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Partners begin work on Energiepark Mainz; hydrogen from renewable sources; power-to-gas

Germany’s Minister of Economics and Technology, Sigmar Gabriel, together with representatives of power utility Stadtwerke Mainz AG, Siemens AG, The Linde Group and RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, inaugurated the construction of the Energiepark Mainz. Starting next year, the jointly developed pilot plant will produce major quantities of hydrogen using electricity from renewable sources, mostly from nearby wind power stations.

This hydrogen can be stored, loaded into tank trailers or fed directly into the natural gas grid, for use in generating heat or electricity. This makes it possible to store electricity from renewable energy sources. The growing network of hydrogen filling stations for emission-free fuel cell-powered vehicles can also be supplied from Mainz by tank trailers.

The project’s aim is to further develop and test innovative technologies for hydrogen electrolysis using renewable energy sources.

Wind and solar power stations currently have to be switched off at times due to insufficient capacity of the energy grid. This will probably happen even more often in the future. At the new energy park, however, this “surplus” sustainable electricity can be stored in the form of hydrogen and used later, according to the actual power demand.

Around €17 million (US$23 million) are being invested to realize the energy park, with support coming from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of its “Energy Storage Funding Initiative”.

At the heart of the research facility will be the electrolysis hall, featuring a hydrogen electrolysis system developed by Siemens. The potential power intake of 6 megawatts makes it the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis facility using modern PEM technology. This puts the plant in Mainz in an appropriate performance category to ease bottlenecks in the distribution network.

Within this project, Linde is responsible for hydrogen purification, compression, storage and filling. The features of Linde’s proprietary ionic compression technology will enable a very energy-efficient compression and a highly flexible plant operation.

The RheinMain University of Applied Sciences is in charge of the project’s scientific aspects. The findings from the research project will be utilized and assessed as part of at least one doctoral thesis.



Using H2 to store excess clean (Hydro- wind + solar +++) electricity may not be the cheapest way to ensure 24/7 clean energy availability but it could become the number one solution for H2 for future FCEVs and (for many EU countries) to reduce imported NG from Russia.

France could do the same with e-energy from their 58 NPPs and future Wind and Solar facilities. Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Israel and many others could use future Solar facilities.

We could do the same with 20,000+ mega-watt of unused clean Hydro energy, specially during off peak demand hours (about 16 hours/day, Monday to Friday and 24 hours/day on Sat & Sun). The H2 produced would be more than enough for extended range 2 FCEVs per family. It could be a better solution than extended range BEVs, specially during our very cold winters.

Nick Lyons

The German plan:
1. Shutter already-paid-for, low-cost, baseload power generation (nuclear) because we're paranoid about radiation.
2. Jack up electricity prices to support expensive, intermittent wind and solar power generation
3. Invest in Rube Goldberg schemes which have multiple power conversions to try to save some of the expensive renewable energy which is generated when it isn't needed.
4. Build more coal power plants to stabilize the grid.

Great plan--try selling that to the an energy-starved Third World country.


Good call, Nick; only a rich country could possibly get away with wasting so much effort without results.

I wish I'd researched and bookmarked the claim I saw yesterday, about some island on which the 8 households were converted to wind and stored hydrogen with much fanfare.  After a while it broke down and they went back to diesel because the hydrogen systems cost too much.


It's been a long time that I say to do water electrolysis for cheap energy for cars, trucks, heating, synthetic fuels, cooling, electricity, energy reserve , etc. Why it's not been done now on a large spread scale. This is non-polluting, sustainable and cheap. All windmills and solar panels are not used at their fullest without water electrolysis. I can die tomorrow accidentaly and never been power by water electrolysis, this is suicidal. Stop these non sense now and start using plentiful hydrogen for cars like mine but not gasoline but hydrogen. I need a secondary hydrogen tank and a hydrogen infrastructure for my gasser, is it clear now. This could have been done 100 years ago. Im sure that big oil and the government own secret patents on that and are suing the ones intending to commercialize hydrogen.

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