Germany’s pursuit of a green hydrogen future has reached a significant milestone with the approval of the GET H2 Nukleus hydrogen project. The regulatory authority in Oldenburg has granted permission for the construction and operation of two 100-Megawatt (MW) electrolysers at the RWE gas-fired power plant in Lingen, a subsidiary of RWE called “Nukleus Green H2.”
This 200-MW facility is poised to produce up to 35,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually, a crucial step in empowering industrial companies to drastically reduce their carbon emissions. Notably, this electrolyser project in Lingen represents Germany’s first large-scale hydrogen production plant.
Just seven months after the Oldenburg Trade Inspectorate confirmed the completeness of the project’s extensive 2,250-page application, the certificate of approval has been issued. Sopna Sury, COO Hydrogen at RWE Generation SE, expressed the significance of this achievement, highlighting the unprecedented nature of examining a hydrogen project of this magnitude. The rapid approval process, from application to issuance, signals optimism for Germany’s burgeoning hydrogen economy.
In Germany, obtaining approval based on the Federal Emission Control Act is a mandatory prerequisite for constructing and operating large-scale facilities. This rigorous process entails comprehensive examination of potential effects, including emissions. The 78-page approval document meticulously outlines the technical, organizational, and environmental requirements for both construction and operation.
The Lingen site plays a pivotal role in RWE’s hydrogen strategy. The company plans to install hydrogen-generating capacities totaling 300 megawatts in 100-megawatt increments by 2027 under the GET H2 project. Furthermore, RWE is gearing up to commission a 14-megawatt pilot plant in Lingen by the end of 2023. This pilot will evaluate two electrolyser technologies, namely PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) and pressurized alkali, with potential applications in future hydrogen projects.
The GET H2 Nukleus project earned recognition in 2021 when it was nominated by the German government and federal states for funding under the “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) program. While a binding funding commitment is pending, the operating company has already taken proactive steps by ordering the first two 100-megawatt electrolysers. This ensures adherence to planned commissioning dates should funding be approved.
RWE stands as a comprehensive solution provider for hydrogen endeavors, covering green electricity generation, green hydrogen production and storage, and energy trading. Currently, RWE is actively engaged in over 30 hydrogen projects, forming robust partnerships to drive the hydrogen transition.
Germany’s GET H2 Nukleus project not only advances the nation’s hydrogen ambitions but also serves as a beacon of progress in the global pursuit of green hydrogen as a clean, sustainable energy source.