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Senate approves €223M for hydrogen projects

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Hamburg’s red-green senate has approved 223 million euros for the expansion of green hydrogen as a substitute for fossil fuels.

Another 520 million euros or so will be provided by the federal government as part of the “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) – a transnational project of European interest designed to contribute to growth, employment and competitiveness.

With the approval of the European Commission, hydrogen projects of the member states are supported in Europe with public funds, as the environmental authority announced on Tuesday. It said the federal government had selected 62 major projects in Germany, including eight from Hamburg. The focus of a green hydrogen economy in the Hanseatic city is reportedly on industry, the port, transport and energy networks.

According to the Senate, Hamburg offers ideal conditions for green hydrogen because of the spatial concentration of industry, the proximity between potential production as well as import locations and consumers of hydrogen, and because of its central connection. “I am particularly pleased that the federal government also recognizes the key role that green hydrogen can play in the transformation of industry and mobility and in this sense plans to support Hamburg’s projects (…) with more than half a billion euros in funding,” said Economics Senator Michael Westhagemann (non-party).

Environment Senator Jens Kerstan (Greens) stressed: “Today we have taken a big step towards decarbonization of industry.” With the agreed co-financing, he said, the transformation of Hamburg’s economy toward climate neutrality and toward innovative and green products will receive significant support. “Hydrogen is an important building block for us to move away from fossil fuel dependency as quickly as possible, achieve our climate goals and make our city, our country fit for the future.” Once the IPCEI projects are completed from 2028, CO2 emissions on Hamburg’s territory are expected to be reduced by a good 600,000 tons.

It is good that the Senator for Economics and the Senator for the Environment are in agreement on massively promoting the production and use of green hydrogen in Hamburg, said Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein, an FDP member of parliament. “It would be even better if Economics Senator Westhagemann could also convince his Green colleague to reactivate Moorburg in the short term and extend the lifetime of German nuclear power plants.” The energy company Vattenfall has already emphasized several times that restarting the Moorburg coal-fired power plant is technically, legally and economically impossible.

Nedim Husomanovic

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