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HydroHub, the hydrogen initiative of TUV NORD GROUP companies is assisting energy companies, industries and municipal governments with concentrated 360° hydrogen expertise for consulting, engineering and training. HydroHub analyses demand, identifies economic and technical potential, and converts requirements into precise projects along the hydrogen value chain. With a practical, hands-on customer focus, the expert teams plan and carry out projects for smart sector coupling, storage systems and location developments, as well as hydrogen import strategies and many more.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

HydroHub: HydroHub has identified and focusses on four key topics: The first one being Import/Export as key topic for helping to set-up import and export strategies for governments, manufacturers, grid and storage operators as well as industrial users and investors. Hydrogen will become a global commodity. To decarbonize the economy, sustainable hydrogen will be exported/imported, also over longer distances. Supply strategies need to be developed, trade collaborations established, technological transport options evaluated, and much more.

Many countries with a net demand of hydrogen such as Germany need to set-up sustainable import strategies to achieve their own and EU climate protection goals and energy transition policy (“Energiewende”). On the Export side countries with hydrogen excess, mostly wind- and sun-rich countries such as Wales, Norway, Egypt or Australia ask for support in the development or validation of their export strategies. 

The second and third key topics are H2 Readiness and H2 Second Life. Central issues in the key topic H2 Readiness relate to economic and safety planning, realisation and operation of new infrastructures and plants specialized in H2. H2 Second Life means: Repurposing existing infrastructure and facilities is an obvious approach in building a sustainable hydrogen economy. For the production, storage, transport and use of hydrogen, the repurposing of existing infrastructure and facilities must therefore be assessed, planned and implemented. Feasibility, cost efficiency and integration into emerging low-carbon energy systems are the challenges here. 

Hydrogen producers as well as grid and net operators and the transport sector are faced with new opportunities, but also new challenges: Existing infrastructure and plants need sorrow analyses on how they can be rededicated with regard to safe and sustainable H2 operation (H2 Second Life). For new plants and infrastructure, their operation with the energy carrier H2 is summarised as H2 Readiness. Issues of scaling and optimising production processes, legitimate safety concepts for producing and storing large quantities of hydrogen, and building new sales channels or developing new sales markets are difficult to address comprehensively without the support of a wide network of specialists. With regard to competent advice for hydrogen manufacturers, HydroHub is the right contact.

The fourth key topic is called H2 Sustainability. In order to assess GHG neutrality and sustainability of hydrogen, systems for classification and certification must be established along the entire value chain. This includes the consideration of both ecological and social impacts from production to subsequent storage and transport to the application of hydrogen and disposal.

E.E: What’s the news about new products? / At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

HydroHub: As a consulting and engineering partner for hydrogen manufacturers, HydroHub is aware that, during the ramp-up phase of the market, hydrogen is still produced in grey, blue, turquoise or green form. Despite the differences in processes, there is one thing they all have in common: every hydrogen technology needs to be safe! Identifying, assessing and handling technical hazard sources and risks have been central tasks of the TÜV NORD GROUP for over 150 years. HydroHub has developed in-depth skills in all areas of industry, and now offer hundreds of specialized services, particularly for the hydrogen industry. The offering ranges from technical, legal and financial due diligence to functional tests of the tiniest of system components. From requirements specifications and customer specifications to concepts for start-up and assembly all focusing on the market ramp-up that is currently happening in many areas around the globe.