Official Opening of Helmholtz Hydrogen Cluster HC-H2 in Brainergy Park Jülich

Jülich, 12 September 2022 – The Helmholtz hydrogen cluster HC-H2 aims to provide crucial impetus for the transformation of the Rhineland into a pioneering model region for hydrogen technologies. One year after its launch, Germany’s largest hydrogen infrastructure project, which is coordinated by Forschungszentrum Jülich, celebrated its official opening in the town of Jülich’s Brainergy Park on 12 September 2022. Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Hendrik Wüst, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Judith Pirscher, and NRW Minister of Culture and Science Ina Brandes attended the event and learnt about the latest developments and next stages of the project.

Helmholtz-Cluster Wasserstoff HC-H2 feiert Eröffnung im Brainergy Park Jülich
NRW Minister President Hendrik Wüst (center), NRW Science Minister Ina Brandes (2nd from right), Judith Pirscher, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2nd from left) unveil the HC-H2 logo with the support of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich, Professor Wolfgang Marquardt (1st from right), and Founding Director Professor Peter Wasserscheid (1st from left).
Forschungszentrum Jülich

HC-H2 seeks to demonstrate to the world the role that hydrogen could play in the energy system of the future, i.e. that of an essential energy carrier as common as petrol or diesel which – as a raw material for many industrial products – enables the coupling of energy supply and production, while having little impact on the climate. In addition, the cluster will help to create a significant number of new jobs in the future energy sector in the Rhineland region, where jobs are to be cut due to the phase-out of lignite power. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding HC-H2 with around € 860 million until 2038. The federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is also providing HC-H2 with funding worth € 64 million until 2038.

Helmholtz-Cluster Wasserstoff HC-H2 feiert Eröffnung im Brainergy Park Jülich

Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger: “I want to make Germany a hydrogen republic, as green hydrogen is synonymous with climate protection, energy security, and prosperity. For Germany, a quick take-off of the hydrogen economy offers a great opportunity we must exploit. Particularly in the regions affected by structural change, we will use innovations to create new jobs and long-term perspectives. This is why my ministry is funding the Helmholtz Cluster for a Sustainable and Infrastructure-Compatible Hydrogen Economy with a total of € 860 million. We aim to enable new, pioneering value creation in the Rhineland region and foster a stronger spirit of innovation across the entire region.”
Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research

This makes HC-H2 the largest structural change project in the Rhineland as well as the biggest individual project in Germany focusing on the topic of hydrogen infrastructure.

The Helmholtz hydrogen cluster is growing steadily. A fast-growing team led by hydrogen researcher and founding director Prof. Peter Wasserscheid is driving the establishment of HC-H2. The number of employees will rise to around 400 by 2025, and is expected to increase further thereafter. Forschungszentrum Jülich’s Institute for a Sustainable Hydrogen Economy (INW) is at the heart of HC-H2. INW was established in 2021 and is located outside the Jülich campus in Brainergy Park – a technology and business park that is currently under construction in the northern part of the town of Jülich. Brainergy Park is intended as a space for business start-ups, new company locations, and technological advances, and will foster intensive networking among the region’s drivers of innovation in the field of hydrogen.

Helmholtz-Cluster Wasserstoff HC-H2 feiert Eröffnung im Brainergy Park Jülich
NRW Minister-President Hendrik Wüst: “In North Rhine-Westphalia, we are working on solutions to tackle the major challenges of our time, as are Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Helmholtz hydrogen cluster HC-H2. Together, we have the chance to make North Rhine-Westphalia the most modern and climate-smart industrial hub in Europe. We aim to connect research and industry and to provide impetus for the establishment of start-ups. Good jobs, social security, and the preservation of natural resources go hand in hand and lay the foundation for the transformation of our federal state.”
Hendrik Wüst, Minister-President of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia

In the future, new jobs for scientists and skilled workers will not only be created in Jülich. In cooperation with industry, other scientific institutions, and local authorities, the construction and operation of large-scale demonstrators is planned at various locations in the Rhineland region. Currently, projects are being driven forward in the Aachen region, the districts of Düren, Heinsberg, Rhein-Kreis Neuss, and Rhein-Erft-Kreis, and the city of Mönchengladbach. Construction work on the first facility is scheduled to start this year. Further projects will be launched at the beginning of next year.

