Vattenfall Charges Hamburg Buses With Hydrogen From Renewables

Vattenfall AB (VATT), the Nordic region’s biggest utility, said it opened Europe’s largest hydrogen filling station fed by renewable energy in Hamburg.

The utility funded 43 percent of the 10 million-euro ($13 million) investment, and the German Transport Ministry paid the rest, Alexander Hauk, a spokesman for Vattenfall Europe AG, said by phone today. About 20 buses and several cars a day can be charged with hydrogen from at least 50 percent renewable energy, according to an e-mailed company statement.

Storing wind power by converting it to hydrogen “is an important approach that could play a key role in the future German energy landscape,” Oliver Weimann, head of Vattenfall Europe Innovation GmbH, said in the statement.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, seeks to install 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines by 2030 as it phases out atomic energy by 2022. The expansion of renewables has been accompanied by concerns that their fluctuating production may strain power networks and leave consumers without energy when wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

Vattenfall is part of a group including car maker Daimler AG (DAI) and Total SA (FP) promoting and testing hydrogen-powered transport in Germany. The Clean Energy Partnership receives financing from the Transport Ministry.

The filling station produces its renewable fuel through electrolysis, a chemical process that uses electricity to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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