The Parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Transport Minister, Katherina Reiche, refuelled a fuel cell vehicle for the first time at the ‘Green Hydrogen Hub’ (H2BER) of the TOTAL multi-energy fuelling station at Berlin-Schoenefeld.

Hydrogen (H2) produced from wind power and solar energy supports cross-system networking of renewable energy from the electricity, heating and gas markets right through to the transport sector.

Several application areas which are usually separate use CO2-neutral hydrogen as an energy source at H2BER. For the first time, energy generated from wind and sun is being put to use across the electricity, heating and transport sectors. The project partners are generating the “green” hydrogen on-site via electrolysis.

In addition to servicing emission-free fuel cell vehicles, the operation of a block heat power plant with regeneratively produced hydrogen and its supply into the public gas network are also foreseen. The project therefore offers an opportunity to conduct research into the energy revolution as a single system. By 2016, the H2BER partner companies will invest more than 10 million Euros. 50% of this sum again will be provided in public funds from the federal government, coordinated by the National Organisation of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.

At the project launch organised by the partner companies, Katherina Reiche, Parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said, “Electro-mobility with hydrogen and fuel cells is moving forward! In the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme we have set an important focus. After seven years of research and development, applications in the transport sector are extensively suitable for everyday use and technologically market-ready – which is a remarkable achievement! It is now a matter of introducing this technology to the market, which we will continue to support with suitable measures. A basic requirement for this is to build to a network of fuelling stations covering the most significant population areas and connecting them with each other. In the context of our fuelling station programme we will build hydrogen stations on 50 sites by the end of next year, so that precisely such a network is established across Germany. I am not only very pleased that another station has been added to the network today, but also that regionally-produced wind and solar energy is being used flexibly in this showcase project.”

In the context of a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Transport and the industry, the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), which is Europe’s largest demonstration project for hydrogen and cell fuel technology, a network of 50 H2 stations will be created by the end of 2015.

H2BER’s operating principle is based on applying hydrogen as an energy source produced using wind power and solar energy. The electricity required for this purpose will be provided by a nearby wind park. H2 production at high wind speeds will also be tested and observed by scientists in a dedicated research campus. TOTAL is also integrating into the electricity system a solar installation on the station’s roof, developed by its photovoltaic daughter company SunPower.

The CO2-neutral hydrogen will be produced on site in a McPhy 45-bar pressure electrolyser, which will be operated by ENERTRAG. With a capacity of 500 kW, the application-optimised and extendable alkali electrolyser can produce more than 200 kg of hydrogen per day. That is enough to H2-refuel around 50 fuel cell vehicles.