Digital value creation in a green hydrogen economy

Results of Fraunhofer’s PLATON research project

Hybrid value creation model for the green hydrogen economy
Hybrid value creation model for the green hydrogen economy

Three Fraunhofer institutes in Germany – IAO, IIS and IMW – have been tackling key questions on the nature of digital value creation in relation to green hydrogen. The research comes as part of the PLATON project which has been investigating the platform economy in the hydrogen sector. The results of the project have now been published in a study. The outcome is a hybrid value creation model that helps companies to take a systematic approach to digital value creation.

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Fraunhofer Hydrogen Labs

Test area of the Hydrogen Lab Leuna, © Fraunhofer IMWS / Moritz Kühnel
Test area of the Hydrogen Lab Leuna, © Fraunhofer IMWS / Moritz Kühnel

Test centres for industrial hydrogen technology start operation

The industry needs reliable technologies for the broad application of green hydrogen. In the Hydrogen Labs, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is pooling its expertise in the generation and use of green H2 and creating a unique research infrastructure for practical performance and load tests on an industrial scale in order to decisively advance the development of H2 technologies suitable for mass production and thus the market ramp-up.

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Green hydrogen comes out on top

Trend in hydrogen production in the EU, © Hydrogen4EU
© Hydrogen4EU

Germany plans to overdeliver on EU targets

 

Climate change has become a hot topic in the runup to the German election, with politicians imbued with a new sense of urgency. In April 2021, Germany’s constitutional court published its ruling on the country’s Climate Change Act, triggering the need for swift action to toughen up emission targets: In just a few days the federal cabinet agreed to a new climate law which then quickly received its blessing from the powers that be. Preparations to implement European RED II legislation have also been progressing at speed. So what does this mean for the hydrogen and fuel cell sector?

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German fuel cell research lags behind

Kaufmann
Stefan Kaufmann, © BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

In summer, the German government published its national hydrogen strategy, drafted with input from several federal ministries. An example of this intergovernmental collaboration was education minister Anja Karliczek’s idea for creating the post of Green Hydrogen Innovation Commissioner, to ensure that the strategy’s ambitious aims lead to swift action, her ministry said. H2-international spoke with Stefan Kaufmann, who was appointed to the post, about his new job and his concrete plans for the industry. A lawyer by trade, and a member of the Christian Democrats, he has been in parliament since 2009, representing voters in Stuttgart South.

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Green hydrogen for industry

Industrial scale greend hydrogen and decarbonization

Sandwiched between the North and Baltic seas, Schleswig-Holstein is considered to have great potential for generating clean wind energy. Boasting an installed turbine capacity of around 6.7 gigawatts onshore and 1.8 gigawatts offshore, and a nearly 37 percent renewable energy share in total final consumption (122 percent in gross electricity use), Germany’s northernmost state is well above the national average. Its 2025 aim is to have renewables contribute up to 65 percent to state-wide energy generation. And by 2050, the North Sea and its coastal areas could be home to Europe’s largest clean energy system – ideal prospects for kicking off a real hydrogen economy.

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Hydrogen-exporting countries vie for top spot

Karliczek
Anja Karliczek, © Hans-Joachim Rickel, BMBF

A key objective in Germany’s hydrogen strategy is to create international partnerships with green hydrogen exporters. To this end, Gerd Müller, the German minister for international development, recently signed a cooperation agreement with one of the Maghreb countries, announcing: “Together with Morocco, we are developing the first industrial system to generate green hydrogen in Africa.

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Green hydrogen from biogas

electricity costs
Levelized Cost of Electricity (Cent/kWh)

Hydrogen is considered the ideal raw material for a sustainable energy market transformation. However, some questions still await answers. Where will we get our hydrogen? Will we use the gray, blue, turquoise or green variant in the distant and not-so-distant future? Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources and often generated via water electrolysis.

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German government invests in green hydrogen

National Hydrogen Strategy
National Hydrogen Strategy, © BMWi / Andreas Mertens

There it is – the national hydrogen strategy. Five federal ministries presented the cabinet-approved final concept in Berlin on June 10. Querulous months of intense cross-ministry wrangling over hydrogen colors, the targeted electrolyzer capacity and committee rosters preceded strategy publication as sector representatives prowled, yearning for news. Ultimately, the governing coalition agreed on a whopping EUR 7 billion package, plus an additional 2 billion for potential hydrogen export countries.

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