Linde to Make Hydrogen From Surplus Wind Power at German Plant

Linde AG (LIN) will begin making hydrogen from surplus wind power at a 17 million-euro ($23 million) plant in Germany that will be the biggest of its kind when done next year.

Linde today laid the first stone for the plant that will start production in Mainz in 2015, the Munich-based company said in a statement. The facility will be able to convert as much as 6 megawatts of power, mostly from nearby wind farms, into hydrogen using technology from Siemens AG, Linde said. The hydrogen can be stored and will help protect supplies, it said.

“We’re firing the starting shot for an innovative storage technology that might well become an important building block of the German energy switch,” said Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, whose ministry helped finance the project.

Germany is seeking to get 80 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2050 from more than a quarter now to help counter a decline in electricity supply after nuclear reactors closed following the March 2011 Fukushima plant disaster in Japan. The shift to clean energy has raised fears that intermittent power from wind and solar may destabilize the grid.

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