If Germany is to maintain its position as a world-leader in green hydrogen power solutions, more research and development must be put in all along the hydrogen value chain. The brand new Fraunhofer Hydrogen Lab Görlitz (HLG) in the coal-producing region of Lusatia, Saxony, has been set up to fulfil this purpose. It brings expertise from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems (IMWS) together.
From 2023, up to 30 scientists will be working within HLG to develop and test innovative technical approaches in the development and testing of future-oriented, sustainable H2 technologies. The lab will have a connected load of 10 MW (rising to 15 MW) for pilot testing. The scope of the initiative stretches from generation of green H2 and evaluation of mobile and stationary fuel cell stacks, to analysis of microstructure and diagnostics, digitalisation, production processes, power electronics and certification.
The new production processes and protocols that will be explored will give the region and Germany competitive advantages in the hydrogen economy, as well as creating jobs. The two Fraunhofer institutes are cooperating closely with Siemens Energy to keep the needs of industry in mind.
"With the establishment of the HLG, the city of Görlitz will become a blueprint for successful structural change throughout Germany. For Saxony's companies, the resulting solutions offer the opportunity to open up entirely new business areas and future markets," Thomas Schmidt, Saxony's Minister of State for Regional Development (who are supporting the project with EUR 30 million) is cited in an article by . The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is also providing EUR 11.6 million as part of the Structural Strengthening of Coal Regions Act (STARK).