Professor Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, visited the pump manufacturer Wilo to learn more about the company’s hydrogen strategy.
The Minister of Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, and Oliver Hermes, Chairman and CEO of the Wilo Group. (Image source: WILO SE)
During the visit, Oliver Hermes, President and CEO of the Wilo Group, not only underlined the importance of hydrogen for the competitiveness and energy autonomy of German industry, but also presented the plans for Wilo for its own hydrogen plant in Dortmund. The so-called H2 power plant is to be commissioned as a pilot plant already this year at Wilopark.
“Hydrogen replaces fossil fuels and offers Wilo an autonomous and secure energy supply,” says Oliver Hermes. “Thanks to our photovoltaic power plant, we can create climate-neutral hydrogen right here on site and use it, for example, for our electric fleet. In this way, we complete our local energy cycle, further improve our climate footprint and continue to effectively implement our sustainability strategy.
The Minister of Economics and Energy, Professor Andreas Pinkwart, underlined the importance of future-oriented technology for North Rhine-Westphalia as an economic location: “Hydrogen is a central element for North Rhine-Westphalia on the way to transforming local business and industry in order to achieve our goal of climate neutrality by 2045. We can locally produce hydrogen in a decentralized way, as Wilo the shows here in an impressive way, to diversify our energy imports even more and to increase our energy autonomy.
Already today, hydrogen is more than a vision of the future for Wilo. Much of the required technology – from emission-free power generation to pumping and transporting water to driving generators – is already part of the company’s core business area. “I see other huge market opportunities for Wilo,” says Hermes. “Our products, systems and solutions will make an essential contribution to the production, distribution and use of climate-neutral hydrogen around the world in the future.”
To this end, Wilo is already accumulating additional process and technology expertise in the fields of electrolysis, pyrolysis, plasmalysis and fuel cells. The H2 power plant is therefore an important step in gaining early practical experience as a producer, user and subsequent supplier of hydrogen technology.
In industry above all, but also in logistics and modern communities, Hermès sees the potential of modular hydrogen power plants. In this way, plant operators and municipalities can produce and use energy locally and in a climate-neutral way – not only to combat climate change, but also to become global innovation leaders. “The current approval process is too vague and slow. Solutions must be found at federal and state level, so that Germany can play a leading role in this technology of the future,” insists Hermes.
The Dortmund Chamber of Commerce and Industry shares this view. Its managing director, Stefan Schreiber, says: “The way in which Wilo pursues its sustainability strategy is an extremely welcome development. Given the current economic situation, the issue of security of supply is extremely important. The H2 powertrain could be an important answer to the most pressing questions about the future. Companies and, in particular, industry need a fast and reliable approval process for this. »