Hydrogen: Energy for a New Age > Visit 3
Chris Barrow

Mainz is one of the oldest cities in Europe but it is thoroughly up to date when it comes to the Hydrogen Society.

Mainz was the 3rd stop on the tour.  This was the chance to visit a truly innovative project that had been initiated by Linde AG, Siemens AG, Hochschule RheinMain and the Mainzer Stadtwerke AG.  The aim: to power vehicles (and more) with energy from the wind.

The process is called power to gas, and as with the installation in Hamburg, EnergiePark Mainz uses renewable electricity produced by the neighbouring wind turbines to produce hydrogen by electrolysis.  It has an annual output of 200 tons as from 2017 onwards, enough to refuel a Mirai more than 40,000 times.

Hydrogen can be produced sustainably and stored onsite.  It can then either be:

– transported to refuelling stations where it can be used to fuel hydrogen vehicles,

– injected into the gas grid to replace by up to 10% the natural gas used for heating or cooking for example.  This one act can considerably reduce CO2 emissions with no need for a change in the existing infrastructure.

– or used for what we call grid balancing.  This is where the hydrogen can be converted back into electricity, enabling us to use intermittent wind energy when we actually need it and avoid restarting a traditional power plant for example. Genius!

But don’t take our word for it, listen to the experts.

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