Helmholtz-Cluster Wasserstoff HC-H2 feiert Eröffnung im Brainergy Park Jülich
NRW Minister of Culture and Science Ina Brandes: “The hydrogen cluster HC-H2 is an outstanding example of how excellent research findings can be quickly transferred to practical application so that people can benefit from them. To further increase the cluster’s innovative power, we at the federal state government are strongly committed to the construction of a research building with a pilot plant that is specifically designed to meet the requirements of HC-H2. This will make HC-H2 a key element in establishing a model region for hydrogen technologies in the Rhineland.”
Ina Brandes, Minister of Culture and Science of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia

HC-H2’s technology demonstration depends on the participation of all relevant actors from the Rhineland region. The BMBF is therefore calling for innovative demonstration projects for hydrogen technologies to be developed in cooperation with HC-H2 and implemented in the Rhineland. >> BMBF call for funding (pdf download, in German)

HC-H2 focuses on technologies for transporting and storing hydrogen as simply, safely, and cost-effectively as possible. To achieve this, hydrogen is usually compressed at high pressures of up to 700 bar or liquefied at minus 250 degrees Celsius. This is exactly where HC-H2 comes into play. Its aim is to demonstrate new storage methods in Jülich and the Rhineland region that work without high pressures or low temperatures. Ideally, the innovative methods should be compatible with existing infrastructures such as pipelines, tanks, or transporters. This ambition is also reflected in the project title – “Helmholtz Cluster for a Sustainable and Infrastructure-Compatible Hydrogen Economy (HC-H2)”.

Helmholtz-Cluster Wasserstoff HC-H2 feiert Eröffnung im Brainergy Park Jülich

Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt: “With the Helmholtz Cluster for a Sustainable and Infrastructure-Compatible Hydrogen Economy, Forschungszentrum Jülich has taken on an active role in promoting the Rhineland region and structural change. The cluster is deliberately located in the town of Jülich’s Brainergy Park – an innovation space outside the campus of Forschungszentrum Jülich – to establish a space for progress and successful structural change in a collaborative and technology-neutral way, and to serve the region as a central hub for an emerging hydrogen economy. A central aspect will be the close collaboration between the project partners, which will lead to accelerated innovation processes through demonstrators in a real-world environment at various locations in the Rhineland. As a result, new jobs and value chains will be created, which will contribute to successful structural change and serve as a model for other regions.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Marquardt, Chair of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich

More comments on the official opening:

State Secretary Judith Pirscher: “The Helmholtz Cluster for a Sustainable and Infrastructure-Compatible Hydrogen Economy combines research with a strong impetus for structural change. Therefore, we would like to encourage companies, research institutions, and other organizations to submit ideas for innovative hydrogen demonstration projects. Together, we can shape structural change and exploit the market opportunities for promising hydrogen technologies.”
Judith Pirscher, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Prof. Peter Wasserscheid: “HC-H2 will explore, develop, and implement innovative hydrogen technologies. The unique selling point is that HC-H2 focuses on transport and storage technologies that use existing or easy-to-install infrastructures for green hydrogen. HC-H2’s demonstration projects will serve as the nucleus for new entrepreneurial activities in the Rhineland region.”
Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, spokesperson for HC-H2
Alexander Peters: “NEUMAN & ESSER is an ‘enabler’ for a green H2 value chain – from decarbonization concepts and the development, construction, and servicing of electrolyzers to reciprocating compressor systems for transport and storage, hydrogen filling stations, and filling systems. We also develop fuel cell systems. With our digital platform for all components, “XPLORE”, we offer our customers a one-stop lifetime solution. Close cooperation between science – for example HC-H2 – and industry will enable the opportunities associated with structural change to be realized.”
Alexander Peters, Managing Partner at NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP

Contacts

  • Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
Building Brainergy-Park-Jülich /
Room T3.94
+49 2461/61-4499
E-Mail
  • Institut für nachhaltige Wasserstoffwirtschaft
Building Brainergy-Park-Jülich /
Room 2009
+49 2461/61-5510
E-Mail
  • Institut für nachhaltige Wasserstoffwirtschaft
Building Brainergy-Park-Jülich /
Room 2010
+49 2461/61-5562
E-Mail

Tobias Schlößer

Pressereferent

    Building 15.3 /
    Room 3028a
    +49 2461/61-4771
    E-Mail

    Further Information

    Photo Copyright: Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann, Land NRW/Tobias Koch, Land NRW/Ralph Sondermann, Forschungszentrum Jülich/Ralf-Uwe Limbach

    Last Modified: 22.09.2022