The great hope of the energy transition

A promising bearer of energy: hydrogen. How safe is the technology? When does it make sense to use it? What effect does it have on energy costs? This Working Group is addressing the question of how hydrogen can be optimally included in the Northern German energy system. It assesses the effects on economy, ecology and society. With position papers from the relevant disciplines and public Academy Lectures, the Working Group is sharing insights into complex interconnected issues.

Goals of the Working Group Hydrogen for the Northern German Energy System – diversity of challenges and interdisciplinary assessment

  • Construction of a digital dossier on the potential role of hydrogen in the Northern German energy system – scientifically well-founded and interactive for everyone interested

Project Description

In recent years around the world one particular energy source is being rediscovered – hydrogen. It can be deployed flexibly and stores well. The Working Group aims to pursue the question of the optimal way to include hydrogen in the existing energy system. This is an interdisciplinary and in part also transdisciplinary question, above all in the need for a comprehensive assessment of facets that are necessarily linked and their interdependences.

Advancing developments in a responsible and trustworthy way

“Hydrogen is for some a great hope, but for others a potential danger. This discussion is taking place among a broad public. It is our task to analyse the opportunities and risks and to provide objective information and inspiring ideas in this controversial debate and to intervene in the discussion in such a way that the individual aspects can really be presented and discussed in full. I therefore regard our Working Group as a trustworthy and responsible driver of social developments.

Hydrogen is predestined to link many processes in the energy transition. One can produce hydrogen sustainably with excess electricity from wind and photovoltaic installations and thus one has an energy source that can be used for mobility.”

Perspectives and Review

A perfect match for the Northern German region: hydrogen

“It will not be simple. Our Working Group sees itself as a pioneer for thinking through such complex challenges and is a perfect match for the Northern German region, because here we have a unique situation: we have the geographically large states as producers, the usage in energy sinks like Hamburg and the transport routes to reach them. It is all closely connected and there is a great deal to weigh up and assess. We evaluate the different demands and take them into account in connection with each other.

My wish is that at the end we will have developed a well known blueprint – for other states that likewise want to integrate hydrogen into their energy systems and which are facing complex challenges and are appealing for acceptance in their societies in an open debate.”

Members of the Working Group

Position Name Discipline
Acting Spokesperson Prof. Dr. Michael Fröba Solid-state Chemistry / Materials for Energy Storage
Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Hartmut Graßl Meteorology
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz Joos Energy Technology
Prof. Dr. Stephan Kabelac Thermodynamics
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Kaltschmitt Environmental Technology and Energy Economics
Prof. Dr. Prof. E.h. Dr. h. c. Walter Kaminsky Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry
Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif Climate Physics
Dr. Niels Linnemann Philosophy of Physics
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wilfried Roetzel Thermodynamics
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmitt Astronomy
Spokesperson Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Detlef Schulz Electrical Energy Systems