Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, recently announced the winners of the "Ideas competition for the Regulatory Sandboxes of Energiewende". In the 20 regulatory sandboxes throughout Germany, new hydrogen technologies will be researched on an industrial scale and in a real environment. Enertrag and Uniper, two members of the Global Alliance Powerfuels are involved in the implementation of the projects.
Andreas Kuhlmann, dena's Chief Executive and Spokesman of the Global Alliance Powerfuels, congratulates the two partner companies on their success. "I am delighted that Enertrag and Uniper, two companies of the Global Alliance Powerfuels, are making a significant contribution to the market development of powerfuels in Germany. The knowledge and experience gained from the implementation of such projects are crucial for promoting the market development of Powerfuels outside Germany and Europe as a missing link in a global energy transition".
The projects of Enertrag and Uniper
In the "Referenzkraftwerk Lausitz" project, Enertrag is planning to test key technologies together with the Zweckverband Industriepark Schwarze Pumpe, LEAG and Energiequelle. Using hydrogen as chemical storage not only heat and electricity will be provided, but also hydrogen for transport and industry will be provided and, if required, fed into the existing natural gas network. A 10 MW PEM electrolyser with 500 MWh storage capacity is used to produce hydrogen. A 2 MW fuel cell can be used for re-generation.
The project "Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt" focuses on the large-scale production of green hydrogen. An electrolysis plant with up to 35 MW is to be built in the central German chemical triangle area. The plant will be powered by renewable electricity from a nearby wind farm. In addition to Uniper, the consortium partners VNG Gasspeicher, Ontras, DBI Freiberg and Terrawatt are also involved. Up to 150,000 MWh of green hydrogen can be temporarily stored in a salt cavern, which is then fed into the chemical industry's hydrogen network via a specially adapted gas pipeline and used for urban mobility solutions.
Regulatory sandboxes and powerfuels
The Alliance welcomes the regulatory sandboxes, which are making an important contribution to the further development of hydrogen solutions in the integrated energy system. However, regulatory sandboxes alone are not sufficient to enable a market ramp-up of powerfuels. In order to bring powerfuels technologies from the pilot project to industrial scale, politics is strongly required to set the right framework conditions.
The concept of regulatory sandboxes can also serve as a model for taking the first step towards the future import of hydrogen and other gaseous, liquid renewable fuels from other European and non-European countries. Future funding programmes should therefore also focus on international projects with German participation.