The German economy is undergoing a period of upheaval. The automotive industry is
investing billions in developing new powertrain technologies and mobility services, while
manufacturing industries and mechanical engineering are becoming greener and more
sustainable. Following the phase-out of nuclear power, by 2038 brown coal will no longer be used
for electricity generation and priority is being given to developing renewable energy sources.
And importantly, digitalization is making its way into almost all areas of our lives. And as if all of this weren’t exciting enough, 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is not only putting businesses and jobs at risk, it is also speeding up some development processes.
HYDROGEN IN SAXONY-ANHALTA strategic moveinto the futureSaxony-Anhalt provides the idealconditions for the developmentof a forward-looking hydrogeneconomy. There is extensiveexperience of using hydrogenin the Middle German ChemicalTriangle.On the move: Linde supplies its customerswith hydrogen in liquid form.The government of Saxony-Anhalt is currently preparing ahydrogen strategy for the state.The goal is to develop an electrolysiscapacity of 1,000 megawattshere by 2030. To achievethis, additional wind and solarenergy facilities with a poweroutput of 5,000 megawattsare needed. From 2040 onward,Saxony-Anhalt plans to coverits hydrogen requirements fromits own resources. The hydrogenwill be produced in large industrialplants that are connectedto national and internationalnetworks.What makes the Chemical Park Leuna attractiveto investors?ANDREAS DIETRICH: We have an excellent pipeline networkand there is only one other like it in Germany. Thismeans that the Chemical Park Leuna and the chemicalsites in Bitterfeld and Zeitz can be supplied with all theindustrial gases they need via the pipeline. In addition, alarge number of chemical companies have moved to Leuna.This variety is what makes Leuna a flagship location.A huge amount of expertise in hydrogen has been acquiredhere over the years, so new skills are not needed inthis area. The safety systems and the pipelines are of veryhigh quality. In addition, there are several good cooperativeprojects underway. In the field of hydrogen, Linde isworking closely with Siemens and with the Fraunhoferinstitute in Halle (Saale).In Bad Lauchstädt, not far from Leuna, there are salt cavernswhere natural gas is stored. It is possible that theycould be used as a storage location for hydrogen. Thiswould allow electricity, which cannot be stored directly,to be stored indirectly in the form of hydrogen.Where do you think Linde in Leuna will be in tenyears’ time?ANDREAS DIETRICH: We will make major developments inthe field of hydrogen to enable us to produce larger quantitiesof green hydrogen. We will also significantly reducethe CO 2footprint of our production processes for otherindustrial gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.In the context of the structuralchange in the coal-miningregion of central Germany, thehydrogen economy offers majoropportunities for developinga growth region for renewableenergies.26 27