Visionaries and doers:
Full steam ahead for innovations
Hamburg's Hanseatic heritage stands for cosmopolitanism and international trade relations - and for a pioneering spirit that is still alive today. Around 10,000 companies either join or are founded in the metropolitan region every year. This creates a climate in which visions are followed by action.
Hamburg is one of the most important commercial and economic centres in Northern Europe and has a strong ecosystem of business, politics and application-oriented research. The goals of its sustainability-oriented economic and environmental policy are the extensive decarbonisation of the industry based here. In this context, the development of a green hydrogen economy plays a crucial role.
Hamburg and the northern German states have long been trailblazers when it comes to renewable energies, occupying a leading position not only in Germany but also in Europe. Based on this successful development, the region has enormous potential for green energy, especially from wind power. Existing surpluses can be used in an optimal way for the production of green hydrogen.
Already since the beginning of the decade, the metropolitan region has expanded its expertise in practical applications such as the use of hydrogen buses or the production of hydrogen. Today, it is one of the widely recognised locations with further exemplary projects in a variety of sectors. The North German hydrogen strategy specifies that at least 500 megawatts of electrolysis capacity for the production of green hydrogen are to be installed as early as 2025; by 2030, the capacity is to increase to at least five gigawatts and thus by a factor of 10.
A key milestone in this is the planned mega-electrolyser in Moorburg. Already with its initial capacity of 100 megawatts, it is one of the largest in the world. There are already strong indications from industry in northern Germany that demand for its output will even be significantly higher than this. The use of the existing power plant site illustrates the momentum with which innovative and sustainable future technologies are being driven forward in Hamburg. The existing connection to the high-voltage grid (380 KV) in Moorburg and the planned conversion of the harbour's gas grid to hydrogen create the best conditions for bringing these technologies to fruition.
Innovative strength is ensured by high-performance clusters from business and science. More than 500 companies, organisations and research institutions are committed to making Hamburg one of the main drivers of a green hydrogen economy. Various collaborative projects with great impact such as Norddeutsche EnergieWende 4.0, active alliances like the joint network of partners in the hydrogen economy and in renewable energies, or the HY-5 business initiative of the northern German states illustrate how successfully the region's players work together.
The fact that Hamburg and the region have only recently been selected again for several government-sponsored regulatory sandboxes in the field of hydrogen shows their importance in future topics such as decarbonisation of industry, emission-free aviation, sector coupling or production and distribution of green hydrogen. Currently, within a radius of a good 200 kilometres, scientists at two dozen universities and universities of applied sciences, more than 20 Fraunhofer institutes, Helmholtz centres, energy research associations or the German Aerospace Center are researching these future-oriented topics.
Many more projects are in the planning stage. Because Hamburg not only has a strong political will - but also the economic strength and innovative power to implement it: