Green hydrogen in Niedersachsen

Innovative economic growth thanks to the environmentally-friendly hydrogen generation.

Niedersachsen is fully committed to the global and national climate protection goals. Thus, our measures don’t stop at the development of renewable energies, but go far beyond this. As a pioneer of sector coupling, Niedersachsen is researching and trialling the extraction of green hydrogen from renewable energies.

This is why the north lends itself so well to establishing a hydrogen-based economy:

  • High generation capacities for onshore and offshore wind power with further development potential
  • Underground strata for storing hydrogen in large quantities
  • Sea ports, which will play a significant role in future in the import and distribution of green hydrogen and synthetic energy carriers, in the use of hydrogen and in the export of hydrogen technologies and components
  • A high level of scientific expertise combined with industrial sectors with considerable experience in working with hydrogen
  • Development of additional know-how in the ‘Real laboratories of the energy revolution’, and the HyLand projects, which were pronounced winners of the idea competitions by the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and the German Federal Minister of Transport.

The Northern German Hydrogen Strategy

On 7 November 2019 the Minister of Economic Affairs and the senators of the German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein jointly approved the Northern German hydrogen strategy. Interdisciplinary working groups from business, science and the public services were set up to implement the fields of action.

Hydrogen is already being used in northern Germany today in many pioneering projects and business models.



Niedersachsen is already undertaking pioneering work in various sector coupling projects

  • Coradia iLint - potential CO2 reduction in rail travel with hydrogen-powered train.

    In 2016 ALSTOM in Salzgitter presented the world’s first hydrogen train. A pair of trains was trialled for a year and a half between Buxtehude and Cuxhaven until May 2020. Regular service is set to follow in 2022.

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  • Waste disposal with hydrogen vehicles by Faun.

    Faun has developed an alternative engine concept for waste collection vehicles and street sweepers: Faun BluePower combines the battery and fuel cell engine, thus successfully reducing harmful emissions.

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  • Audi e-gas production with CO2 from an EWE biogas plant.

    Audi produces synthetic gas from regenerative power and to this end manufactures green hydrogen in a six-megawatt electrolysis facility. The EWE biogas plant supplies CO2 for the methanation of the hydrogen. Vehicles powered by e-gas have 70 percent lower CO2 emissions than petrol engines.

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  • SALCOS - Steel generation using hydrogen at Salzgitter AG.

    Salzgitter AG generates hydrogen in a high-temperature electrolysis facility. Replacing coke with green hydrogen will lead to a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions in steel production in the future.

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Reallabore der Energiewende: The real-life laboratories of the energy revolution

  • CCU P2C Salzbergen - Emsland as a hydrogen region
    With the help of a prototype, the CO2 emitted by a local waste incineration plant is separated on an industrial scale and converted into synthetic methane using ‘green’ hydrogen. The methane is then fed into the existing natural gas grid.
  • Green methanol MeOH project - the Lower Elbe River hydrogen region
    This project investigates the decarbonisation of industrial processes. The CO2 is extracted from the waste gas of a gas power plant and converted into methanol using hydrogen. The project is the first process of its kind downstream of a gas power plant.
  • Element One - Diele/Conneforde
    This research project investigates the coupling of power and gas networks: how can power from nearby wind turbine generators be converted into hydrogen using an industrial electrolyser and then fed into existing gas transmission pipelines?

‘HyLand’ projects in Niedersachsen: a funding programme by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

  • HyStarter in the Schaumburg district

    A local network of stakeholders, funded by the HyStarter funding programme, is developing a hydrogen concept for the region. The Schaumburg region has an exceptionally dense gas network and extensive experience of hydrogen: until the switch to natural gas at the end of the 1960s, both coke oven gas and the mains gas consisted of over 55% hydrogen.

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  • HyExpert ‘H2BrakeCO2’

    A holistic concept for the integration of an H2 infrastructure has been developed in the town of Brake and the surrounding northwest metropolitan region, focusing in particular on port and logistics processes. The concept is part of a project aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in transport and logistics by switching to hydrogen-based technology.

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  • HyExpert ‘Truck traffic with green hydrogen - Future Mobility’

    A regional concept for integrated hydrogen use is in operation in eleven districts of the Elbe-Weser region for overland transport (lorries/public transport) in conjunction with regional stakeholders from all of the relevant parts of the value chain.

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  • HyExpert ‘Hydrogen Region Emsland’

    Based on the regional hydrogen project approaches such as CO2NVERSION, Hybridge, GET H2 Nucleus, the Audi e-gas plant or the CEC-Haren project, the district of Emsland is developing an integrated overall concept for the development of a regional hydrogen economy in industry and mobility in close cooperation with the city of Lingen.

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HyPerformer ‘Hyways for Future’

EWE, together with approximately 90 partners from industry and politics, hopes to power zero-emission transport using green hydrogen in the northwestern metropolitan region and northern Germany by bringing together the industry, energy and transport sectors. This project focuses on the holistic establishment of a hydrogen-based infrastructure of H2 refuelling stations and fuel cell vehicles for use in transport and industry. The hydrogen-based model region focuses on the towns of Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven, Oldenburg and Bremen. Their long-term objective is to gradually expand the supply and demand for hydrogen across all sectors.

Hydrogen networks in Niedersachsen

Offering support to the local hydrogen industry and promoting cross-sector networking:

  • Hydrogen Region Emsland
    In the northwest of Niedersachsen, numerous stakeholders have come together under the umbrella of the H2 Region Emsland to advance both small and large hydrogen projects and to develop a hydrogen hub.
    Visit the website
    The main role of MARIKO GmbH is to network and support stakeholders in the maritime industry.
    Visit the website
  • OLEC e.V.
    Oldenburger Energiecluster OLEC e.V. is one of the most important industrial clusters in the northwest energy region.
    Visit the website
  • Hydrogen network of northeast Niedersachsen
    Over 50 companies in the northeastern Niedersachsen region are involved in the hydrogen network of northeast Niedersachsen and the key project ‘Overland transport with green hydrogen’.
    Visit the website
  • EFZN Energy Research Centre Niedersachsen
    The institutions and working groups involved came together to form a research centre to set up long-term hydrogen research fields and to use and further develop other potentials in Niedersachsen.
    Visit the website

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