Germany breaks ground on pilot project to store energy in hydrogen

15 May 2014 17:21  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds comment by Linde in paragraph 4)

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany on Thursday broke ground on a government-supported research and development (R&D) pilot project to produce and use hydrogen to store volatile energy supplies from renewable sources such as wind and solar, the country's economics ministry said.

Partners in the project located in Mainz, west of Frankfurt, include chemicals engineering and industrial gases major Linde and technology conglomerate Siemens, among others. The federal government is contributing €8.9m in funding.

Economics minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also responsible for energy, said that the project could be an important component in Germany’s energy transition to renewables, known as "Energiewende".

At the heart of the project in Mainz will be a hydrogen electrolysis facility using polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis. With a potential power intake of six megawatts, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the world, Linde said in a separate statement.

The storage of volatile energy supplies from renewables is seen as a key challenge for the Energiewende. In a first phase, the government has committed to making available about €200m in funding to support innovative energy storage projects.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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