Five north German states have joined forces to establish a green hydrogen cluster with an interim, 500-MW electrolyzer target set for 2025, the HY-5 initiative stated at the Hamburg wind fair organised on December 1, 2020. HY-5 comprises the German coastal states of Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania, Hamburg and Bremen.

The region is home to 15 million people with a notional GDP making it seventh in the EU country rankings, larger than Denmark and the Netherlands together, HY-5 said.

Around 50 green hydrogen projects are already planned across the region, including by Orsted, EDF, refinery Heide, ArcelorMittal, BP and RWE. In addition, six regulatory sandboxes are being funded by the federal government.

The regional initiative follows a hydrogen roadmap published on November 9 by Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia state targeting 3 GW of electrolyzer capacity by 2030 with Euro 4 billion investment to help decarbonise Germany’s industrial heartland.

REGlobal’s Views: The HY-5 initiative, in addition to Germany’s national strategies underline the fundamental impact hydrogen can have on decarbonization as well as energy system integration of the wind rich region, while allowing for more wind turbines to be installed both on- and offshore. It must be noted that Germany, Netherlands and Denmark are aiming for a combined 40 GW offshore wind capacity by 2030 as well as even higher onshore wind capacity with wind additions in Germany’s coastal regions currently restricted by the so-called grid saturation zone.