Federal Minister Dr Robert Habeck visits Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park
Real laboratory on the hydrogen value chain shows ways out of the energy crisis
Bad Lauchstädt, 28 July 2022. Federal Minister Dr Robert Habeck today visited Bad Lauchstädt in southern Saxony-Anhalt at the start of his two-day three-country tour "Doing business and working in times of crisis. Robert Habeck on site", he visited the Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park in southern Saxony-Anhalt. In times of the current tense situation on the energy markets, he informed himself about the innovation project "Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt", which is also being promoted by the BMWK as a real laboratory for the energy transition. He was particularly interested in the status quo of the project and the prospects that this project brings for shaping the energy transition and as a way out of existing dependencies for the future.
"The Federal Government is doing everything it can to ensure security of supply for the coming winter as well. Crucial to this is that we free ourselves from the clutches of Russian imports step by step and sector by sector. An accelerated energy transition and a rapid expansion of renewable energies are the be-all and end-all for a secure energy supply and are more important today than ever before. We must consistently take the necessary steps towards climate neutrality. A key element for this is hydrogen based on renewable energies. At the "Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt" (Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park), a value chain is being established for this purpose, consisting of wind energy, hydrogen conversion, storage, transport and use. Such reference projects show that energy transition works on a large scale," explained Federal Minister of Economics Dr Robert Habeck during his visit.
"We launched this project with a view to the energy transition in Germany and the accompanying structural change in central Germany. Of course, the current energy policy situation gives us additional motivation to make this project a success. The intensive exchange with Federal Minister Habeck has given us the opportunity to look together at the potentials, but also the challenges that lie ahead of us on the way to establishing the Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park," explains Cornelia Müller-Pagel, Head of Green Gases at VNG AG, project coordinator and spokesperson for the consortium.
Status quo on the project
After the project started in September of last year, the consortium partners started working on the individual sub-projects at full speed. The focus was on engineering plans, which at the same time form the basis for the various approval and notification procedures. The consortium partners are in close contact with each other to develop and coordinate various interfaces. At the same time, the companies are engaged in site preparations at various points - such as soil investigations and surveys. Of particular importance in this initial phase of the project is the development of a viable business model, which must take place on the basis of a binding regulatory framework. This point has been a particular challenge for project developers so far, as the publication of the Delegated Act - RED II at the European level was delayed by several months. The approval and authorisation procedures for the wind farm, electrolyser, storage facility and gas purification are largely running according to plan so far.
All information on the topic can be found on the project website in German.
Photos: Kirsten Nijhof
About the project partners in the „Energiepark Bad Lauchstädt“:
Terrawatt Planungsgesellschaft mbH has been developing and realising turnkey projects in the field of wind power and photovoltaics for over 25 years. The many years of experience as a planner, investor, operator and manager allow the company to oversee the complete project realisation from the search for a location to the turnkey handover of the plants from all perspectives and to shape the individual project phases through its own expertise. In addition, the company is active nationally and internationally as a service provider and technical consultant and can draw on a wealth of experience from over 300 projects with more than 1,500 wind turbines. More at: www.terrawatt.de.
Uniper is an international energy company with around 11,500 employees in more than 40 countries. The company plans to become CO2-neutral in European power generation by 2035. With around 33 gigawatts of installed capacity, Uniper is one of the largest electricity producers in the world. Uniper's core activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading, and a broad gas portfolio that makes Uniper one of the leading gas companies in Europe. Uniper is also a reliable partner for municipalities, public utilities and industrial companies in the planning and implementation of innovative, CO2-reducing solutions on their way to decarbonising their activities. As a pioneer in the field of hydrogen, Uniper is active worldwide along the entire value chain and implements projects to make hydrogen usable as a mainstay of energy supply. The company is headquartered in Düsseldorf and, together with its main shareholder Fortum, is also the third largest producer of CO2-free energy in Europe. More at: www.uniper.energy.
VNG Gasspeicher GmbH (VGS) is the third-largest storage operator in Germany with currently around 2.2 billion cubic metres of usable storage capacity. As a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG based in Leipzig, VGS has almost 50 years of experience in the construction and operation of underground gas storage facilities and the associated technological processes. The core business of VGS is the operation of storage facilities and the marketing of storage capacities. In addition, VGS acts as technical operator for third-party storage facilities and provides engineering services for its customers in the fields of plant construction and measurement technology. More at: www.vng-gasspeicher.de.
ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH operates the 7,700 kilometre long-distance pipeline network in eastern Germany and is responsible for the reliable and efficient transport of gaseous energy - today and in the future. We are actively shaping the energy market of the future, contributing ideas and developing sustainable solutions for our infrastructure. In doing so, we rely on reliable technology, many years of experience and a committed team. Our gas infrastructure is compatible with renewable gases and thus also supports a variety of use cases for hydrogen, such as material applications, mobility and heat. In order to make our infrastructure fit for a renewable gas supply, we are planning and implementing numerous projects together with partner companies. More at www.ontras.com.
The DBI - Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg is a research institution of the DVGW Deutsche Vereinigung des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V. (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water). Since 2005, projects on the integration of green hydrogen have been worked on. The experiences range from underground gas storage and transport to hydrogen utilisation technologies in industry and households. More at: www.dbi-gruppe.de.
VNG is a group of companies active throughout Europe with more than 20 companies, a broad, future-oriented portfolio of gas and infrastructure services and over 60 years of experience in the energy market. Headquartered in Leipzig, Germany, the Group employs around 1,450 people and generated invoiced sales of around €18.5 billion in the 2021 financial year. Along the gas value chain, VNG focuses on the four business areas of trading & sales, transport, storage and biogas. Based on this core competence in gas, VNG is increasingly focusing on new business areas with its "VNG 2030+" strategy, including "green gases" and digital infrastructure. More at: www.vng.de.