Hydrogen plays a central role in achieving the climate targets. We are investigating how the individual technologies can be integrated into the energy system and used on a large scale.
Hydrogen technologies are indispensable for the success of the energy transition. They can close the gap between fluctuating electricity generation from renewable energies and the demand for green electricity, replace fossil fuels in industrial processes and link the energy sectors electricity, heat, industry and transport more closely – and do so as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
With its unique research infrastructure, Helmholtz is helping to develop, test and market hydrogen technologies. The spectrum ranges from the basics to application and covers the entire value chain.
ZoomPolymer electrolyte membrane based stack combination for characterization in the electrolysis test rig. Image: FZ Jülich
There are many different ways to produce hydrogen. But only the so-called "green hydrogen" is produced in a climate-neutral way: it is produced by electrolysis of water or steam with renewable electricity.
One challenge is to make established production processes such as electrolysis more cost-effective, sustainable and reliable. Here are two examples from the extensive Helmholtz research: Scientists are working on a method in which sunlight is used directly to split water. In another project, the researchers are converting carbon dioxide into "green synthesis gas" that can be used, for example, as the basis for the production of fuels.
With its research activities on hydrogen production, Helmholtz is pursuing the goal of transferring the results from the laboratory to demonstration plants on an industrial scale. Only in this way can hydrogen be used on a large scale in the energy system and make an important contribution to climate protection.