The city of Weimar in the eastern German state of Thuringia will soon be transformed into a working model for the integration of green hydrogen (H2) into daily life. Bauhaus University Weimar is leading a number of pilot projects with various partners to demonstrate the role that regeneratively produced H2 will play in the energy turnaround.
The university’s goal through its Hydrogen Strategy for the State of Thuringia initiative (2019, Energy Systems Professorship) is to produce H2 in a decentralised way for application directly in the region. "The prerequisite is that the hydrogen used is actually 'green', meaning that it is produced in a completely emission-free and environmentally compatible manner," explains Professor Mark Jentsch, Chair of Energy Systems at the Bauhaus University Weimar, in an article in .
The first pilots have already been launched in Apolda and Sonneberg, under Jentsch’s direction, and a laboratory electrolyser with output of 5kW is being built to support developments. Over the next few years, the infrastructure will be put in place to ensure a steady supply of green H2: an electrolysis plant will be installed on the premises of Weimar’s utilities provider. More plants will follow, along with hydrogen filling stations, and ‘hydro tech’ solutions for energy storage and novel heating systems – all to be implemented with industrial and municipal partners including Kyros Hydrogen Solutions GmbH, Thüringer Energie AG (TEAG), Stadtwerke Weimar Stadtversorgungs-GmbH and Stadtwirtschaft Weimar GmbH.
There are also plans to launch a city mobility pilot where H2 will power elements of the local public transport system (ÖPNV) and a feasibility study has been commissioned for a hydrogen-powered train in the Schwarza Valley. The pilots are being funded under the h2-well research network, by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of EUR 15 million.