Press release, June 29, 2022
State Dialogue Hydrogen Baden-Württemberg – Bavaria 27.06.: “Realize instead of discuss”
29.06.2022 | Ulm – In the course of the “State Dialogue Hydrogen Baden-Württemberg – Bavaria” in Ulm, the essential question of how both southern German states can meet their future hydrogen demands was discussed.
The event, held on June 27th as part of the WOCHE DES WASSERSTOFFS SÜD (#WDWS2022), highlighted common core interests and goals and identified approaches to cooperation between the hydrogen industries in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The cross-state discussion forum was organized by Plattform H2BW and the Hydrogen Center Bavaria (H2.B).
As economically strong states with energy-intensive industries, a secure and affordable energy supply is important for Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Hydrogen will play an essential role in securing and diversifying the energy supply. In addition to the need for a rapid connection of southern Germany to pipelines, other possibilities for short- to medium-term hydrogen supply were therefore also discussed at the state dialogue.
At the beginning, representatives from the ministries responsible for hydrogen in both federal states provided insights into the respective state strategies and ongoing hydrogen projects. In addition, companies from Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria presented their activities in support of these H2 strategies and showed possible solutions to ensure the supply of hydrogen in the short, medium and long term. There was consensus on the importance of cross-border cooperation regarding energy and hydrogen imports. In addition, opportunities were recognized due to similar economic structures with strong technology companies in plant and mechanical engineering. Undersecretary Sibylle Hepting-Hug (Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Management Baden-Württemberg) also referred to the ambitious climate targets in Baden-Württemberg and the role of hydrogen.
Undersecretary Prof. Frank Messerer (Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy) emphasized that pragmatism is now expected from politics and industry. A technology-open ramp-up of the hydrogen economy is important. Although the stated primary goal is the use of green hydrogen, he continued, consideration should be given to turning away from the debate about the colors of hydrogen to avoid slowing down the ramp-up. Undersecretary Sibylle Hepting-Hug (Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Management Baden-Württemberg) referred to the very ambitious climate targets of Baden-Württemberg with the goal of climate neutrality by 2040 and the key role of hydrogen against this background.
During the final panel discussion and the networking breaks, about 70 experts and interested individuals engaged in discussions with all the speakers from the Platform H2BW network and the partners of the Hydrogen Alliance Bavaria. Essential demands from the representatives of the economy were more pragmatism according to the motto ” realizing instead of discussing” and “pragmatic instead of ideological” as well as the reduction of bureaucratic hurdles. The great importance of the timely connection of both federal states to the European Hydrogen Backbone was also emphasized.
Statement Hubert Aiwanger (Bavarian State Minister for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy):
“The developments of the past days and weeks have shown quite clearly: Hydrogen must replace natural gas as an energy carrier. Germany must not lose any time here. The faster the hydrogen economy is established in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the better it will be for the entire southern German region. Business and industry in particular have clear expectations of politicians in this regard. It is therefore urgently necessary that our two federal states are connected to the German and European hydrogen network. With the State Dialogue Hydrogen Baden-Württemberg – Bavaria we have the right forum to jointly discuss this course for the future and to find solutions.”
Statement Thekla Walker, MdL (Minister for Environment, Climate and Energy Management of the State of Baden-Württemberg):
“Hydrogen will play an important role for a climate-friendly energy supply. It offers great opportunities to successfully lead our economy into a prosperous future preferably without fossil energy sources. For this, we need regional implementation concepts and cooperation. As important and innovative industrial regions, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria have very good prerequisites for a technological cooperation. Both states are also calling for the necessary expansion of infrastructure and timely connection to a hydrogen network. These commonalities and cooperation opportunities must be explored and exploited.”
Statement Dr. Jan Stefan Roell (President of the Ulm Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Spokesman of the BWIHK Hydrogen Taskforce):
“The State Dialogue Hydrogen Baden-Württemberg – Bavaria has once again highlighted the opportunities and economic potential of hydrogen and fuel cell technology for the two states. This makes it all the more important to enable a rapid market ramp-up. For this, a technology-open and innovation-friendly environment which creates investment and planning security for the economy is indispensable. In terms of the “critical mass” that is important for testing purposes, it is still worth considering not necessarily relying exclusively on green hydrogen for a transitional phase – as is also the case in other countries. Decisive for a successful market ramp-up appears to be the appropriate reverse scheduling: which agreements must be negotiated and concluded now in order to achieve the goals set and, for example, to ensure access to pipelines that can transport hydrogen, and how can planning and approval procedures be significantly accelerated?”
About Plattform H2BW:
Plattform H2BW was founded in early 2021 and is a point of contact for all matters relating to hydrogen in Baden-Württemberg. Plattform H2BW is funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy in Baden- Württemberg and coordinated by the state agency for new mobility solutions and automotive Baden-Württemberg, e-mobil BW. As a network of the Plattform H2BW, the Cluster Brennstoffzelle BW connects more than 200 stakeholders from industry, science, associations and the public sector around topics of hydrogen and fuel cell technology.
The Hydrogen Center Bavaria (H2.B) is the strategy and coordination office of the Free State of Bavaria for hydrogen. The center acts at the interface between industry, science, politics and the public in a national and increasingly also in an international context. Its overarching goal is the strengthening of the hydrogen economy in Bavaria as well as accelerating the rollout of hydrogen use in a broad range of applications.
H2.B also coordinates the Hydrogen Alliance Bavaria, a networking, knowledge and interest platform consisting of more than 270 hydrogen stakeholders from industry, science and politics with a headquarters in Bavaria. In 2020, H2.B and its partners within Hydrogen Alliance Bavaria developed a Position Paper on the Bavarian Hydrogen Economy as a first step towards the Bavarian Hydrogen Strategy. In April 2022, H2.B published the Hydrogen Roadmap Bavaria.
About the WOCHE DES WASSERSTOFFS SÜD (WDWS):
The “State Dialogue Hydrogen Baden-Württemberg – Bavaria” takes place within the context of the WOCHE DES WASSERSTOFFS SÜD (WDWS, “Week of Hydrogen South”). WDWS bundles numerous hydrogen events in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland from 25.06.2022 to 03.07.2022 and is aimed at the general public as well as professional audiences, depending on the event format.
Image sources: Photodesign Armin Buhl