Hydrogen as a building block for regional energy systems

Hydrogen technologies improve the integration of fluctuating renewable electricity into the energy system, promote sector coupling and open up new paths to sustainable production routes for the manufacturing industry. This applies both to large-scale industrial projects and overarching infrastructure developments as well as to projects at regional level – for example in industrial estates, at logistics locations such as ports or in municipalities and, under certain conditions, also in residential areas. But which technologies are best used in which scenario? What infrastructural requirements need to be created? How can regionally available resources such as water be used responsibly? How can the interests of stakeholders and actors from the surrounding area be integrated in the best possible way? And what options are there for the sensible use of hydrogen and the by-products of its production: oxygen and heat?

Solutions and services from Fraunhofer UMSICHT: Development of regional and sustainable hydrogen concepts

Fraunhofer UMSICHT provides support in answering these questions – with our technological know-how and our experience in energy system analysis. Our goal is the joint development of holistic as well as technically, economically and ecologically sensible solutions for your regional challenge. Specifically, our services include

  • Evaluation of systems and locations with regard to their potential for implementing hydrogen concepts
  • Identification and characterization of the relevant stakeholders and actors for the project and its environment
  • Studies on regional hydrogen concepts and development of hydrogen roadmaps
  • Development of innovative energy and transformation concepts for neighborhoods, commercial areas, municipalities and industrial companies with technical/economic evaluation of hydrogen as an energy source and storage medium
  • Water supply for electrolysis systems: Identification of alternative water sources, development of treatment processes for electrolysis processes, disposal concepts for residual material flows from water treatment
  • Evaluation of technological solutions and feasibility studies from various perspectives, including technical functionality, economic efficiency, environmental impact, system usefulness
  • Technical support for workshops to network stakeholders and the inclusion of dialog formats for exchange with regional or local players

A look at our focus areas

Development of hydrogen concepts and roadmaps:
We work with you to develop regional hydrogen concepts and roadmaps. We carry out analyses of existing and new locations for renewable energies and electrolytic hydrogen production. These include customer-side demand analyses for the products hydrogen, oxygen and heat (by-products of the electrolysis of water) in the industrial/commercial, mobility/logistics and building sectors as well as logistics concepts for the distribution, storage and supply of the products. The results are combined into an overall concept and can be expanded as required into a roadmap with time and cost-related allocations of planning and implementation steps.

Integration of hydrogen into the local energy system:
We support you in assessing whether hydrogen can be meaningfully integrated into your local energy system. We examine regional initiatives, analyze the potential of renewable energies and determine the necessary hydrogen requirements together with you. In this process, we evaluate technological approaches from different perspectives and also support you in the further design of your energy system – with and without hydrogen.

Water management:
We prepare studies and support your dialog with the stakeholders involved in the analysis of the water situation and the development of solution strategies to prevent conflicts of use. This also includes, for example, tapping into alternative water sources such as industrial waste water with the help of technological processes for electrolysis.

Involvement of stakeholders and actors:
We support you in integrating aspects such as public relations and transparency, participation and location issues – for example through stakeholder analyses, stakeholder workshops or the technical support of dialog formats.

How to work with us

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You see a need for research or development or have become aware of a promising Fraunhofer technology: For example, your company wants to bring a material or product innovation to the market, have an internal production process evaluated and improved or respond to an anticipated market demand as quickly as possible. Then it makes sense to commission our institute directly with the development of solutions for your challenge. Together, we will clarify the framework conditions for how we can successfully advance your company with our expertise and infrastructure. The size of your company is irrelevant: our teams support small companies just as professionally with research and development services as clients from SMEs or companies that are listed on the stock exchange.


Interested? Then write us!

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Several partners along a value chain work together on a solution – usually within the framework of public funding. We can build on a large network from industry, research, society and the Fraunhofer Institutes. We are experienced both in the selection of funding programs and in project applications, contribute innovative ideas to the process and then shape the transfer to the market together with you and other partners.


Interested? Then write us!

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As with every new collaboration, things are unclear at the beginning: How does a collaboration with Fraunhofer actually work and can Fraunhofer help me at all? Will Fraunhofer charge my company for its research and development work and who actually owns the results of the collaboration? The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has already compiled some general answers to Frequently Asked Questions. However, our projects are as individual as your technological challenges. Therefore, if you have any questions, please contact us!


Questions? Then write us!

Reference projects around hydrogen as a building block of regional energy systems



Thuringian counties on the way to becoming a hydrogen region

To develop an overall concept on the potentials of a regional, green hydrogen economy in the Wartburgkreis and the Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis – this is the objective of the HyExperts project.



Water for the green hydrogen economy

Fraunhofer UMSICHT aims to analyze the water situation in individual regions, both in studies and by entering into a dialogue with the actors involved in order to identify and solve conflicts of use. Furthermore, alternative water sources shall be developed by means of new technological processes.



Making production systems fit for the future

The aim of the Performance Center DYNAFLEX® is to be able to plan future-proof production systems. They should be coordinated, adaptable, flexible and modular. The Ruhr metropolitan region, with its network of scientists and companies, is to become the leading platform for process dynamics and adaptivity in the energy transition and raw materials shift.

Further Information

enerPort II: Optimized energy use in the port microgrid @DGT

to the website

"We need to test hydrogen technologies and put them into practice" : Dr.-Ing. Esther Stahl and Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Stießel on the development of a hydrogen economy

to the interview from 04.04.2024

How well is your company positioned in the areas of energy and resource efficiency, digitalization and flexibilization?

to the DYNAFLEX®-Check