The port of Hamburg on the river Elbe currently cervices a lot of freight ships and has rail transport capacity

Hamburg could be the main hydrogen hub of Europe by 2030

Hamburg could be the main hydrogen hub of Europe by 2030

Authorities revealed their strategy for the next eight years, aiming to foster international cooperation to meet growing clean energy demand in the EU

Last week, authorities in Hamburg announced a new hydrogen import strategy, planning to upgrade the vital port of the Hanseatic city with storage and piping capacity. The idea behind the strategy is to turn the port into a key entry point for green hydrogen imports from abroad.

The plan was presented by the Hamburg Authority for Economy and Innovation (Behörde für Wirtschaft und Innovation) - it seeks to boost the city’s current position on the hydrogen stage. Despite plans to ramp up local production capacity to 550 megawatts by 2030, authorities say that demand is only going to rise.

Moreover, the plan aims to integrate Hamburg into the German national infrastructure and help meet European hydrogen demand as an international hub.

The hydrogen context in North Germany

After Germany released its National Hydrogen Strategy in 2020, many regions, particularly in the north have been trying to take centre stage on the push for faster adoption.

These include a massive 2.5 billion euro hydrogen plant in Wilhelmshaven that will be capable of meeting up to 10% of Germany’s energy needs at peak capacity.

The city of Bremen on the other hand has signed a cooperation agreement with Groningen in the Netherlands, whereby the two cities will share experience and resources when developing sustainable energy sources.

The port of Hamburg and the hope for the future

The import strategy for Hamburg’s port focuses on building cooperative strategies with exporting countries while expanding local storage and transport capacity. The idea aims to build upon a memorandum between Hamburg and Scotland, signed in late November.

The memorandum promises to increase cooperation and trade in the field of green hydrogen. Now, authorities are eyeing the possibility of similar agreements with Denmark, Norway, Australia and Chile, among others.

The first step will be to conduct a thorough analysis of North Germany and plan for potential demand and import capacity until 2023. After that, the plan proposes the creation of a European funding body, geared towards hydrogen investment, as well as state funding schemes.

Next, they propose that by 2025 Hamburg secures at least six letters of intent from other countries or regions outside of Germany, which can ramp up hydrogen production.

Furthermore, in terms of infrastructure on the ground, apart from pipelines, authorities want to make the existing rail connections suited for transport. They will launch an economic viability study into this idea by 2023.

In terms of pipelines, Hamburg and the German state of Schleswig-Holstein are preparing for joint talks with Denmark to participate in the import of green hydrogen destined for industry and to connect both states to the Danish pipeline network.



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