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eFarm converts wind power from older turbines at five locations into H2.

© DLR, CC-BY 3.0

Hydrogen (H2) is the key to a CO2-free future – as an energy carrier for solar and wind power and a fuel for transportation, heating and industrial use – but it must be produced in a sustainable and economically viable way.

The eFarm project, launched on May 4 by the renewable energy solutions provider GP Joule GmbH, aims to demonstrate how 100 percent green hydrogen can be produced locally in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany’s northernmost state) using electrolysis powered by wind plants and then used in mobility and other areas, as part of a regional sector coupling programme.

“A large part of the electricity from solar and wind energy must be converted into hydrogen in the future," said Ove Petersen, co-founder and CEO of GP Joule, at the project launch, which took place at the first H2 filling station in North Friesland. His vision for eFarm is not only to establish a working model, but to “generate regional added value and jobs,” a perspective which Petersen considers is “crucial for the acceptance and expansion of renewable energy production.”

eFarm converts wind power from older turbines at five locations into H2. The electrolysers generate waste heat in the process, which is used to heat buildings in the local area. The fuel is then transported to two filling stations in Husum and Niebüll where fuel cell-powered buses, trucks and cars can fill up. The vehicles then convert the hydrogen into electricity.

The project is in the middle of its construction phase. Two fuel cell buses have been purchased to demonstrate the project, which will be used for public transport. eFarm has also garnered a further 19 investors to acquire over 100 hydrogen vehicles, from passenger cars to trucks. The project has been funded with EUR 8 million by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).