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We spoke to Green Wind Innovation in the aftermath of HANNOVER MESSE about the opportunities and goals of the TH2ECO project, and also about what has changed since winning the H2Eco Award.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in developing the TH2ECO project to build a functioning hydrogen ecosystem in the region?

Challenges need to be balanced with the potential opportunities. A clear goal, strategic partnerships and careful planning are crucial to ensure the success of a project like TH2ECO. Challenges include (technological) complexity, i.e. all actors, from production to transport to use of the hydrogen, must be aligned to enable economic viability for all parties. We see opportunities above all in sustainability, energy independence and in the speed of implementation. And that we are creating a blueprint for further regional H2 projects.

What is the cooperation with the regional experts like and what role do they play in the implementation of the project?

The Ferngas Netzgesellschaft has launched TH2ECO 2021. The participating well-known companies that are rooted in Thuringia include grid operators, energy and electricity providers as well as renewable energy specialists. We as Green Wind Innovation will produce some of the green hydrogen needed for the Erfurt region.

What concrete measures are being taken by TH2ECO and Green Wind Innovation GmbH & Co. KG to ensure that the regional hydrogen market is integrated into the supraregional market in the long term?

The ambition in the project is supra-regional and international, so TH2ECO is starting with a regional H2 ecosystem to whose non-discriminatory infrastructure other players can connect. We set the connection to the "Hydrogen Backbone" - in Germany and in Europe, for a partnership approach of upstream and downstream network operators. All partners are making considerable upfront investments because we are convinced of the project.

What impact do you expect the establishing of the hydrogen ecosystem to have on the local economy and the creation of jobs?

In our sub-project TH2ECO MOBILITY, we are demonstrating for the first time how hydrogen can reach the end user through a long-distance gas pipeline. Here, a hydrogen mobility hub is to be created in the freight transport centre (GVZ) in cooperation with our partner EurA. With the support as a HyPerformer winning region from the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV), we can build a hydrogen filling station with a motorway service area.

The locational advantage of "green energy" makes it likely that more companies will settle here, for example in the GVZ or the Erfurter Kreuz industrial estate.

Given the increasing importance of sustainable energy sources, how does the TH2ECO project contribute to advancing the energy transition and reducing CO2 emissions?

With green hydrogen from regional renewable energies, the focus sectors of industry, transport and heat are to become CO2-neutral and thus make an important contribution to achieving Thuringia's climate goals. By expanding regional production capacities for electricity and hydrogen, Thuringia increases its independence from energy imports and thus ensures a stabilisation of energy prices in the long term.

By converting from natural gas to green hydrogen, 40% of Erfurt's citizens can be supplied proportionately with green long-distance heating as early as 2025. In doing so, we use existing and converted gas pipelines as well as storage capacities in the form of an H2 pore storage.

What has changed for you since winning the H2Eco Award?

Since winning the H2Eco Award, the main thing that has increased is media attention, especially in the social media. The response is consistently positive, which motivates us even more. The award also acts as an outstanding flagship for upcoming projects, which can open new doors.

The Green Wind Group

... is an independent group of companies based in Berlin-Mitte with locations in Denmark and RE projects in Germany and Scandinavia. We develop wind farms for the international market and offer technical operation and maintenance management - onshore and offshore. Our engineering services are appreciated all over the world. Our teams implement ambitious ideas with the power of the wind and the sun - also in the field of hydrogen. Green Wind stands for reliable and efficient partnerships with private and institutional operators, landowners, technicians, maintenance and service companies, and utilities.

Rethinking renewables (Green Wind Innovation)

Green power generation is the basis of our energy system and central to a carbon-neutral future. For more than ten years, Green Wind has been dedicated to the expansion of renewable energies such as wind power and photovoltaic systems.

With Green Wind Innovation, we are taking green energy supply to a new level and pooling all our expertise; because a complete energy system is much more than just the power sector. Both the heat sector and the transport sector urgently need to be defossilized and supplied with energy from renewable sources. Efficient sector coupling, in which the green-generated energy of the power sector is made available to other sectors, is the goal of Green Wind Innovation.

The project development team for TH2Eco:

  • Kilian Fromm: Has a M. Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management and joined Greenwind Group in 2020.
  • Natalie Klette: Has a M. Sc. Renewable Energy and joined the Greenwind Group in 2020.
  • Melanie Graf: Has a B. Eng. Industrial Engineering, currently working as a student trainee in M. Eng. Mechanical Engineering