Press release

Security of supply with sustainable energy - transformation of the economy starts in Lower Saxony

Lower Saxony is building the foundation for the production, transport and storage of climate-friendly energy carriers. Several major projects were presented today at an event of the Lower Saxony Hydrogen Network in Wilhelmshaven. After being welcomed by Lord Mayor Carsten Feist, Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony's Minister for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection, emphasised the important role Lower Saxony plays in the energy security of Germany and the European Union (EU).

"The current political situation and debate on energy supply security highlight the enormous importance of Northwest Lower Saxony as an energy location for Germany and the whole of Europe," said Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony's Minister for the Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection. "A gigantic and future-proof infrastructure for renewable energies is being created here, using the complete value chain of the hydrogen economy." In his keynote speech, Kilian Crone of the German Energy Agency (DENA) outlined how other federal states and Europe will concretely benefit from sustainable supply security from Lower Saxony, thus introducing the presentation of Lower Saxony's major projects for energy security and the transformation of the economy.

Lower Saxony's major projects for energy security

ENERGY HUB WILHELMSHAVEN: A total of 15 companies from Wilhelmshaven and the region as well as the Wilhelmshaven Economic Development Corporation (WFG) form a hydrogen cluster, which is convincing due to its geographical location, a high-voltage grid node and high generation capacities for onshore and offshore wind power in the surrounding area. "In addition, the hydrogen capital Wilhelmshaven has an easy-to-implement connection to the European pipeline infrastructure," says Uwe Oppitz, spokesman for the WFG initiative. More about the Energy Hub Wilhelmshaven

Transformation path for the Wilhelmshaven region as an integrated, climate-neutral energy cluster to a hub for renewable energies and climate-friendly hydrogen - the "Energy Hub Port of Wilhelmshaven". Source: German Energy Agency

CLEAN HYDROGEN COASTLINE: Clean Hydrogen Coastline is a network of partners in the entire value chain of the hydrogen economy and thus an important building block for the development of a European hydrogen economy. Industry partners are ArcelorMittal, EWE, Faun, swb and Tennet. "With appropriate funding, we can integrate up to 400 megawatts of electrolysis capacity with corresponding storage of hydrogen into the energy system in a targeted manner by 2026," says Dr. Geert Tjarks, joint partner EWE GASSPEICHER. Clean Hydrogen Coastline is part of an overall European approach which is applying for funding within the framework of IPCEI. More about Clean Hydrogen Coastline

H2CAST STORAG ETZEL: With the H2CAST Etzel research project and a development project based on it, the operator of the largest cavern field in north-western Europe is driving forward the research and development of large-scale underground hydrogen storage and at the same time pursuing the goal of proving the future suitability of the salt caverns in Etzel as large-volume hydrogen storage facilities. "Making the Etzel cavern field "H2-ready!" is our goal. Because the energy turnaround needs storage when H2 production as well as import and consumption do not match," says Boris Richter, Managing Director STORAG Etzel. More about H2CAST Storag Etzel

Source: Storag Etzel

The Etzel energy hub is connected to gas pipelines that can be converted for H2 operation. A hydrogen pipeline to the possible H2 import terminal in Wilhelmshaven could be realised. Copyright: STORAG ETZEL

HYPERLINK/HYDROGEN BACKBONE: Gasunie's HyPerLink infrastructure project is closely linked to the IPCEI Clean Hydrogen Coastline project. It creates a connection between the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The aim is to establish connections between existing hydrogen production sites and import sources with potential consumers in Bremen, Hamburg and Hanover and underground storage facilities on the other side. 

The first expansion stage of the HyPerLink project is in the northwest. "By 2026, we want to create a connection between important production and storage sites and relevant sales markets via our long-distance gas pipelines, namely in Lower Saxony, in Bremen and Hamburg," says Bert Kiewiet, Manager Hydrogen Germany | Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services. More about HyPerLink


The hydrogen network HyPerLink forms a connection between the Netherlands and Denmark with central nodes in Lower Saxony. Copyright: GASUNIE

The final discussion round on the importance of the presented large-scale projects for a secure energy supply in Germany and the EU was moderated by Lis Blume, Lower Saxony Hydrogen Network (NWN).


Pictures of the event

What is an IPCEI project?

Hydrogen technologies and systems are supported within the framework of the government funding opportunities of the "Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI)". IPCEI provide an important impulse in the European internal market as a joint investment effort of cooperating European companies. This concerns investments in green hydrogen production, hydrogen infrastructure and the use of hydrogen in industry and mobility.

Lower Saxony Hydrogen Network

The Lower Saxony Hydrogen Network (NWN) was founded in mid-July 2020 by the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment and now brings together more than 700 stakeholders in Lower Saxony's hydrogen economy. The office of the Lower Saxony Hydrogen Network is managed by the Climate Protection and Energy Agency of Lower Saxony (KEAN) and supported by the network partners Institute of the North German Economy on behalf of the Entrepreneurial Associations of Lower Saxony e.V. and the Educational Association Work and Life Lower Saxony on behalf of the German Trade Union Federation. In addition, the Lower Saxony Innovation Centre and the Lower Saxony Energy Research Centre are partners of the NWN.

You can download the individual presentations by clicking on the following logos.

©ISFH SiKuWa excerpt

Uwe Oppitz, Initiative WFG

©Energy Hub

Bert Kiewiet, Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services

Boris Richter, STORAG Etzel

Kilian Crone, German Energy Agency

Dr. Geert Tjarks, EWE GAS STORAGE