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German-New Zealand hydrogen alliance

To limit climate change, joint global efforts are needed and international alliances must be forged. Coordinated by Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon and University of Otago in Dunedin, a bilateral hydrogen alliance between New Zealand and Germany is now starting its work. Its goal is to establish a German-New Zealand research presence in New Zealand for research and further development of green hydrogen technologies. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

As an energy carrier for many stationary and mobile applications, green hydrogen represents one of the most important cornerstones of an emission-neutral and sustainable energy economy. At the same time, it is an indispensable resource for many chemical industrial processes. Climate-neutral green hydrogen is produced electrolytically using renewable energies such as hydro power or wind energy and therefore does not cause any greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve the set goal of German climate neutrality by 2045, a strong focus must be placed on the research and further development of green hydrogen technologies, ranging from its production to storage and transport to application.

One step in this direction is the establishment of a German-New Zealand research presence with a focus on "green hydrogen" in New Zealand. The BMBF is supporting the researcher and coordinator of the German side, Dr. Paul Jerabek of the Hereon Institute for Hydrogen Technology, with 768,000 Euro over a period of five years. This will enable the construction and purchase of important equipment for the research laboratory and test field for the new technologies to be established at the University of Otago, which will be jointly operated in the near future. Furthermore, it will allow networking activities such as reciprocal research visits by participating scientists and the organization of regular workshops and symposia in both countries.

New Zealand wants to catch up in the transition to green hydrogen as the main future resource for decarbonizing the industrial and transportation sectors. Global demand for hydrogen is growing, but at this point, the 45 to 65 million tons of hydrogen produced annually are generated almost entirely from fossil fuels, causing emissions.

Prof. Sally Brooker from the University of Otago in Dunedin is coordinating the project on the New Zealand side. She describes Germany as an "ideal collaboration partner" as New Zealand plans to use its abundant renewable electricity resources to rapidly transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies, with the goal of becoming a global renewable energy exporter. 

As part of the project, there are also plans to establish a German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Innovation Campus on New Zealand's South Island, bringing together academic and industrial research partners, and focusing on the development, testing and commercialization of hydrogen technologies in New Zealand. To this end, coordinators are working with private sector experts in the “New Zealand Hydrogen Council” to form a New Zealand "Team Green Hydrogen." Among others, there are already links to Christchurch Airport, Airbus and Air New Zealand. The project opens up new perspectives for the participating industry partners from New Zealand and Germany and provides the blueprint for implementing the technology worldwide.

Source: Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon via IDW Editor by Mirjam Buse, VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH Countries / organization: New Zealand Topic: Energy Funding Environment & Sustainability
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