Decentralized H2 plants can be economically operated


May 12, 2022

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Decentralized H2 plants can be economically operated

Elogen-E100, © Elogen

Elogen-E100, © Elogen

Up to now, Germany has had an energy supply system that’s as centralized as possible. Large power plants generated electricity and heat, which was then distributed nationwide by means of an extensively branched infrastructure. With the emergence of renewable energies two decades ago, the idea of decentralization became increasingly widespread: since local solar and wind power plants or biogas plants generate electricity or heat on site, this energy can be used locally, without the need for loss-ridden transports. This basic idea is now also being pursued with hydrogen production by electrolysis. Whether such an approach might be sensible was investigated by the Reiner Lemoine Institut in its newest study “Netzdienliche Wasserstofferzeugung” (grid-serving hydrogen production). The results were presented in an online press conference March 10th, 2022.

The study focused on concrete recommendations for the shaping of Germany’s national hydrogen strategy (NWS). The NWS was presented in the summer of 2020, but detailed measures for its implementation are still missing so far. In light of the new global situation with the war in Eastern Europe, there are currently numerous efforts to quickly pave the way so that a secure and mostly independent energy supply can be guaranteed for Germany in the future.


For this purpose, the Reiner Lemoine Institut (RLI), on behalf of Green Planet Energy (formerly Greenpeace Energy), analyzed whether, and how, the use of decentralized electrolyzers could be sensible and economical. As Dr. Kathrin Goldammer showed, electrolyzers with a peak output of up to five megawatts are particularly suited for this purpose. The managing director of RLI explained: “Such electrolyzers can react flexibly to the fluctuating supply of wind and solar power and signals from the distribution grid operators. In this way, they make an important contribution to grid stability and security of supply. The energy system thus becomes more efficient, resilient and cost-effective.”

Also Marcel Keiffenheim, leader of the policy and communication division of Green Planet Energy eG, stated that “decentralized electrolyzers offered security of supply, resilience and optimization of solar and wind utilization.” Keiffenheim therefore demanded that decentralized electrolyzers be taken into account in the national hydrogen strategy and that clear capacity expansion targets be defined, as not only large electrolyzers are needed. He said, “Instead of just dribbling, we should also drabble. We should do one thing without abandoning the other.”[…]

… Read this article to the end in the latest H2-International

Author: Sven Geitmann

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1 Comment

  1. Robin Dumpleton

    I thought Germany was to lead on the Green Hydrogen field, but E85 could have lead the way, yet the change of the tax regime has stopped it fead


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