Building a hydrogen economy on the Baltic Sea coast

Ideas map, © LEKA

Fifth part of the Regions series: HyStarter Rügen-Stralsund

What role can the production of green hydrogen play in the future for regional added value creation in a rural, structurally weak, but large area region with a high share of renewable energy production capacities? Which generation paths make sense at different locations, and which framework conditions must be fulfilled in order to achieve this? Where is there potential for hydrogen applications in the district of Vorpommern-Rügen? With these questions in mind, the HyStarter Region Rügen-Stralsund started a one-year strategy process in December 2019 to develop a vision, define fields of action, analyse selected locations and technology concepts, and adopt a roadmap until 2030 that describes a whole bundle of measures to be implemented in the future.

With the Institute for Regenerative Energy Systems at Stralsund University of Applied Sciences, there has already been expertise and experience in hydrogen technology in the Vorpommern-Rügen region for over 25 years – both in teaching and research. In the HyStarter region of Rügen-Stralsund, however, the implementation of this technology is still in its infancy. Vorpommern-Rügen is a coastal region, characterised by port industry, ship and boat building, tourism and agriculture. Here, where there is a unique natural setting with several large, protected areas and sustainability plays an important role, there is potential to promote emission-free mobility on the water as well as on land. Due to its geographical location, the region is an important renewable energy generation site. High capacities of installed wind power capacity offer ideal conditions for the production of green hydrogen.

There are currently 230 wind energy plants (WTs) in 67 wind farms in the district with an installed capacity of 378.4 megawatts. In addition, 2,187 photovoltaic plants (PV) with a capacity of 352 MW have been installed in the district so far. In addition, there are 49 biomass plants that are used in particular for the supply of heat. Although electricity can increasingly be generated from renewable energies, there are major challenges to be overcome with sector coupling.

“Hydrogen must be considered holistically, i.e. from production to consumption.”

Prof. Dr Johannes Gulden, Head of the Institute for Regenerative Energy Systems at Stralsund University of Applied Sciences

There are many potential hydrogen consumers in the district: The existing maritime economy wants to reduce emissions in the long term, and tourism has a strong sustainability claim. New mobility solutions have to be found, especially for the busy summer with its high traffic volume. The high proportion of individual mobility as well as the greater distances for public transport and logistics providers pose particular challenges for mobility here. There is also pressure to decarbonise the heating sector, which is primarily characterised by fossil energy sources.

… Read more in the latest H2-International e-Journal, Aug 2021

Authors: Prof. Dr. Johannes Gulden & Romy Sommer – both Stralsund University of Applied Sciences; Gunnar Wobig – State Energy and Climate Protection Agency Mecklenburg-Vorpommern GmbH


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