the Lausitz energy region, emphasized Harald Jahnke, chairman of the Landesgruppe Berlin-Brandenburg of the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) and Managing Director of Stadtwerke Prenzlau.
Also for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Cottbus (IHK) the presented cornerstones are a good sign. “The southern Brandenburg economy is ready to invest, to build up production capacities and, together with science, to promote the future technology of hydrogen,” explained managing director Marcus Tolle.
Already today, the federal government is supporting the construction of a hydrogen power plant Schwarze Pumpe industrial park as well as other individual projects in Cottbus with 58 million euros.
The state government decided at the end of July to introduce a Federal Council initiative, said Steinbach. The aim is to implement regulations in order to promote the use of hydrogen. So far, green hydrogen produced from electricity can not compete with hydrogen based on fossil fuels.