The Havelland wants to become even greener


August 29, 2023

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The Havelland wants to become even greener

Hydrogen Regions series: HyExpert Havelland

Green hydrogen is an important building block of the energy transition. With its help, regenerative energy can be stored and used as needed in a wide variety of sectors. But how will the generation, storage, distribution and use of hydrogen come together? An answer to this question is the goal of the project H2VL of the regional district (Landkreis) Havelland: Various local players along the entire hydrogen value chain are being identified, networked and supported in the implementation of their projects – from production through distribution to use. For this, Havelland is being supported by the German transport ministry, through the hydrogen and fuel cell innovation support program NIP2, with nearly 400,000 euros as one of the 15 winners of the title HyExpert Region.


In the H2VL network are represented nearly 140 stakeholders from 75 different organizations – from companies and municipalities to advocacy groups and research institutions. The environmental ministry of the district in Brandenburg is leading the project and supporting the H2 developments from the political side. Funding is being coordinated by NOW GmbH (federal hydrogen and fuel cell agency) and administered by project manager Projektträger Jülich (PtJ).

“With the hydrogen generated locally with renewable energies and then used directly in the local transportation sector, a valuable contribution to climate protection in the Havelland can be made.”

Nico Merkert, Havelland environmental office director

The project will be accompanied for one year by a consortium of hydrogen and transportation experts. The Reiner Lemoine Institut (RLI) is leading the project on the contractor side and will have scientific support from IAV Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr, Consulting4Drive and the Institut für Klimaschutz, Energie und Mobilität (IKEM). At the end of the project, the findings will be summarized in a regional feasibility study.

Proximity to implementation is important

One of the most important building blocks of the H2VL project is the cooperation with local players in the field of hydrogen. Specifically, cooperation has taken place in a variety of formats: In the beginning, the focus was on getting to know each other in bilateral talks and on-site meetings. Systematic data was requested from all stakeholders with a survey. In eight workshops, the participants were networked with each other and were able to learn about projects within and without the Havelland. This has led to the players now knowing each other well and, furthermore, driving forward joint projects.

The project has been developed as five packages. In addition to the project and stakeholder management described above, the entire value chain of a green hydrogen economy was considered

Hydrogen production

If the hydrogen is produced locally from renewable energies (RE) and used later on, this offers the advantage of regional value creation. It is important that citizens and communities benefit directly and indirectly from RE and H2 generation in their neighborhoods. That is why the project will focus on regionally anchored stakeholders. The Havelland has enormous potential for renewable energy generation. About 1 GW of photovoltaic and 2.5 GW of wind power would be technically possible.

Even if only a small portion of these potential areas were used, it would allow large amounts of RE to be generated and used for, among other things, hydrogen production. How much hydrogen can be produced and for what price depends on the price of electricity, the electrolyzer full load hours and the ratio of installed RE to electrolyzer capacity (see Fig. 2). Depending on the operator model, production costs between 7.80 and 9.70 euros per kilogram of hydrogen are likely for the Havelland.

“We see that in the Havelland there is great potential for generation of renewable energies and therefore also of green hydrogen. To leverage this potential, it is important that the people in the Havelland benefit from the establishment of the hydrogen economy. That is why in the project we’re putting value on regional value chains and the inclusion of municipal businesses.”

Anne Wasike-Schalling, Reiner Lemoine Institut

In addition to hydrogen production from renewable energies, the company Neue Energien Premnitz is also planning to generate H2 from waste materials. Specifically, this means that the non-recyclable waste from the company Richter Recycling are to be used for incineration with waste recovery, also called thermal recycling (see H2-international October 2021). The land for the plant has already been secured, and the procedure for approval in accordance with German emissions law (BImSchG) is underway.

