Northern German states cooperate on 'Hy-5' hydrogen buildup

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Five northern German states said on Tuesday they will work together to promote the development of hydrogen from renewable electricity and aim to install at least 500 megawatts (MW) of electrolysis capacity by 2025.

Green hydrogen is produced from electrolysis that relies on electricity generated from sources, such as wind and solar. Other hydrogen, produced using fossil fuels, is not carbon free.

“The new initiative aims at turning Northern Germany into the strongest emerging region for green hydrogen in the heart of Europe and to complete the value chain for green hydrogen,” the states said in a statement.

Capacity should increase rapidly to reach at least 5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, the group said, which has named the initiative Hy-5.

It consists of the states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

The statement was released at the opening of the annual WindEnergy trade fair, which this year is being held digitally.

The northern region has ample onshore and offshore wind capacity, seaports with import facilities, demand for green energy from its industrial companies, and a head-start in hydrogen-related research, the group said.

The region also has gas storage caverns and a natural gas transport pipeline network that could be used for hydrogen.

Germany wants to end its reliance on coal and nuclear power and to harness renewables to decarbonise energy used in industry, transport and heating buildings.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Barbara Lewis