H2 StartUp Accelerator boosts hydrogen technology

From June to October 2022, “Batch Zero” of the new H2 StartUp Accelerator featured live participation from startups and scale-ups in the hydrogen industry.

Monika Brauers, Manager of the Plug and Play Tech Centre and in charge of Hamburg’s H2 StartUp Accelerator, said, “After several virtual meetings, we were able to get all the partners together to get to know each other and to assess whether the idea behind our scheme can be enhanced. The program will now be increased from four to nine months in length in order to classify technology and verify business concepts through networking and mentorship.

Expanding the hydrogen industry in Europe

The first batch of the H2 StartUp Accelerator opens in February with the goal of creating one of the first hydrogen ecosystems for start-ups in the world. We are able to connect international start-ups and scale-ups with local and European businesses thanks to Plug and Play’s extensive network. According to Brauers, “in this approach, we provide smaller technological companies with the chance to demonstrate and develop their technology while gaining from the expertise of seasoned industry participants, including the initiators and founding members. These include the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the City of Hamburg, the Fraunhofer institutes FOKUS and ISE, as well as the energy firms Phillips 66/JET and Shell. EPRI and Shell decided Hamburg was the best location for advancing Europe’s hydrogen industry because they had previously worked on establishing a Low-Carbon Hydrogen Accelerator (LCHA) in Houston.

By 2030, hydrogen demand will have doubled

The Port of Hamburg and the northern German shore, where wind energy may be harnessed to produce green hydrogen, are two of the location’s key benefits, according to Brauers. The largest German seaport, which also serves as the largest continuous industrial region in Europe, is located in this city. The majority of the demand for hydrogen comes from industry. Green hydrogen is used by ArcelorMittal, a global steel maker, and Aurubis, the largest copper producer in Europe. Both companies have their headquarters in Hamburg. Domestically produced green hydrogen won’t be able to satisfy the rising demand, even if a sizable electrolyzer is constructed on the site of the former Moorburg power plant. By 2030, it is anticipated that demand would have doubled, and the port of Hamburg provides the right infrastructure for importing hydrogen.

The green hydrogen industry is expanding

Given the continuous energy crisis, there has been an increase in the development of a green hydrogen sector in Germany and around the world. The H2 StartUp Accelerator also targets start-ups around the world. Our scouting team is currently analyzing start-ups around the globe. We definitely have our eye on extremely fascinating prospects, but when compared to other industries, the selection of start-ups and scale-ups focused on hydrogen is still relatively manageable, said Brauers, who expressed satisfaction with the applications on the website. Even though we haven’t even advertised, there is already a lot of interest. Another resource is the Scaleup Landing Pad, which Hamburg Invest introduced in June. The new policies provide scale-ups in Hamburg that are involved with them with specialized assistance for business development, housing and workspaces, HR services, and location advising. “The hydrogen industry is home to two of the start-ups funded by the new landing pad. Diverse strategies are essential for advancing futuristic technologies. To fulfill the commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement, we must all collaborate.