Friday 14 April 2023

German ex-nuclear town to become ‘hydrogen hub’

German ex-nuclear town to become ‘hydrogen hub’

A German town that is known for its nuclear power has desires to become the country’s hydrogen hub.

The Emsland nuclear power plant in Lingen has provided German homes with energy for 35 years – but the German government has now taken the decision to close all its nuclear plants, as it doesn’t see the energy sources as green.

There are only three remaining nuclear facilities in Germany, including Emsland, but on Saturday 15th April all will cease operations.

Germany’s decision differs from some other countries in Europe, with the UK even looking to classify nuclear as green.

The country’s Environment Minister Steffi Lemke referenced the disasters in both Fukushima and Chernobyl when explaining the country’s choice.

Lingen Mayor Dieter Krone has explained the town is now hopeful of changing its fortunes; becoming a key cog in the next stage of Germany’s energy mix.

“It’s the start of a new era because we want to get into hydrogen,” he said.

“We have the big advantage that all the infrastructure, the networks, are there. I believe we are going to become the biggest and most significant location in Germany for hydrogen. As such, I do think we can say this is a kind of blueprint for development.”

This Autumn, one of the largest hydrogen facilities in Germany is set to start operations in Lingen – building green steel for industry.

The town already produces more renewable energy than it consumes, with locals believing it could play a pivotal role in Germany achieving its 2045 carbon-neutrality target.

There are some fears that removing nuclear power will see Germany have to turn to fossil fuels to keep the lights on.

Ms Lemke responded: “The expansion of renewables remains the cheaper and in particular faster path if we want to achieve the climate goals.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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