An economy without emissions of greenhouse gases within the next 30 years - that is Europe's declared goal in order to stop climate change. This requires a major change from today onwards. Renewable energies are to replace fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. In the course of the sustainable transformation of energy supply, hydrogen will play a key role.
Hydrogen is the most frequently occurring element on earth. With oxygen, the gas burns almost residue-free, without ash or climate-damaging exhaust emissions. More and more countries are turning to hydrogen as the basis for a carbon-free world. Using fuel cells, it can power electric motors, store energy and heat houses.
World's first green hdydrogen storage in eastern germany
Saxony-Anhalt wants to become a pioneer in the research and use of green hydrogen. For the first time worldwide, the direct coupling of volatile wind power and an approx. 30 MW electrolysis system is being tested. The Energy Park in Bad Lauchstädt demonstrates on a small scale what will soon be necessary on an international scale against the backdrop of climate targets: The development of a far-reaching hydrogen infrastructure. As part of the large-scale "Power-to-Gas" project, research is being conducted into the production, transport, storage and economic use of green hydrogen on an industrial scale. A large-scale electrolyzer produces green hydrogen using wind energy from nearby wind farms. According to the report, the production of 27 million cubic metres of hydrogen per year is possible in this way.
In an underground salt cavern specially equipped for this purpose with a working gas volume of 50 million m³, the hydrogen can be stored temporarily. It is transported via an existing, converted natural gas pipeline with a capacity of 100,000 m³/h. In this way, it can be fed into the hydrogen network of the central German chemical industry and also used in the mobility sector as well as for other energy solutions in the future.
Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park receives funding
The development of the Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park takes another important step: last week, the project partners received the official approval for funding as a "real laboratory of the energy transition" for around 34 million euros. Starting this autumn, the approved funding will initially be used to further develop and test hydrogen production and hydrogen transport as well as central components of hydrogen storage as a "real laboratory of the energy transition". In a second phase, which is not part of the current research project, the aim is to complete the cavern for hydrogen storage and integrate it into the value chain from 2026.
This unique project in eastern Germany demonstrates on a small scale what will soon be necessary on an international scale against the backdrop of climate targets. Innovative storage of renewably generated energy is one of the milestones of a green energy future. Project partners are VNG Gasspeicher GmbH, ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, DBI Group, Uniper and Terrawatt. All in all, the project has a total investment volume of around 140 million euros. In the future, the energy park can also be integrated into the emerging European hydrogen infrastructure via other eastern German hydrogen projects.