Hydrogen demand

Hydrogen can be employed in many sectors, and can be used as a starting material or replace fossil energy sources. In Havelland, the transport and industrial sectors in particular were examined. For the industrial companies in Havelland, hydrogen would more often than not replace the natural gas used up to this point. For this to be economically feasible, the price corridor for green hydrogen would have to be between about 5 (natural gas parity price) and 10 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (corresponds to 1.67 to 3.33 euros per kg of hydrogen). This is not foreseen as happening within the next few years. The use of hydrogen as a chemical resource in the Havelland is not established at this time.

In the transport sector, various modes of transportation were highlighted. In local rail travel and shunting operations, the employment of hydrogen is imaginable, but no concrete demand quantities are foreseeable at present. In road traffic, the focus is primarily on heavy vehicles or those with long ranges. Because of the higher energy density of hydrogen compared to the electric battery, its advantages could prevail here.

For the conversion from diesel to hydrogen, comprehensive cost considerations over the entire life cycle (total cost of ownership) were carried out with stakeholders. These show, for example, that for the operation of a public transport bus fleet, if the green hydrogen costs between 5.90 and 7.50 euros per kilogram, cost parity with diesel vehicles can be achieved. That is a large distance from the current probable cost of hydrogen production (see above).

To nevertheless enable business models in the ramp-up phase, the German government has expanded the incentives around the Treibhausgasminderungsquote (greenhouse gas reduction rate, THG-Quote). Consequently, the putting of green fuels such as hydrogen into circulation will enable additional rewards through so-called selling of the THG-Quote from low or zero emissions product owners to companies that will not sufficiently reduce their emissions.

Storage and distribution

Hydrogen can be stored and transported in various ways. With stakeholders and in the feasibility study, various types of storage and transport were discussed. Critical for the planning of the stakeholders is also the planned starting grid Brandenburger H2-Startnetz. This will be gradually expanded. Through this, more and more different locations within the Havelland will become part of a supraregional hydrogen supply network.

Various parts of the value chain of a hydrogen economy were joined using actual players in the last work package. In order to be able to realize efficient business models, both the generation and the demand side need consideration. In two regional clusters, possible supply chains were outlined, analyzed and further developed together with stakeholders.

Cluster Östliches Havelland (eastern cluster)

In this cluster, the consortium is currently exploring along with regional energy provider GASAG whether and how the company’s planned electrolyzer in the city Ketzin can be built and operated economically and the hydrogen can be made available to the regional transport sector. As potential consumers of the hydrogen due to sufficient theoretical quantities, the consortium is of the opinion that portions of the municipal fleets in nearby Nauen would be the most suitable option at this time. There is general interest in a partial conversion to H2 drives for these fleets. The economic viability is currently being examined separately in detail.

Initial rough calculations also show that when both sides are considered together, a regional value chain from production to distribution, refueling stations and consumption could be conceivable under certain conditions, for example subsidies. However, several parameters still need to be clarified. Players in the transport logistics industry in the area Wustermark-Brieselang are also being considered in this cluster, as they could represent further anchor customers.

Cluster Westliches Havelland (western cluster)

Rathenower Wärmeversorgung, the heating provider for the city Rathenow, is working on a project for the production of climate-friendly heat. This is to occur through the company’s own renewable energy generation in combination with a power-to-heat plant. The renewable electricity will be directly converted into district heating in this way. To optimally use the fluctuations in RE generation, the installation of an electrolyzer is additionally under consideration. The intent is to use energy surpluses to produce green hydrogen. Incidentally, the waste heat from the electrolyzer can also be used in the district heating network. Wasser- und Abwasserverband Rathenow, with its fleet of sewage suction vehicles, could be a regional H2 consumer.

Furthermore, stakeholders are encouraged to continue independently networking themselves. The digital hydrogen marketplace Wasserstoffmarktplatz Berlin-Brandenburg enables the decentralized networking of all participants and also the targeted search for specific players in the value chain. Stakeholders can also network beyond the scope of the H2VL project.

Authors: Anne Wasike-Schalling, Reiner Lemoine Institut gGmbH, Berlin,, Nico Merkert, Landkreis Havelland,

Kategorien: Europe | Germany | News
Germany | hydrogen :Schlagworte

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