“What a week,” says 47-year-old engineer Axel von Levetzow, Head of Manufacturing at the Siemens Energy Gigawatt Electrolyzer Factory in Berlin, a joint venture between Siemens Energy and Air Liquide. It’s late September, and von Levetzow and colleagues have been busy installing new machinery and steadily increasing production. At the same time they’ve been presenting their plans for electrolyzer production to industrialists, entrepreneurs and politicians – including energy ministers from all over the world.
Interest is high because the factory, complete with robots, automation and digitalization, is a centerpiece for climate action and the world’s ambition to reach net zero emissions with a renewable hydrogen economy. Starting this November, the factory begins its gigawatt-scale production of electrolyzer stacks, starting with 1 gigawatt in the first year, moving to 2 gigawatts by 2024 and reaching 3 gigawatts as soon as 2025.
“Before, customers would say, ‘We need energy,’ and we built power plants for them,” says von Levetzow. “Now we can even deliver everything they need for a complete green hydrogen strategy.”