11.3 million funding for hydrogen projects in Weser-Emsland
Lower Saxony is supporting the first three hydrogen projects under the "Hydrogen Directive" with state funding totalling 11.3 million euros. Today, Environment Minister Olaf Lies handed over one funding notification in Osnabrück and two in Haren. With the Hydrogen Guideline, the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection is funding scalable pilot and demonstration projects in the hydrogen economy.
Hydrogen Hub Haren
In Haren, Minister of the Environment Olaf Lies today handed over the funding of 4.85 million euros for the establishment of a "hydrogen hub". The aim is the decentralised supply of hydrogen from renewable energies and its use outside the electricity sector in rural areas. "We are pleased to be able to play a significant role in the implementation of this forward-looking project through the planning, development and construction of the infrastructure," emphasised project manager and managing director of the CEC Haren GmbH & Co. KG Christoph Pieper.
Specifically, the project wants to store electricity from a citizens' wind farm, partly convert it into hydrogen and then use it, for example, as fuel for agricultural vehicles. Among other things, battery storage, an electrolyser for hydrogen production and a hydrogen filling station are to be built for this purpose.
Furthermore, a prototype Fendt brand agricultural machine with fuel cell drive is to be developed in preparation for later series production. In this way, green hydrogen can be used in agriculture as a CO₂-neutral diesel alternative for agricultural machinery. The tractors are to obtain the fuel from the hydrogen filling station in Haren. For the transport of hydrogen within the model region, Röchling Engineering Plastics SE & Co. KG is developing special transport containers that will be marketed throughout Europe after the end of the project in three years. In total, the project will receive a grant of around 2.8 million euros. The Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences and the Technical University of Braunschweig are also involved in the project.
Innovative agricultural machine with fuel cell drive
In the district of Osnabrück, Lower Saxony is supporting the development of a hydrogen-powered agricultural machine by the northern German company Kalverkamp Maschinenbau GmbH in cooperation with Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences with around 3.67 million euros. "This is a completely new and different vehicle concept that we designed from the outset for hydrogen use," explains Managing Director Klemens Kalverkamp. Instead of a diesel engine, the developers are relying on a fuel cell drive. In the future, the hydrogen should ideally be produced directly by the farmer, so that a regional energy cycle is created. In the prototype called "NeXaT2H2", another innovation is being implemented in addition to the type of drive: a specially developed vehicle concept with narrow belt drives reduces the contact area on the field compared to conventional tractors and thus prevents excessive compaction of the soil. At Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, a digital twin of the prototype is currently being tested for all conceivable application scenarios so that market and series production readiness can be achieved as quickly as possible.
From left to right: University President Prof. Dr. Andreas Bertram, Anna Kebschull (District Administrator of the Osnabrück District), Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Pfisterer, Prof. Dr. Bernd Lehmann (Vice President for Research, Transfer and Promotion of Young Academics), Klemens Kalverkamp (Managing Director of the mechanical engineering company Kalverkamp), Minister Olaf Lies. ©University of Osnabrück